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Sweetness and Light

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April 02, 1997|JOAN DRAKE

A macaroon is a cookie made with four ingredients: almond paste, egg whites, sugar and flour. In one variation, almond paste is replaced by shredded coconut and almond extract.

When making macaroons, the dense almond paste needs to be chopped so the batter will be smooth. If prepared well, it bakes into light, crisp disks with chewy centers.

Macaroons should be baked on pans lined with either parchment paper or lightly greased and floured aluminum foil.

The surface of a properly baked macaroon is light brown with fine cracks. Macaroons need to be cooled to room temperature before being removed from the foil or parchment paper.

Carefully pull away the foil with the help of a small metal spatula. If the macaroons were baked on parchment paper, place a moist cloth underneath for a few minutes to make them easier to remove.

MACAROONS (LOW-FAT COOKING)

1 (7-ounce) tube almond paste

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs whites, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon flour

Using sharp knife, cut almond paste into thin slices. Sprinkle with small amount of sugar, then chop to consistency of coarse meal.

Beat almond paste and remaining sugar in bowl of electric mixer; add egg whites and beat until smooth. Sprinkle flour over batter and continue beating to combine.

Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe 1-inch circles on baking sheets lined with greased and floured aluminum foil, leaving 2 inches between cookies.

Bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer foil with macaroons to wire rack. Cool completely before removing cookies from foil.

About 40 macaroons. Each macaroon:

36 calories; 3 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.30 gram fiber.

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