Two Passover Macaroons

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The trouble with most macaroon recipes is that they call for egg whites to give them shape, which means you wind with a bunch of left over egg yolks. On the theory that you can't have too many macaroons, here are two recipes, one using egg whites, and the other using egg yolks. (O.K., you do wind up with an extra egg white, but just stick it in the freezer in a small container, and you can use it at a later date.)

The first recipe comes from my grandmother, although I think I unwittingly altered it -- I don't think she ever said to grind the nuts (she may have used slivered almonds). The second one I found in The New York Times, eons ago. Both are delicious.

DATTELKONFEKT (Date Confections)

Makes 4 dozen cookies

3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/2 pound almonds, ground fine

1/2 pound pitted dates, chopped

Vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract, available kosher for Passover)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Beat the egg whites while adding the sugar. (My grandmother's recipe says to beat for 1/2 an hour, but that's by hand. I beat for about 10 minutes with the whisk attachment to my KitchenAid, and add the vanilla or vanilla sugar during this beating.) Then mix in the nuts and dates, and drop by teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let stand for 1/2 hour before baking. Bake at 350 for ~ 10 minutes, or until they just start to turn color. Do not overbake.

[These cookies are really supposed to be made on Backoblaten -- little flour and water "cookie coasters" (as a friend of mine once called them), which are clearly not kosher for Passover. I've never made them without the "cookie coasters," but I'm sure they come out fine if you line the cookie sheets with parchment paper, which makes them fine for Passover.]

ALMOND MACAROONS from The New York Times

Makes @ 40 cookies

4 eggs yolks

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (available kosher for Passover) or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups ground almonds (unblanched)

40 blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 350º.

Beat egg yolks with sugar until lemon-colored and thick enough to form a ribbon. Stir in extract or nutmeg and almonds, and chill until mixture can be handled without sticking (about 1/2 hour).

Pinch up bits of dough and roll into balls slightly smaller than walnuts. Place one inch apart on greased (or parchment-papered) cookie sheets (they will spread). Top each with a blanched almond. Bake for 10 minutes, or until set and faintly golden. Do not overbake -- and enjoy!