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
generous pinch kosher salt
Microplane-grated zest of one lemon and one orange, a scant teaspoon
Stack two sets of two baking sheets, and line the top ones with parchment.
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt till stiff peaks form.
Beat in sugar till mixture is white, shiny and stiff, but not dry.
Gently fold in almond meal, zest and thyme. (You can do this in the stand mixer--just slow it down to stir.)
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.)
Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes.
Arrange 2 oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds.
Preheat oven to 350.
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.
Cool cookies on wire racks. Gently remove the cookies from the parchment. (These are delicate and the edges are thin.)