Cherry Macaroon Rosettes 50.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2013 Dec 4, 2013

These look quite festive when decorated with red or green candied cherry halves at the center. But a whole blanched almond, dipped in lightly beaten egg white so it adheres to the cookie, can stand in when you serve these cookies at other times of the year.

Canned almond paste is essential here; the kind that comes as a small log contains too much sugar and will cause these cookies to flatten and spread too much as they bake.

You'll need a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch-wide star tip.

Make Ahead: The piped cookies need to air-dry at room temperature for 2 hours before baking. They can be stored for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.


Servings:
50 - 60 small cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 50-60 small cookies

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces canned almond paste, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (see headnote)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 25 candied red or green cherries, each cut in half (see headnote)

Directions

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then grease the paper with cooking oil spray. Wipe them lightly with a paper towel.

Combine the almond paste and half of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed until the paste is reduced to fine crumbs. Increase to medium; gradually add the remaining sugar.

Decrease the speed to low; add the egg whites in four additions, beating to a smooth consistency after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract or paste along with the final addition of egg white. This is important: Avoid over-beating the dough, or the cookies' shape will distort during baking. When the dough has reached the proper consistency, it should be just stiff enough to hold a bamboo skewer upright.

Fill the star-tip pastry bag with half of the dough. Pipe out 25 stars (about 1 inch wide) spaced about 2 inches apart on one baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of the paste on the second pan.

Fill in the center of each star with a candied cherry half. Let the cookies air-dry for 2 hours.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Bake on the upper and lower racks for 5 to 6 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes; the cookies should be lightly golden on the outside yet soft within.

Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely. Gently detach the cookies from the parchment paper to serve or store.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Cookies Unlimited," by Nick Malgieri (William Morrow, 2000).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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