In my recent post called Gluten Free Tips and Techniques, I answered many questions regarding ideas for gluten-free salads, entrees, appetizers and of course, desserts. I also included this particular recipe for Italian Almond Macaroons and felt that this recipe deserved a separate recipe page of its own. It is one of my go-to cookies to make when I am looking for a crunchy cookie to serve with something creamy like crème brulée or Sabayon. These delicious cookies are Gluten Free, Grain Free and Dairy Free Cookies, therefore fit many categories of desserts for guests with dietary restrictions. They were so popular, in fact, customers were waiting for them to come out of the oven at an organic bakery where I worked. I hope you like them, too!
ITALIAN ALMOND MACAROONS
Yield: Makes about 80 cookies (approximately 1.5” in diameter)
CHEF TALK: These cookies are very simple to make. Children will love helping, too! A few egg whites go a long way in producing 80 lovely cookies that store well in an airtight container. Dip them in chocolate for a special treat.
NOTE: Please note that there are two additions of granulated sugar and two additions of sliced almonds in this recipe
To Prepare the Almond Mixture:
- 1 1/2 cups sliced Almonds (140 g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Meringue:
- Egg Whites from two large eggs (60 ml)
- A Pinch of Cream of Tartar
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
For Coating the Macaroons:
- Sliced Almonds – As required, to coat the macaroons (you will need approximately 3 cups of sliced almonds for this stage)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Combine sliced almonds and ¾ cup of the sugar in a food processor and process until they are very fine. Set aside.
- On another tray, place the additional 3 cup of sliced almonds for coating the cookies. Crunch the almonds slightly to break them up with your hands into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- In a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until they barely hold a soft shape.
- Gradually add the remaining ¼ of granulated sugar, and beat on high speed until the whites hold a firm, straight point and are quite stiff. Now, add the lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts and stir to combine. CHEF TIP: The reason you want to add most extracts at this point is that some extracts, like almond extract and orange extract, have oil in them and prevent the egg whites from achieving a stiff peak.
- Add the whipped whites all at once to the ground almond mixture, folding in the whites and almonds together until they are incorporated.
- Using a small cookie scoop, drop cookies directly into the sliced almonds. Gently turn the mounds of almond meringue to coat them thoroughly with the sliced almonds.
- Place the almond meringue mounds onto the prepared baking sheet about 1.5” apart. Bake for 7 – 9 minutes.
- Do not over bake or the cookies will be crisp instead of chewy. The almonds should be nicely toasted and the meringue should be only lightly coloured.
- Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Store. Dust lightly with icing sugar, if desired. The cookies will freeze well.
Please CLICK the link above to access my UrbnSpice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Gluten Free Flour Blends
- Toasting Your Nuts
Check out some of the delicious Bob’s Red Mill Recipes from Bob’s Red Mill. I encourage you to explore these companies and learn about their commitment to sourcing and providing the purist grains available (Gluten Free Resources)
If you give this recipe for Italian Almond Macaroons a try, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback.
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The Urbnspice Chef
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