Almond-Lemon Macaroons (Almendrados)

bensazon

Almendrados, which date from the 15th century or earlier, are cookies made of ground blanched almonds, lemon zest, egg and sugar. They are left out to dry for a day before baking. (In the recipe given here, I’ve called for 12 hours in the refrigerator.) I have tasted this type of cookie in many guises, and often the dough spreads out too thinly. But with the cookbook author Ana Benarroch de Bensadón’s method it kept its shape perfectly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole blanched almonds, plus about 30 almonds for decoration
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

PREPARATION

  1. Using a food processor equipped with a metal blade, grind 2 cups almonds very finely. Add 3/4 cup sugar, the egg and lemon zest, and pulse to make a cohesive dough. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Pinching off pieces of dough about the size of a walnut, roll them first into balls, then into sugar. Gently press an almond point first into top of each cookie, so that half the almond can be seen. Arrange cookies one inch apart on baking sheet.
  4. Bake until cookies have barest hint of color but still remain soft, 8 to 10 minutes. (Cookies must be soft when removed from oven to avoid excess hardening when they cool.) Cool completely, and store in an airtight container.
SOURCE: NY TIMES
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