Make these delightful French cookies -- also called macaroons -- for your family, colleagues, or for a party and watch as people go back for seconds and thirds.
Step 1: Mix almond flour and sugar Mix the ground almonds and confectioner's sugar together in a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Beat egg whites and salt Beat egg whites and salt in another mixing bowl until the mixture forms soft peaks.
Step 3: Add granulated sugar to egg whites Add the granulated sugar to the egg white mixture gradually and continue to beat. Whip until stiff glossy peaks form.
Step 4: Fold in almond flour mixture Fold the dry almond mixture into the egg white mixture gently with a spatula until blended.
TIP: The meringue mixture will flatten and become more liquid after folding in the almond mixture, so don't be alarmed if the peaks do not remain stiff.
Step 5: Prepare cookie sheets Prepare the cookie sheets by covering in a silicone baking mat or with parchment paper. Use a dab of water to stick down the edges of the parchment paper.
Step 6: Fill pastry bag Fill a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch plain tip with meringue mixture. You can use a sealable plastic bag with the corner cut off as an inexpensive substitute for a pastry bag.
Step 7: Pipe meringue Pipe 1-inch circles of meringue onto the cookie sheets. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes to dry out and form a slight crust over the meringue.
TIP: Leave at least 2 inches between each circle and make sure that the tops of each cookie are rounded, not pointed.
Step 8: Preheat oven Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 9: Bake cookies Bake the macarons for 22 to 28 minutes they are crisp and the inside cannot be easily pressed down. Remove from oven and lay cookie sheet on a wire rack to cool completely. Then, remove them from the cookie sheets.
Step 10: Spread filling and sandwich together Spread the flat sides of a pair of cookies with 1 teaspoon of jam, ganache, or buttercream filling and sandwich together. Take 1 -- or 2! -- and give them a taste test.
FACT: Laduree, a Paris bakery, opened its doors in 1862 and has been making its famous macaroons since the turn of the 20th century.