I know, these do look rather lurid. I was aiming for a delicate pink and actually made them on Valentine’s Day. However, the danger of not having used food colouring before, soon tripped me up. The recipe stated to add a little and then add a little more to get the desired colour. I thought a teaspoon full at the beginning was the same as a little, when in fact, a little drop off the end of the teaspoon would have been closer to the right amount. So, if you can, imagine that these are not orange and not something you would serve at a Halloween party, but rather, something soft, delicate and romantic, something to share with your loved one. Unless of course you are reading this in October, and then you can add as much food colouring as you like.
Despite the rather unromantic colour I would like to send these to Teatime Treats, a monthly tea party hosted by Kate and Karen. The February theme is romance. I am also linking them to Cookbook Sundays at Couscous and Consciousness and Sweet as Sugar Cookies for Sweets for a Saturday.
Ingredients – makes about 20 (10 when sandwiched together)
100g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tbsp cold water
2 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp or 1 drop of red food colouring, depending on the occasion
75g icing sugar
How to Make Almond Macaroons
1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the ground almonds.
2. Put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Let it boil for a couple of minutes without stirring and then let it cool a little.
3. Put one egg white in a bowl. Whisk until it goes stiff and then, as you whisk, begin to slowly pour in the sugar syrup. It should form a shiny meringue mixture.
4. Add the other egg white to the icing sugar and ground almonds along with the almond extract and food colouring . Mix well till you get a paste.
5. Add a spoonful of meringue and mix into the almond mixture. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold in until it is all combined.
6. Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Either place spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking paper or use a piping bag and squeeze small rounds onto the paper. Leave for an hour.
7. Put the baking trays into an oven at 150C. After 25 minutes turn the heat off but leave the macaroons in the oven for an hour.
8. Take the macaroons out of the oven and peel off the baking paper and put on a wire rack to cool.
9. To make the filling, soften the butter and then cream the icing sugar into it. Spread half the macaroons with the icing. Then spread raspberry jam on top of the icing sugar and sandwich with another macaroon.