Ultimate Italian Almond Macaroons

WARNING: this is NOT a cheap cookie!

Ultimate Italian Almond Macaroons

ultimate italian almond macaroons

So I had checked out FoodGal Carolyn Jung’s blog right before Christmas last year, when she had posted a recipe for this cookie. She said it was the one cookie that she did every year and she always got requests for the cookie. Her post was so compelling that I went out that week and got myself all I needed to make this cookie.

It was such a simple recipe! It is a little bit messy and gooey when rolling the cookie dough in the slivered almonds but the resulting cookie is a delight—a really yummy, chewy, almond delight. And the smell of the almonds when it’s baking will get you in the holiday mood like nothing else. The fragrance is so amazing!

Tips and Techniques

These cookies may be simple to make, but they aren’t cheap. It takes 2 1/2 tubes of almond paste to make one batch of these cookies. We paid $8 at Safeway for one 7 ounce tube of almond paste. (Does anybody know where you can get it cheaper?)

7 oz Tube of Almond Paste: $8

7 ounce tube of almond paste: $8

The recipe calls for you to combine the almond paste and sugar in a food processor—I just used my mini prep and that worked fine but if you don’t have either, don’t let that hinder you. Try chopping it up with a knife or even using a mortar and pestle—the main key is to get it crumbly and then whisking in the sugar. You could also use your mixer to do the job.

The one thing I had problems with was rolling the cookies out. After mixing the egg whites into the almond paste mix, the resulting mixture was pretty sticky and gooey. So I used a spoon to scoop out the mix and dropped it into a plate that had the slivered almonds. I gently rolled the mix around the almonds and then picked it up and put it on my baking tray. I was a little worried that the cookie wouldn’t bake up well but it was really pretty once baked.

If you don’t know what to do with all those egg yolks after baking this recipe, may I recommend you try making either my banana cream pie or my lemon curd which calls for egg yolks. The lemon curd would make a wonderful gift for friends for the season as well. A bag of Italian macaroons and a jar of lemon curd—your friends will love you for the homemade goodness you bring!

Italian Almond Macaroon

(makes about 5 dozen)

taken from FoodGal’s blog which she adapted from “Classic Home Desserts

1 lb almond paste
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large egg whites
About 1 lb slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Be sure to measure the almond paste accurately, as too little almond paste will create a super sticky dough that will be harder to work with (I got a sticky dough anyway, but don’t let that deter you!).
3. Break almond paste into pieces. Place in bowl of a food processor with the sugar. Pulse into almond paste is crumbled finely, and evenly combined with sugar.

almond paste and sugar crumbs

4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks (I actually beat them till they were fairly stiff). Stir a little of the egg whites into the almond mixture; it will be fairly dry. Fold in remaining whites.

Folding egg whites into almond paste and sugar

5. Place slivered almonds in a shallow bowl. Roll almond paste mixture into 1-inch balls, keeping them as round as possible. If mixture is too sticky, alternately drop heaping teaspoonfuls into the bowl of almonds; use your fingers to roll the dough ball around until coated evenly with slivered almonds.

rolling cookie dough in slivered almonds

6. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

ultimate italian almond macaroons

7. Bake cookies until evenly pale gold, 15 to 17 minutes.
8. Cool cookies in pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. With a spatula, very carefully transfer cookies to the rack to cool completely. I could tell you that they store well but I suspect they will be gone in no time at all.

Ultimate Italian Almond Macaroons

ultimate italian almond macaroons

I brought these cookies to a Christmas party and they were gone very quickly and I got lots of compliments for them. Personally, I thought they were a little too sweet (for my Asian tastebuds) but it was pretty addictive and I *managed* to munch on several before getting to the party!


Cheers, Annie

14 thoughts on “Ultimate Italian Almond Macaroons”

  1. >That sounds delicious! It's easier but more expensive than the Italian almond cookies I make using slivered almonds. I'm sure it tastes better than mine.

  2. >Thanks for the reminder about Carolyn's recipe. I still have to try it and I may do that during the holiday break! (Yours turned out looking just like Carolyn's.) Do you have a Safeway in Malaysia or did you just buy a big supply of food things and brought it with you?

  3. >I google and OChef gave:

    How to Make Almond Paste
    I'm desperately looking for a recipe to make almond paste — the old fashioned way, NOT store bought.

    Try this recipe:

    Almond Paste


    10 oz dried blanched almonds
    10 oz powdered sugar
    5 oz granulated sugar
    1/4 cup corn syrup
    1 cup water


    Make a sugar syrup by placing the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir it to combine. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for a few moments. Let it cool.

    Place the almonds in a food processor and process them to a fine powder. Add the powdered sugar. With the food processor running, slowly add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste.

    Store the almond paste tightly covered. If you will be storing it for more than a week, store in the refrigerator.

  4. >Oh yay! You made them! I made two batches this month, myself. Yeah, almond paste is not cheap. But for the holidays, I figure the splurge is worth it. I should have warned you that the "dough'' is gooey. Yeah, you definitely get your hands messy making these cookies. But they're so easy to do, and they really do put a big smile on anyone who tries them. Happy holidays to you guys!

  5. >You are absolutely right, this is an ultimate version. Sounds great ! I have to come back for the recipe, my hubby loves Almond, this will surely be a delight for him.

  6. >They look divine. Almond anything works for me. I guess premium stuff just come with heftier price tags. Ah, c'est la vie.

  7. >@all – thanks for your comments!

    @momgateway – Some things are worth it 😉

    @Sonia – oh, too bad.

    @noobcook – thanks!

    @Single Guy Ben – actually, we made these cookies for Christmas 2008, and haven't posted about it until 2009! Shows you how backed up we are 😉

    @Carlos – please do!

    @PMH – thanks very much!

    @Carolyn – thank YOU for the recipe. Merry Christmas!

    @homeladychef – yeah, they cost a pretty penny.

    @Janet – let us know how they turn out for you (and hubby)!

    @Ju – you get what you pay for 😉

    @Nana – thanks.

  8. These are the best cookies. My brother and husband beg me to make them all the time! Thanks you for posting!

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