March 9, 2009

Recipe of the Day - Cajun Macaroons

As mentioned in the previous post, we're celebrating Gourmet's almost seven decades of cookie recipes with one of the first cookie recipes to be included in the magazine. In the February 1941 issue, the editors decided to include a special Mardi Gras menu from Louisiana, including a recipe for Cajun Macaroons. Described as "crisp and chewy, with a subtle almond scent" are French-style, but not in the traditional macaron style I typically focus on with this blog.

So, let's tip our hats to Louisiana and warm up our ovens for today's Recipe of the Day!

Gourmet's Cajun Macaroons

Wooden spoon
Various sized mixing bowls
Cookie sheet(s)
Parchment paper
Pastry bag (optional, for cooking shaping)
Flour sifter
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Cooling Rack

1/2 lb. almond paste
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sifted pastry flour
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
1/2 cup of powered sugar

Work 1/2 lb. almond paste with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Add 3 slightly beaten egg whites and blend thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup sifted pastry flour, resifted with 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cover a cookie sheet or sheets with bond paper. The cooky mixture may be dropped from the tip of a teaspoon and shaped on the paper, or may be pressed through a cooky press, or shaped with a pastry bag and tube. Bake in a slow oven (300°F.) about 30 minutes. The cakes may be removed from the paper by means of a spatula while still warm.

Variations: Finely chopped or ground candied fruits may be added to the mixture before baking. Or the tops of the macaroons may be decorated before baking by placing in the center of each a nut half, a raisin (seedless, black or white), or a bit of candied fruit–such as a bit of angelica–cut fancifully, or by sprinkling with finely chopped nut meats. The cakes may be decorated after baking by dainty frosting designs formed with the help of a cake decorator or a pastry tube.

Recipe yields 4 dozen 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

These should be baked a few days in advance. They will keep several months when kept in a closed tin in a cool, dry place.

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