Citrus-Thyme Macaroons

March 22, 2010
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 20-24
Author Notes

While I was thinking about almond macaroons, I thought of some other flavor combinations that I like, and decided to try the combination of citrus and thyme. I used the zest from one orange and one lemon, but I think meyer lemon zest would be equally wonderful. The trick here is to add just enough zest to give flavor, but not so much that the batter becomes watery, or the cookies will be very thin and hard to remove from the cookie sheets. I followed some of the guidelines for macarons: Use your oldest egg whites (Some people suggest letting egg whites sit uncovered at room temperature for a day before using them. I didn't do that.), insulated cookie sheets (You may want to double your up if they're thin.) and let the cookies rest before putting them into the oven. —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: drbabs is an optometrist and food lover from Long Island.
WHAT: Macaroons go on a sunny walk through a forest -- and come back refreshed.
HOW: Whip egg whites; fold in almond meal, herbs and zest; and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Almond-based macaroons are the forgotten cousin of the super-sweet coconut kind -- and we're glad drbabs let us rediscover them. The citrus and thyme makes these elegant enough for your seder (and to keep around all week). Make sure not to overbake them, or they'll lose their chewiness. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 generous pinch kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • Microplane-grated zest of one lemon and one orange, a scant teaspoon
  • 1 scant teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Stack two sets of two baking sheets, and line the top ones with parchment.
  2. In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt till stiff peaks form.
  3. Beat in sugar till mixture is white, shiny and stiff, but not dry.
  4. Gently fold in almond meal, zest and thyme. (You can do this in the stand mixer--just slow it down to stir.)
  5. Use 2 teaspoons to drop dough onto cookie sheets. Scoop with one spoon and scrape off with the other. Place them about 2 inches apart. They will spread and you don't want them to run into each other. (If you've made the chocolate chip macaroons that I also posted, you will notice that this batter is thinner because of the water content of the zest.)
  6. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
  7. Arrange 2 oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and keep cookies in the oven for 10 more minutes. The cookies should be fragrant and starting to brown slightly.
  9. Cool cookies on wire racks. Gently remove the cookies from the parchment. (These are delicate and the edges are thin.)
Contest Entries

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  • Vanina Howan
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  • QueenSashy
  • creamtea
  • Lizthechef

25 Reviews

Sandy December 12, 2019
Why does no-one here seem (including the powers-that-be at Food52 who ran this contest) to know, care, or make a distinction between macarons and macaroons? They are entirely different cookies! Just because they are almost spelled alike does not mean that they should be grouped together for a contest or anything else.
Vanina H. December 30, 2014
What a creative recipe! Am a beginner at baking so this one was tricky. The first whipped eggs became more runny when adding the sugar. The second was diffidently better though it didn't get as fluffy as I think it should have. I have two ovens so I bakes a tray in each. One batch burned on the bottom. But the other was edible, still a little over toasted, but tasted pretty good! Love the creative mix of thyme. Exited to try again! I may put less sugar next time. Any advice Barbara to a novice?
drbabs December 31, 2014
Could you have gotten a bit of egg yolk mixed in with the egg whites? When you add the salt to the egg whites, they should stand up really white and stiff. They stay that way as the sugar goes in, and deflate some when you add the almond meal. Also check and make sure your oven doesn't run too hot. You could try baking them in two batches and placing the rack in the middle of the oven. Hope this helps.
Pascale P. April 21, 2014
Trying to save this recipe, but it keeps asking me what my collection is called. HELP!
drbabs April 22, 2014
You probably have to go to your profile and create a collection. Then you'll be able to save it.
Diana B. April 21, 2014
Recipe says set racks to divide the oven into thirds, but doesn't say which rack to place the cookie sheet on. Or are you supposed to put two cookie sheets in the oven at once, one on each rack, and swap positions halfway through?
drbabs April 22, 2014
Yes, it assumes two sheets at once.. If you're only doing one sheet, put it in the middle of the oven.
gigi April 21, 2014
Thyme leaves are very tiny. Any suggestions on how to quickly get them off the stem?
drbabs April 22, 2014
I just strip them from the top. If the stems aren't too woody, you can just finely chop the whole thing, too.
QueenSashy March 21, 2013
Congrats on the wildcard - I love the flavor combination! Another herb that comes to mind is lemon verbena. I bet your macaroons would be wild with it...
drbabs March 25, 2013
Thanks--let me know if you try it; I've never been able to get lemon verbena.
creamtea March 20, 2013
Congrats on the wildcard! Citrus and thyme, what a nice idea!
drbabs March 25, 2013
Thanks, creamtea.
Lizthechef March 20, 2013
Very creative - love the short ingredient list - beautiful flavors here.
drbabs March 25, 2013
Thanks, Liz!
EmilyC March 20, 2013
Warm congrats on your WC win! These look fabulous!
drbabs March 20, 2013
Wow--thanks!! What a nice surprise!
hardlikearmour March 20, 2013
Congrats, drb! These sound divine -- I love the combination of citrus and thyme, too.
drbabs March 20, 2013
Thanks, hla! Really made my day!
Food B. March 22, 2010
I love to bake with herbs, though I haven't tried thyme in cookies. They sound lovely!
drbabs March 22, 2010
Lizthechef March 22, 2010
Did I hear "Meyer lemon"? This looks like a great recipe - and I have lemon thyme in the garden. Maybe I will skip my recipe and make yours;)
drbabs March 22, 2010
I think that would be delicious!
drbabs March 22, 2010
My husband said he thought they tasted like lemon girl scout cookies, but I think he meant that in a good way. I like anything lemon so i thought they were delicious.
testkitchenette March 22, 2010
These sound great!