Monday, July 30, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Almond Macaroons
Page 240 in the old book / page 263 in the new book
I'm afraid no almond macaroon will ever measure up to my ideal almond cookie: Brutti ma Buoni (or Belli et Brutti as the case may be), but if I'd never tasted the Italian version of this cookie, I suppose I might have said these were pretty good.
I was out of blanched almonds, so I had to buy them fresh rather than pulling some from the freezer. Even so, there were complaints that the macaroons weren't almondy enough or that the almond flavor was not noticeable. Perhaps the answer to that would be to toast the almonds before grinding them... or increase the amount of almond extract. Then again, maybe the problem really isn't a lack of almond flavor, but a lack of any other flavor. The cookies aren't especially sweet and if you look back at that Belli et Brutti recipe, you'll see that they have both vanilla extract and lemon zest (which added a wonderful layer of flavor to those cookies). These almond macaroons are made simply of almonds, sugar, egg whites, and almond extract.
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "I thought from the look of the cookie that it would be crunchy, but instead it was very chewy. The cookie was a very attractive pinwheel shaped with a cherry in the center and I liked the almond taste. I didn’t like the soft, chewiness of the cookie. Rating - 2.5"
Denny: "OK, didn't do too much for me. Bland and really couldn't taste the almonds, which I love. -1 for no chocolate equals 2. Rating - 2.0"
Laura: "Very tasty and chewy. Delightful almond flavor, but would have liked the cookies to be a bit more almondy. Rating - 4.0"
Terri: "These macaroons are outstanding! Very moist and chewy. The cherry in the middle is especially decorative - but the taste is the best macaroon I've eaten. Rating - 5.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.4
In two weeks - Fudge Délices