And, so, a project begins

Admittedly, it’s a little late for me to first start talking about new year’s resolutions now that January is halfway through.

And, I’m afraid that I’ve already failed at the first: namely, to be better about blogging here.

But, January’s not over yet, so let’s hope you’ll be hearing more from me soon. If the drafts folder on the backend of this blog is any indication, I would say that it’s a safe bet.

So. The other resolutions.

I’m thinking that 2011 is going to be the year of big changes. It was off to a shaky start, at first, but I think that’s the way that often goes. Frightening at first, yes, but good things often are. The ground work’s in place, so that’s a start, at any rate.

I’m also thinking that 2011 is going to be the year of the macaron.

And, to that end, one of my goals of 2011: to successfully make French style macarons. It turns out I’m not alone in this. After telling a dear friend about this project and feeding him with the first batch of cookies (recipe soon), he sent me this link from the Huffington Post.

I must be on to something.

Naturally this project was borne of a mistake—I was paying a little too little attention when measuring out sugar for some almond cookies. The resulting products were almost macaron-like. They had feet! Or, some of them did, anyway.

Now, when you’re someone who makes graham crakers from scratch for the sake of the challenge, it seems logical that the next step would be to embark on an French Macaron quest. So, get ready for lots and lots of cookies. I’m thinking lemon curd, straightforward almond, blackberry. Maybe even some pistacho based cookies, scented with cardamom and filled with rosewater icing since you all know how much I love that flavor combination.

In the meantime, here’s the recipe for the cookie that started it all.

Almond Cookies

Some notes before you begin:
I’ve included the recipe with the upped quantity of sugar, which will give the cookies a slightly smoother, more french macaroon-like end result. If you’re worried about the sweetness, cut out a half a cup of the sugar.

Use canned almond paste. Tubes are too crumbly and your cookies won’t hold together well.

1 8 oz. can of almond paste
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 large egg whites
2 TBS mild honey
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using a food processor, pulse the almond paste until its broken up into small pieces. Then, add in the confectioners sugar and continue pulsing until the almond paste and sugar are finely ground.

Beat together almond sugar, egg whites, and honey, using an electric mixer, until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.

Spoon cookies into 1 1/2 rounds about 1 inch apart on parchment lined backing sheets, pressing slivered almonds into the tops of the cookies.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookies are browned. Then, let them cool and peel them from the parchment.

Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies

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2 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Dessert

2 responses to “And, so, a project begins

  1. Ben

    Ok a little dense here: are you attempting French style macarons, or macaroons?

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