If you’ve ever eaten at the Hotel DuPont® Green Room in Wilmington DE you likely tried the macaroon cookies. They are the very best macaroons as their interior is slightly soft and has intense flavor. I got the recipe below from the Internet, presumably identical to that used at the hotel. The baking instructions were simply wrong. As usual, I worked on this one until I got it right.
1 lb. of almond paste – see the recipe earlier in this section for almond paste
1 1/4 cups of sugar
3 or 4 egg whites depending on the size of the eggs (3 if jumbo, 4 if extra large)
1 cup of shredded sweetened coconut (optional, not part of the Internet recipe)
1 tsp. of vanilla (optional, not part of the Internet recipe)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Mix the coconut (optional, but I use it) and sugar on slow speed with a mixer until they are well blended. Then add one egg white and mix until blended. Then add the almond paste in small amounts until the mixture is well blended. Add the rest of the egg whites and mix until smooth. You should refrigerate this batter for two hours if you expect to use this as a drop cookie recipe using a conventional cookie tray (Good luck if you decide to do that, for the batter will likely run while baking, unless you pre-blend the sugar and egg whites over a double boiler to a warm temperature.). But the best and easiest way is to use the mini-muffin tray method described below under variations, or the oblong baking dish method that makes rectangular macaroons.
If you decide to use cookie trays then grease the cookie trays lightly with butter. Drop about two teaspoons of batter per cookie, leaving two inches clearance on all sides (do only 12 per cookie tray). Bake no more than 15 or 20 minutes or until light golden or tan around the edges. Let the macaroons cool on the tray and then remove them gently with a flat spatula and transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Good luck! The batter ran all over for me, making nearly flat cookies.
Variations: Put the batter into mini-muffin tray compartments. There are two different ways to do this. For the first methop you butter or spray Pam® into the compartments. Alternatively, life is much easier if you use mini-muffin paper baking cups. Then, fill them half full or slightly more with batter and bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes. Check for doneness (light golden or light tan on top) after 25 minutes and give extra time if needed. The actual baking time can vary from 25 minutes to 40 minutes based on how much batter you put into each compartment/baking cup. The macaroons should fill the compartments/baking cups and expand well above them during baking. This method produces a much superior macaroon as the batter cannot run and result in a flat cookie. Note again that the baking time required is proportional to batter height before baking. Too short a baking time will result in a cookie with a raw or undercooked center. For example, if a cupcake size product is made in a regular cupcake pan, the baking time will be around 45 to 55 minutes. I have also used a 9"x13"x2" glass baking dish and simply cut the baked macaroon pastry into rectangles. It worked wonderfully as the cookies had the identical texture, internal softness and the intense flavor as those served at the Hotel DuPont®. But my favorite method is to use paper baking cup inserts with the mini-muffin pans.
Macaroons should be eaten immediately or put into an airtight container and refrigerated.
This recipe makes about 60 cookie macaroons or 36 mini-muffin size macaroons or 24 to 32 macaroon pieces/rectangles.