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.
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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