Easy Almond Macaroons

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on January 13, 2013

Crispy and chewy almond macaroonsMacaroons cookies are a favorite cookie for many people. Some prefer coconut macaroons made from dessicated coconut and others like the French almond macaron made with almond flour. In my book, they are all stepchildren that belong to the same family.

For this cookie, make sure to use almond paste and not marzipan- they are 2 different things. Almond paste is used as an ingredient or filling and marzipan has more sugar and either rolled out like fondant to cover cakes or used for little figurines that are commonly seen in international markets.

This cookie was created a few years ago and it quickly became a favorite for many of my friends, family and customers who would ask me for the recipe which is very easy. It consists of only 3 ingredients–almond paste, sugar and egg whites…that’s it. What’s even better is that this cookie is completely gluten free!

The procedure to put this together is also very easy, but does have a few twists that you need to keep in mind.

I buy my almond paste from a restaurant supply house in a 7 pound can( called a number 10 can in the commercial world). When I bring it home, I open the can and take out the huge slab of almond paste and cut it into 1 pound slabs that I wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. This is the best way to store almond paste for long periods of time. If you simply cover it and store it at room temperature, it will dry out. At roughly $30-$70 a can, that’s an expense you don’t want to treat lightly.

The almond paste that I buy is from a company called American Almond, and because of the turnover, the almond paste is always soft and fresh. Sometimes I have run out of almond paste and had to purchase it from the grocery store that sells brands like Solo or Odense. I find that these brands are not as soft as the one I purchase from American Almond, which will affect the amount of egg whites you will need to add.

The recipe below offers a range for the quantity of whites you will need to add and the reason I am doing this is because I would rather you focus on the look and feel of the final batter instead of the quantity of whites…because this will always vary.

These cookies are also versatile if you want to use them to create a centerpiece for your dessert table. If you want a centerpiece for something other than Christmas, I have seen it done with different sizes of round foam balls that are coated in a thin layer of icing that acts as glue for the macaroons. Not only pretty, but smells great too!

Almond macaron tree as a dessert centerpiece idea

Image shared from here 

Almond Macaroons
8 oz almond paste
¾ cup granulated sugar (7 oz)
about ¼ cup egg white**

**NOTE: There can be a big difference in the freshness of the almond paste that depends on manufacturers and turnover. The quantity of egg whites is an approximate measure. The softer the almond paste is, the less egg whites you will need. Please pay attention to the consistency of the batter in the final picture before you scoop out the cookies. The batter should be soft, not runny, and hold its shape when scooped out. You MUST also use parchment paper for best results.

Begin by adding the almond paste and the sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and using the paddle attachment begin beating these 2 ingredients together until it looks like a coarse meal, like this.

how to make almond macaroons

almond paste and sugar together

Then slowly begin to add your whites a little at a time. The reason you do this is because you want to form a thick paste first to bring it all together and then thinning it out to the consistency that you need. If you add the whites too quickly, you will create a runny, lumpy batter…not pretty. This is what you are looking for…just mix until it is all combined, DO NOT over beat…

perfect almond macaroon batter

Now that the batter is ready, I usually scoop it out onto a parchment lined sheet pan because that’s easier to do instead of piping it out…

scoop out batter onto a paper lined sheet pan

I like to add sliced almonds before baking but you can bake them plain of you like. I think they look prettier with the almonds…

add sliced almonds to the scooped batter before baking

Bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown all over. This is important, because if the tops still look pale, they will sink into the cookie when it has cooled, so make sure they are all a nice uniform brown color. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the parchment paper, they should be a nice golden brown color on the bottom also.

Perfectly baked, golden brown all over, almond macaroons

almond macaroons

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Tom Tillery April 8, 2014 at 8:37 p

I substituted 100% packages egg whites. Big mistake. I had to add flour to thicken up the mix but should have used almond flour. They were still delicious but not as beautiful as yours.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet April 15, 2014 at 8:20 p

Hi Tom, yes that is one of the cardinal rules of baking…never add packaged egg whites to baked goods because of the other ingredients in the package that affect the baking process.

avatar Suzanne March 20, 2015 at 11:22 p

Do you whip the egg whites first before adding or just add unbeaten?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet March 22, 2015 at 2:13 p

The whites are not whipped, they are added ‘as is’. The only time you would whip whites before adding it to a product is to affect the texture and create an ‘airiness’ to the product, as you find in chiffon cakes. Hope that helps!

avatar Carrie November 18, 2015 at 10:21 p

Can I do this without a Kitchenaid? I don’t have a standing mixer, sadly. I have hand beaters but that’s about it.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet November 20, 2015 at 3:57 p

Carrie I don’t know if that will work to be honest, you may have better luck doing it by hand. One thing I will suggest if you do it this way is to make sure the almond paste is VERY soft (fresh) — it will help everything incorporate better. Let me know how it goes!

avatar Susan December 13, 2015 at 5:18 p

Can these be made ahead of time & kept in the freezer?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet December 16, 2015 at 7:07 p

Yes, the best way to store them is in a 2 piece plastic lidded container once the cookies are cool.

avatar Cindy December 22, 2015 at 12:23 p

I don’t have a stand mixer so I used a pastry blender and mixed the whole thing by hand. Worked fine!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet December 22, 2015 at 5:51 p

That’s great to know Cindy, I hope you liked them. They are always a big hit here!

avatar Janet March 30, 2016 at 10:04 p

Will the outside go soft if frozen?

avatar Maggie Mazcko December 12, 2016 at 8:52 p

Followed you recipe exactly and the cookies are amazing! Thanks!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet October 22, 2017 at 11:34 p

yes, just slightly

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