Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gilchrist's Almond Macaroons

A childhood memory . . . Gilchrist’s was a Boston-based department store founded in the 1820s. Their flagship store was located near Washington Street and Filene’s, diagonally opposite Jordan Marsh. The Boston store was noted for its macaroons, baked on the premises, and they were a true Boston tradition. They were packaged in individual waxed paper sleeves . . . the right combination of chewy, crispy, crunchy softness. They are turning up everywhere now, packaged mostly as a French-Style Macaroon.

1 7 ozl tube almond paste
1 1/4 cups plus 1 T. sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Process almond paste and egg whites in food processor until smooth. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour and process until mixture is thickened and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to pastry bag with plain tip and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

Pipe 2 1/2" rounds on ungreased baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cookies with remaining granulated sugar. Bake until light golden for about 25 minutes.

To remove the cookies, slide the parchment paper onto a damp cloth, then gently loosen the cookies with a spatula. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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