Lemony Almond Macaroons

Lemony Almond MacaroonsAdmittedly, these are not Manischewitz macaroons, but I think you’ll forgive me. That, and those that don’t like the store bought kind, may in fact like these type instead! This recipe will make 30-35 macaroons and can be used as a base for other flavours. Just leave out the lemon and add cocoa for chocolate almond ones! The possibilities for the creative cook are endless!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups shredded coconut flakes
1 ½ cups blanched skinless almond slivers
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In this recipe, you can use either grated fresh coconut or dried coconut flakes. If using dried coconut, rehydrate it by pouring it into a bowl and covering it with warm water. Let the coconut soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Squeeze all the excess liquid out firmly with your fingers. Proceed with recipe. If using fresh coconut, no need to prep it– simply proceed with recipe.

Place almond slivers and coconut in a food processor, pulse into fine crumbs. Add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, almond extract, vanilla, egg and salt to the food processor. Process for about 1 minute until the mixture becomes a sticky mixture of fine crumbles. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced, forming the mounds into haystack-like shapes.

Place the macaroons in the oven and let them bake for 30-40 minutes, till the tops of the haystacks turn golden brown. Remove the macaroons from the oven and allow to cool directly on the baking sheet. Do not try to remove them before they’ll cool; when hot, they are delicate and prone to crumbling. They become firmer as they cool.

When cooled completely, gently pull them from the baking sheet. The bottoms should be golden brown. Store macaroons in a sealed, airtight plastic container. When fresh from the oven, the macaroons will be crisp on the outside, soft inside. They become softer over time when stored in a sealed container.

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Foods that Scream Passover! – It Starts Tonight!

So there are certain traditional foods that just scream “Passover” to me. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure!

1. Egg Lokshen

Since flour-base noodles are out, many people make thin crepe-like pancakes out of eggs and potato starch, which they then roll up and cut into strips, forming kosher-for-Passover noodles (“lokshen” in Yiddish) which taste marvelous in chicken soup.

2. Macaroons

MacaroonsYep, you knew that macaroons would be on this list somewhere. These are not the pretty, delicate French Macaroons that come in a million colours, but they tend to be just as expensive. You either love ’em, or hate ’em! (I love them!)

3. Syrupy, Sweet Seder Wine

At one time, this kind of wine was so ingrained as a Jewish wine preference that Schapiro’s Wine advertised (in Yiddish) that their wine was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife! Thankfully, there are hundreds of high-quality kosher wines out there, but we respect the traditionalists who like the old thick stuff.

4. Jelly-Fruit Slices

Jelly FruitI personally never really got these… I don’t see the temptation, but I know those that would fight over the last one of these strangely sweet, sugary treats.

 5. Soup Mandlen

Mandlen These are my personal favourite at the seder table. These are the old fashioned treats that everyone had before the Israeli Ossem soup squares became main stream.

What are your favourite Passover Foods? I hope you have them this holiday and I wish you and yours a healthy and happy Passover! Chag Kosher v’Samayach!