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Almond Macaroons

Source: America's Test Kitchen
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  Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
Macaroons must be baked on parchment paper. They will stick to an ungreased sheet and spread on a greased one. You need a slightly less stiff dough if piping the macaroons, so add water, as needed, to make a pipeable paste.
3 cups blanched slivered almonds (12 ounces), measured without packing or shaking the cup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup large egg whites, plus 1 tablespoon from about 3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
Set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle levels of oven and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Turn almonds into food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade; process 1 minute. Add sugar; process 15 seconds longer. Add whites and extract; process until the paste wads around blade. Scrape sides and corners of workbowl with spatula; process until stiff but cohesive, malleable paste (similar in consistency to marzipan or pasta dough) forms, about 5 seconds longer. If mixture is crumbly or dry, turn machine back on and add water by drops through feeder tube until proper consistency is reached.

Allowing scant 2 tablespoons of paste for each macaroon, form a dozen cookies upon each paper-lined sheet, spacing the cookies
1 1/2 inches apart. You can drop the paste from a spoon or for a neater look, roll it into 1-inch balls between your palms . (Rinse and dry your hands if they become too sticky.) To make fancy macaroons, pipe the paste using a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch open star tip.

Bake macaroons, switching cookie sheet positions midway through baking, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If overbaked, macaroons will dry out rather quickly when stored. Leave macaroons on papers until completely cooled or else they may tear. (Can be stored in an airtight container for at least
4 days or frozen up to 1 month.)

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
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