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From the Essential Pépin tv series, Episode 121: Light As Air

Macaroons are always welcome at my house. They can be sandwiched together with 1 teaspoon of apricot jam in the middle.

Commercial almond paste can be used instead of the whole almonds. Combine one 8-ounce can almond paste with just 3 tablespoons sugar, then continue as directed, adding the egg whites and vanilla. —Jacques Pépin

Makes 15 to 18 cookies

3/4 cup unblanched whole almonds
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 large egg whites
Dash of pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and coat with flour, dumping off any excess, or line with a reusable nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Combine the almonds and the sugar in a food processor and process to a powder. Mix in the egg whites one at a time, then the vanilla. The dough will be soft.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe it into mounds on the prepared pan, using about 2 tablespoons for each macaroon and leaving about 1 1/2 inches space between them; or spoon the dough into mounds. Moisten the tops with a finger dipped into water, sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until light brown. Lift off the pan and cool the macaroons on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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