Sherry Yard's Spago Almond Macaroons


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Wolfgang PuckNext to Oscar and Emmy parties, probably the most sought-after reservation at Spago Beverly Hills is the Seder we hold each spring to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover. This meal is a real family-style affair. We completely reorganize the restaurant into big communal tables, and serve our own versions of all the customary dishes in an evening that weaves together prayers, storytelling, and song. What better way could there be to celebrate tradition than with a good meal — especially one that tells the story of the holiday?Click here for Wolfgang Puck's full introduction.

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  • 1/2 lb. confectioners' sugar, about 1 7/8 C.
  • 1/4 lb. almond meal, about 1 C.
  • 1/2 C. egg whites, about 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 oz. granulated sugar, about 1/4 C.
  • 5 drops red food coloring or other color
  • About 1/2 C. raspberry jam or other non-chunky jam or jelly

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.

Meanwhile, using a flour sifter or a fine-meshed sieve, sift together the confectioner's sugar and almond meal directly into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a handheld electric mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating the egg whites until they form soft peaks that droop slightly when the beaters are lifted out. Continue beating while sprinkling in the granulated sugar in a steady stream; then, add the food coloring and continue beating until fully blended, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the almond meal mixture, gently folding it into the egg whites with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with the round tip. Pipe into 1-inch rounds onto one of the lined baking sheets. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes; rotate the sheet 180 degrees and bake until the macaroons are firm, about 7 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the macaroons cool. If baking more of the macaroon mixture, pipe them onto the other parchment-lined baking sheet and bake as instructed above.

When the macaroons have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container, packing them between layers of waxed paper. If you'd like to turn them into sandwich cookies, spoon a dab of jam on the flat side of one macaroon and then gently press the flat side of another macaroon against the jam to seal the two cookies together.

Yield: about 3 dozen individual cookies or 1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy," is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)


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