Every year, Passover brings us many things. One is modern takes on traditional foods. One of our favs are Macaroons. Easy to make, great for passover and so flavorful. We often offer Macaroons in our bakery. Here is a fantastic recipe for Lemon Almond Macaroons. All ingredients are available at all Morton Williams. Stop in or order online for delivery.
BUT FIRST... A LITTLE MACAROON HISTORY
Although most Jews are very familiar with this traditional Pesach goodie, a chewy half-dome of flake coconut (very American) bound together with egg whites (and will tell you without skipping a beat how they are most certainly not the same as that other trendy French cookie, the macaron), many are less cognizant of its precise origins. What may come as a surprise to some is that the macaroon was most likely initially a Christian Italian, rather than Jewish, creation, as evinced by its etymological lineage. “Macaroon” stems from the Italian maccherone, meaning “paste” (referring to the almonds that were the base ingredient), which in turn is derived from the verb ammaccare, “to crush.”
Culinary historians write that macaroons can be traced to an Italian monastery of the 8th or 9th century. The monks came to France in 1533, joined by the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry. Later, two Benedictine nuns, Sister Marguerite and Sister Marie-Elisabeth, came to Nancy, France seeking asylum during the French Revolution. The two women paid for their housing by baking and selling macaroons, and thus became known as the "Macaroon Sisters".
Italian Jews later adopted macaroons because it has no flour or leavening (macaroons are leavened by egg whites) and can be eaten during the eight-day observation of Passover. It was introduced to other European Jews, and became popular as a year-round sweet.
American macaroons are usually made with coconut. In Mediterranean Sephardic Jewish communities, they are more often made from almonds and flavored with lemon zest. The lemon/almond flavor combination is wildly popular and lovely tasting. Lemony Almond Macaroon are simple to make and really delicious. Try them for Passover, or any time you’d like a sweet, lemony treat! Here is a great recipe from Toriavey.com.
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups blanched skinless almond slivers
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large egg whites
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In this recipe, you can use either grated fresh coconut or dried coconut flakes. If using dried coconut, rehydrate it by pouring it into a bowl and covering it with warm water.
Let the coconut soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Squeeze all the excess liquid out firmly with your fingers. Proceed with recipe. If using fresh coconut, no need to prep it-- simply proceed with recipe.
Place almond slivers and coconut in a food processor, pulse into fine crumbs. Add 3/4 cup of sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, almond extract, vanilla, egg and salt to the food processor. Process for about 1 minute until the mixture becomes a sticky mixture of fine crumbles.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced, forming the mounds into haystack-like shapes.
Place the macaroons in the oven and let them bake for 30-40 minutes, till the tops of the haystacks turn golden brown.
Remove the macaroons from the oven and allow to cool directly on the baking sheet. Do not try to remove them before they'll cool; when hot, they are delicate and prone to crumbling. They become firmer as they cool. When cooled completely, gently pull them from the baking sheet. The bottoms should be golden brown.
Store macaroons in a sealed, airtight plastic container. When fresh from the oven, the macaroons will be crisp on the outside, soft inside. They become softer over time when stored in a sealed container.
We hope you enjoy your Macaroons! Visit us for more in store or online for delivery. Enjoy!