Marunchinos (Sephardi almond macaroons)
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins
Soft and slightly chewy, these rich Sephardi macaroons are particularly popular at Pesach. Iraqi Jews use ground cardamom and/or rosewater instead of the almond extract.
175g/6oz ground almonds (whole, freshly ground nuts give the best flavour)
125g/4½oz caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg white, whipped until foamy
almond slivers, to decorate (optional)
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
2. Line a baking tin with silicone or rice paper.
3. Process the almonds, sugar and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
4. Add the almond extract and the egg white and pulse-process until the mixture forms a firm paste.
5. Dampen your hands and form the mixture into small balls. Space a good 2-3cm/1in apart on the baking tray. Press a large almond sliver onto the centre of each macaroon.
6. Bake until lightly coloured, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and dust, if wished, with icing sugar.
7. Store in an airtight container.