Faye Levy’s addition of roasted hazelnuts lends a rich butteriness to almond macaroons. For extra-special flavor, she blanches the almonds, toasts the hazelnuts, and grinds both nuts herself, instead of buying packaged pre-ground almonds and hazelnuts.
And to make it easier to remove the macaroons from the paper and keep them moist, she writes, “use this trick we learned at La Varenne cooking school in Paris: Bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pour a little water under the paper before removing them from the sheet.”
Makes about 30 macaroons
- 1 ¼ cups blanched almonds (either whole or slivered)
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 packet or 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 1 ½ teaspoons kosher-for-Passover vanilla extract
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet, shaking the sheet once or twice, about 8 minutes or until their skins begin to split. Transfer to a strainer.
- While nuts are hot, remove most of skins by rubbing nuts energetically with a towel against strainer. Cool nuts completely. Leave oven on.
- Move rack to upper third of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper; grease paper lightly with margarine.
- Grind almonds and hazelnuts with 4 tablespoons sugar in food processor until mixture forms fine, even crumbs. Add egg whites and vanilla sugar or extract and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add remaining sugar in two additions and process about 10 seconds after each or until smooth.
- With moistened hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of mixture between your palms to a smooth ball. Put on prepared baking sheet. Continue shaping macaroons, spacing them 1 inch apart.
- Press each macaroon to flatten it slightly so it is about ½ inch high. Brush entire surface of each macaroon with water. If both baking sheets don’t fit on rack, bake them one at a time. Bake macaroons until very lightly but evenly browned, 18 to 20 minutes; centers should still be soft. Remove from oven.
- Lift one end of paper and pour about 2 tablespoons water under it, onto baking sheet; water will boil on contact with hot baking sheet. Lift other end of paper and pour about 2 tablespoons water under it. When water stops boiling, remove macaroons carefully from paper. Transfer to a rack to cool. Keep them in airtight containers.
Faye Levy’s new adaptation of a recipe from her book, Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home (William Morrow, 2008).