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 the upper-middle and lower-middle levels of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Turn the almonds into a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade; process 1 minute. Add the sugar; process 15 seconds longer. Add the whites and extract; process until the paste wads around the blade. Scrape the sides and corners of the workbowl with a spatula; process until stiff but a cohesive, malleable paste (similar in consistency to marzipan or pasta dough) forms, about 5 seconds longer. If the mixture is crumbly or dry, turn the machine back on and add water by drops through the feeder tube until the proper consistency is reached.
Allowing a 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 the macaroons, switching the cookie sheet positions midway through baking, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If overbaked, the macaroons will dry out rather quickly when stored. Leave the macaroons on the 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.
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