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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Chewy Nutty Goodness

So, the pastry cream I made for the Burns trifle called for a dozen egg yolks. It seemed wasteful not to do something with the uncalled-for whites, and I remembered recently having had some delightfully different macaroons. So I looked through my books, and then in my freezer, and found that I had a recipe and just the right amount of blanched almonds for one batch of Chewy Almond Macaroons from The Dessert Bible.

I was using insulated cookie sheets, so I lengthened the prescribed cooking time, and found that the best cookies were those that were in the oven the longest: 30 minutes at 300 degrees. When the cookies were cool, I sandwiched them with a little ganache. This ganache (6 oz of chocolate and 2/3 C cream) was too soft at room temperature to really work (it gooshed out the sides when I bit into the cookie)--a later attempt (for a batch of hazelnut macaroons that didn't turn out nearly as well) with 3 oz chocolate and about 2 tablespoons of cream was just right.

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Blogger Swizzies said...

Oy, you're killing me dead here.

For those of us in it for the food porn/voyeurism of it all, you must describe the ingredients even if you don't list them, and then give vicarious o's over how the food tastes when it's done.

I'm just sayin.

February 3, 2007 at 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super simple.

1 3/4 C blanched almonds
1 1/4 C sugar

Process in Cuisinart (the one true food processor) until finely ground. Add 3 egg whites and 1 t almond extract, and process until it's smooth and does that noisy ball-o'-dough-going-around thing. Pipe onto parchment-lined baking sheets, then let sit for 1-2 hours before baking. Bake at 300 until dry-looking, firm to the touch, fragrant, and starting to turn brown.

February 4, 2007 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Dr Lala said...

So, how long do the egg whites keep in the fridge? Cause I've got 15 egg whites from making xmas eggnog sitting in my fridge, waiting for a good use. And if they are still viable, I'm making these macaroons, using Adriana's Jam Fetish to make a bunch of fillings, and then taking them up to Basel. Around the 17th or 18th.

Do you HAVE to pipe the meringue, or is there a lazy-ass shortcut on that part?

February 4, 2007 at 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, they say you should use them within a few days, BUT I tend to use the sniff test.

The recipe said you could use a small ice cream scoop to make the cookies, rinsing it in cold water every few to prevent sticking (the dough is very sticky). I used a pastry bag (I have a ginormous box of disposable bags I bought on 75% clearance a million years ago) for the almond batch, and an ice cream scoop (I have about four different sizes of these) for the hazelnut batch. The ice cream scoop works okay, not as well as the pastry bag, and you have to flatten them out before cooking because they don't spread much (my hazelnut macaroons, complete with ganache filling, are the size and shape of golf balls because I mistakenly thought they would flatten out in the oven). For that purpose (and for smoothing down any peaks or ridges), use your fingertip dipped in cold water.

February 4, 2007 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Adriana Velez said...

Thanks for including the recipe. For some reason I tend to use more egg yolks than whites and am always at a loss for using the whites.

By the way, you can freeze egg whites. Just not in plastic. I think something subtle happens to them, like the dry out a little and become easier to whip.

February 4, 2007 at 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Argh--now I'm sad that I didn't save all 12 egg whites in the freezer for future batches of macaroons. Now I've just got to find a good cheap source for blanched almonds.

February 5, 2007 at 12:47 AM  

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