French Comfort Food
Macaron Cookies from Nancy (Les Macarons de Nancy)
Found on page 194
At the bakery, Maison des Soeurs Macarons in Nancy, the original secret recipe for almond cookies, created and sold by two nuns to support themselves after the French Revolution, is still used. These are considered real macaron cookies, appearing long before the Parisian rainbow-of-colors version that has become so popular.
In 1952, the city of Nancy designated the street where they made their cookies in honor of the nuns, announcing that theirs were the “veritable Macaron de Nancy”(authentic macaron cookies). Since then it has become a gastronomic destination just for these cookies. This is the kind of cookie you dream of coming home to. They are soft in the center, yet a bit crispy on the outside—rather than looking perfect, they look homemade. The good nuns’ cookies were, many believe, made only with ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites—so I have stayed as
close to their idea as possible.
Makes 15 cookies
- Food processor
- 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper
- 1⁄2 cup (60g) almond slivers
- 3⁄4 cup (85g) almond flour or meal (Bob’s Red Mill)
- 3⁄4 cup (150g) sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- In the food processor, process all ingredients until you have a paste.
- Use a tablespoon of the paste for each cookie and space them out on the baking sheets with some room in between.
- With wet fingers, gently tap the cookies on the top to round them, though not to flatten them, and bake for 14–15 minutes, until they just barely turn golden around the edges with the tops still pale. Cool completely before serving.
Ideas and substitutions
You can also make them as close in size as possible and sandwich a filling in between two of them. Or you can dust them with powdered sugar once they are cool.