Monday, July 30, 2007

Mondays with Maida - Almond Macaroons

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

Nutrition Facts


Rowena said...

I'm with you all the way on the ideal almond cookie! As far as macaroons go....I think I'd have to go with moist coconut ones, but when it comes to macarons, Pierre Herme wins hands down!

Leigh said...

What an interesting range of opinions for this cookie. I usually make cocomut macaroons, but I love almonds so I might try something like this sometime, without the cherries.

I will definitely take some pix of tying on a warp. Thanks for the idea. It will be the one after the new one on the loom. I'm already on afghan #2 but behind in my posting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy,
The idea of a small Weber sounds like a possible solution for now. No point in going all out for an item that'll be put to use a few times before the weather begins to get colder.

I certainly liked that girly-girl pink version on one of those websites though -- I can just imagine the horrified look on my husband's face if I brought home one of those! HA!!

Irma said...

What a nice blog!! :)
Hi! I'm Irma from Italy. I love made cookies and I own the wonderful Maida's book too!
I link your blog on mine.

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! I really, really, REALLY hope that someday I get the chance to try some of Pierre Herme's macarons!

Hi Leigh! I was struck by that too. If you love almonds, I'd highly recommend those Italian cookies I mentioned (see the link in the post). They're a little easier to make and so much tastier!

I know how it is to be behind in posting! Unfortunately, so many things I've thought about posting just never get written! I'm looking forward to seeing how tying on a warp is done - thanks!

Hi again Rowena - I think even I'd be horrified with a pink BBQ!

Hi Irma! Thanks so much - I'm always so very happy to meet another fan of Maida's!!