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Makronen

Macaroons are a loved and classic Christmas cookie in Germany. Not only are they delicious, moist, and chewy, but they are also so easy and quick to make. They're also economical. Making a quick batch of macaroons is a great way to use up the left-over egg whites. Traditionally, makronen cookies are baked on wafers (Oblaten).

There are several types of macaroons:
Coconut Macaroons (Kokosmakronen) - made from coconuts, egg whites, and sugar.  Some recipes include the egg yolks. The dough may contain up to 3% flour or cornstarch to help the cookies keep their shapes.
Hazelnut Macaroons (Haselnussmakronen) - made from ground hazelnuts, egg whites, and sugar.
Almond Macaroons (Mandelmakronen) - made from ground almonds, egg whites, sugar, and almond extracts.  These cookies originated in Italy and are also called Amaretti.
Nut Macaroons (Nussmakronen) - made from a mixture of ground nuts (such as hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds ... or even cashews and pistachios), egg whites, and sugar.
 

       Makronen
Photo: © michikopink - Fotolia.com
    
Main Ingredients
The base recipe for macaroons is egg whites and sugar. However, several other ingredients can be added to the dough to change the flavor and texture of the cookies. Here are some to try:
• Marzipan
• Dried Fruits
• Lemon, lime, or orange zest
• Seasonings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or allspice
• Extracts such as vanilla and almond
• Finely ground chocolate, cocoa powder, or espresso powder

History
Makronen date back to 17th century Italy. The name originates from the greek work makarios, meaning "delightful."

Additional Information
Here are some great tips for baking with egg whites:
Use very fresh eggs whites
Keep your mixer, bowl, and utensils free from grease or butter.  Fat prevents the egg whites from becoming stiff.
A little pinch of salt added to the egg whites during whipping helps them become stiff.
Use "Bakers Sugar" (aka Superfine Sugar). It dissolves more easily into the egg whites.
Warmed egg whites whip more easily and hold their stiffness better. Place your mixing bowl with the egg whites in a larger bowl of hot water.
Leave one inch between each macaroon on your baking sheet.  This will prevent them from baking together and sticking to each other.


Recipes
Kokos-Mandel-Makronen  (Coconut-Almond-Macaroons)
Walnuss - Makronen  (Walnut Macaroons)
Kokos Marzipan Makronen  (Coconut Marzipan Macaroons)






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