Chewy Macaroons

03Feb10

These macaroons are more like chewy nougat then traditional macaroons. The magic of them is that the egg whites aren’t whisked… plus they’re gluten free, contain no oil or butter and are a one-bowl cooking affair which makes them just about perfect.

To be 100% honest they’re not technically macaroons, their true name is hagdi badam or an Iraqi Passover cookie. Nigella Lawson subconded them from Daisy Iny’s Best of Baghdad cooking for her chapter on Passover recipes in the sumptous book, Feast. But whatever the semantics they are heavenly, so enjoy.

Ingredients (makes 28)
200g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
1/4 tsp finely ground cardamon (optional)
2 egg whites (from large eggs)
1-2 tbsps rosewater
28 blanched almonds

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Mix together the ground almonds, sugar, ground cardamom and egg whites (remember there’s no need to whisk them for this recipe). Knead the mixture with you hands until you have a doughy, thick paste.

Sprinkle rosewater onto your hands and form little balls out of the grainy paste. Wet and scent your hands before rolling each one (if you don’t have rosewater use water flavoured with almond essence). Place the balls on a lined baking tray about 3cms apart.

Press down with the palm of your hand to form little patties, before studding the centre of each one with a blanched almond. If you only have raw almonds in the cupboard pour hot water over them first, let soak and then peel off the skins. Bake for 10-12 minutes, they should be pale so take them out of the oven when the edges begin to golden.

Source: Daisy Iny’s Best of Baghdad Cooking via… Feast by Nigella Lawson.

Best cooked to… hmm, well I was in such a rush that I forgot to put any music on (shame). But I recommend Corrine Bay Railey, her music is soulful with a jazz tint. She released a new album, The Sea in November, with the gorgeous song I’d do it all again (click to watch the video).

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8 Responses to “Chewy Macaroons”

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