Hazelnut Macaroons

Macaroons are the answer if you are sick of looking at a depleted bowl of nuts or bored with cracking them and getting pieces of shell all over the carpet. Crack them all and grind them in the food processor. You can mix the nuts, but I think a single flavour is to be preferred. Hazelnuts make a welcome change from the more usual almonds.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz / 110 g ground hazelnuts
  • 4 oz / 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg white

Method

Mix the ground nuts and sugar together, and then stir in the egg white to form a stiff paste. Line a baking sheet with rice paper. Take a piece of paste the size of a marble, roll it into a ball, and place it on the rice paper. Continue with all the paste in this way, leaving plenty of space around each ball, as they are to be flattened.

You can do this simply with oiled fingers or use a decorative stamp, covered loosely in oiled clingfilm, to make a design on top of the macaroons. The final size should be about in / 4 cm in diameter and ¼ in / 0.5 cm thick. Bake towards the top of a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Mark 4 for 15 minutes, until just lightly golden. Switch off the oven, leave the door ajar, and place the macaroons on the bottom to allow them to dry out for 15–20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet. They will harden, and you can remove them with the rice paper.

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