Lemon Macaroons (Pareve)
Makes 30-40 cookies
1 cup almond flour (can grind 1 ½ cups slivered almonds in coffee grinder)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (set out at least 1 hour)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6-10 drops yellow food coloring to achieve a bright yellow color
3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
Zest (grated outer peel) of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons parve margarine
Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment. To make the macaroon batter, place the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 3 minutes. Sift into another bowl, discarding the large almond pieces.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a stand or hand-held electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Turn the speed to low, add the sugar slowly and the turn up the speed to high for another 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and food coloring and beat another 30 seconds. Add the almond and sugar mixture extract and mix on low speed to combine.
Place the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ -inch round tip. Squeeze out circles onto the parchment-lined sheets until they are about 1 – 1 ½ inches in diameter. Leave 2 inches of space between each circle. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
While the cookies are sitting, prepare the lemon cream. Place the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a medium saucepan with simmering water (or use a double-boiler). Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and whisk. Cook the lemon cream, uncovered, whisking occasionally, until a thick mixture is formed. This takes approximately 25 minutes. Be patient and do not stir too much. Don’t leave the whisk in the bowl with the lemon mixture while it cooks; it may get too hot to touch. If the water in the saucepan boils too fast, turn down the heat.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine a tablespoon at a time. Cool for 10 minutes and then cover with plastic and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. To use that day, place the bowl of lemon cream in a larger bowl of ice water (below the level of the bowl with the lemon cream) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cream is chilled.
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 300ºF. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up, switching the cookie sheets halfway through baking. Do not let the tops brown. Slide the parchment off the cookie sheet and let cool at least 45 minutes. Use a metal flat blade spatula to remove from the parchment.
To fill cookies, make pairs of them that look about the same size. Place about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of the filling in the center of the bottom of one cookie, place the other on top so the tops face outside, and then press gently so you can see the filling from the sides. Store in the fridge for up to two days.