Tuesday, April 12, 2005

chocolate almond macaroons


[husband has implored me to stop cooking! no, he is not tired of my cuisine, yet, but our refrigerator is bulging and bursting at the seams...but he didn't say "no baking"... ;P]
the little German i know, i learned from the Professor Bhaer of Josephine March ("Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott was required reading by my grandmother/lola)...liebling! liebchen! Gott in Himmel, bitte, nein!
hopefully i've spelled it out right but-just-can't-say-it-for-sure, our present favorite German word.
i first had a taste of this nutty macaroon from a German mom, who wouldn't part with the recipe...
this i found in a "Christmas in Germany" book we borrowed from the library (looking for an authentic gingerbread house recipe). it is a perfect mate to the madeleines to use up the egg whites. they're quite plain looking, so you can dress them up with a drizzle of or a quick dip in melted chocolate, or fondant icing. but they're delicious as is: dark, nutty, deep.

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups finely ground almonds
4 ozs. of unsweetened chocolate, finely grated
1 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, finely grated
3 tbsps. water
a heaping 1/4 tsp. of ground Australian wattle seed,* optional (original recipe calls for cinnamon plus a dash each of nutmeg and all spice; my kids like none of these though)

preheat oven to 300F. line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.
beat egg whites until stiff, adding sugar gradually just as egg whites start to gain volume.
fold in gently the almonds, chocolates, water, and spices, if using.
drop by teaspoonfuls into the cookie sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are set and dry.
let cool 2 minutes then carefully lift off of wax paper lined sheets.

store in air-tight container.
*i got intrigued when santos whipped up some magic with this at her food blog. it gives an unusual coffee/hazelnut/mild chocolate/vanilla scent. on the tiny little jar it says that it goes well with chocolate and nuts. amen. my kittens are sold on it.