Did you all have a wonderful holiday season? I sure hope you did! As must be evident from the lack of treats posted that I truly hoped to have for you before Christmas, I took some much-needed down time and relaxed with my family.
I didn't make even a quarter of the goodies I normally make this time of year, but I did make some pecan macaroons. This is my grandmother's famous recipe (famous among our family and friends, anyway - and probably far beyond!) and I just couldn't not make them when she sent 3 cups of finely ground pecans in our Christmas package. I have an amazing grandmother. :)
The recipe is super-easy, and these morsels of heaven are downright addicting. So, while I was taking it easy and enjoying taking photos of our WHITE CHRISTMAS (yay! day and eve were blanketed in snow ...) and my husband, daughters and dogs enjoying the fun, we did get to munch on some macaroons.
I don't know how my grandmother seems to get a perfect batch of macaroons every time they go in and come out of the oven, but I know several factors are involved. Mine don't ever act like hers each time. My first cookies in the oven came out like perfect heavenly pillows just like hers, with crispy exteriors. The second and third were spread out and chewy (but equally delicious!) and the rest came out like pillows again. To help, make sure your cookie sheets cool off completely between batches and use parchment paper for ease in removing.
Projected prep time: 15 minutes; Projected baked time: 7-9 minutes
3 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 tsp. pure almond extract
3 cups finely ground pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a gas oven, bake on top rack. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for ease in removal.
Chop pecans in food processor until finely ground.
Blend cream of tartar in egg whites while beating at low speed, then increase speed to whip up. While beating, gradually add sugar and almond extract.
Carefully fold in finely ground pecans ...
Drop by teaspoonful onto prepared sheets. If you drop larger portions, it will affect the baking time and how they come out.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until beginning to brown around edges. You might want to check at 6 minutes depending on your oven. You DO NOT want them to brown very much at all on the bottom or they will taste like they burned.
Cool on cookie sheets a few minutes before removing to wire racks to finish cooling. Store in airtight container between layers of wax paper.