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Recipe

Almond-Pistachio Macaroons

Yield: Yields 32 macaroons

The technique of combining almond paste and sugar is the same as for creaming butter and sugar, but almond paste is heavier than butter, so you need to beat the mixture longer.

Ingredients

  • 18 oz. (2 cups) almond paste
  • 7 oz. (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 7 oz. (2 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 to 4 large) egg whites
  • 2 tsp. rose water or pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) unsalted, undyed chopped pistachios

Preparation

  • Rip the almond paste into pieces (about 1/4 cup each) and put them in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle. (Don’t use a food processor; the batter is too heavy.) Add the granulated sugar. Quickly turn the mixer on and off a few times to draw the sugar into the almond paste so it doesn’t fly out of the bowl. Work on a low speed until the mixture forms coarse, even crumbs. Don’t allow the mixture to go beyond this point to a paste, because it will be difficult to incorporate the confectioners’ sugar. Turn off the mixer and add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix on a low speed for 1 minute and then on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is very smooth and begins to compact itself around the sides of the bowl or when pinched. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

    Add the egg whites, rose water or vanilla, and salt. Mix on a medium speed until combined, but still moist and tacky. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and paddle. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and almost white in color, 2 minutes or longer. Reduce to a low speed, add half of the pistachios, and mix until combined.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment. Use a #40 (11/2-inch) ice cream scoop to portion the batter onto the prepared sheets, leaving room between one another. (No scoop? Use a heaping tablespoon instead.) Sprinkle each macaroon with  some of the remaining pistachios and press down slightly so that the nuts stick. Some will fall off, but you can save them after baking and use them for the next batch, or have a toasted pistachio treat.

    Bake the macaroons 1 sheet at a time until they’re puffed and light and still feel a little soft but not wet, 25 to 28 minutes. The bottoms should be very light brown, not dark. Transfer the sheet to rack and let the macaroons cool completely before moving. Carefully peel the macaroons from the parchment and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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