Macaroons with Pecans

Crunchy biscuits , Macaroons with Pecans are flavoured with pecan nuts and vanilla. Serve the macaroons with after dinner coffee.

12 BISCUITS

½ teaspoon vanilla essence

3 tablespoons ground almonds

2 oz. cup shelled and blanched pecans, ground

4 oz. castor sugar

2 large egg whites

½ teaspoon salt

4 whole pecans, shelled and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Line two baking sheets with non-stick silicone paper and set them aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com-bine the vanilla essence, ground almonds and pecans and the sugar. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, using a wire whisk or rotary beater, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the salt and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.

With a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the nut and sugar mixture, and combine the mixture thoroughly.

Drop the macaroon mixture, in heaped teaspoonfuls, well spaced, on to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle a little of the chopped pecans over each macaroon.

Place the baking sheets in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the macaroons are golden and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. With a fish slice or spatula, quickly transfer the macaroons from the baking sheets to a wire rack. Cool completely before serving. mace

Mace and NUTMEG are spices which come from the fruit of the same tree, Myristica fragrans. The tree is native to the Molucca Islands in Indonesia and also grows in Sumatra, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Mace is the orangey-red covering, or aril, of the seed which is the nutmeg. Both are enclosed in the fruit which splits open when ripe. The aril is removed, flattened and dried and is then known as mace. It is sold either in pieces known as blades or in powdered form. The nutmeg is also dried and marketed both whole and powdered.

Both spices have a similar flavour but mace is the stronger. Mace is used to flavour savoury dishes and sauces, most notably BECHAMEL SAUCE, and nutmeg for sweet dishes, particularly custards.

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