Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
2 cups finely chopped toasted almonds (about 8 ounces)*
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, toss the almonds, sugar and salt together. Add the egg whites and extract and work them in with a wooden spoon to form a â€œdough.â€ Take heaping teaspoons of dough and shape them into balls. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. If desired, place a piece of garnish on top of each ball. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the macaroons to a cake rack to cool completely. Makes about 20
Note: to toast the ground almonds, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the ground almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the nuts are golden brown.