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Almond Macaroons

These almond macaroons have less sugar than typical macaroons. The dough is fairly dense and produces a cookie with a delicious chewy texture. If you don't have almond meal, you can make your own by grinding some almonds in a food processor to the consistency of coarse sand.

 Almond Macaroons

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups almond meal (300g)
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons almond extract
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 300°F.  Combine the almond meal, sugar, salt and almond extract in a bowl and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until the whites form stiff peaks. The cream of tartar acidifies the egg white and stabilizes the foam. Using a large rubber spatula fold one third of the almond meal mixture into the beaten egg whites until just incorporated. Gradually, add the remaining almond meal mixture while continuing to mix.

Almond Macaroons
Almond Macaroons ready to bake

Spoon the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to form 24 to 30 small mounds of equal size. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the bottoms of the macaroons are lightly golden brown. At this point the centers of the macaroons will still be soft. Cool the macaroons for 5 minutes on the baking sheet to let them firm up, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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