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Duquesne Club Macaroons

This sweet tradition of the Downtown club requires strong hands and a sturdy mixer. Although it calls for a pastry bag with a star-tip for perfectly symmetrical cookies, we've found that if you're adept at making drop cookies, that approach works just as well as long as they go into the oven immediately.

2 1/2 pounds almond paste
1 1/4 pounds confectioners' sugar (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 pounds granulated sugar (just shy of 3 cups)
1 pound egg whites (approximately 2 cups or the whites of 12 jumbo eggs)

Break up the almond paste and sugars in a mixer. Mix until fine (otherwise the clumps will clog your pastry tube tip; mash manually if you have to). Gradually add the egg whites in a steady stream. Mix until a smooth paste is obtained.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place macaroon paste in a pastry bag fitted with a plain (No. 6) star tip. Pipe out even quantities of the paste about the size of a well-rounded silver dollar, leaving ample space between each cookie. (They will spread.) Press any tips of raw paste down with a moist towel.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow macaroons to cool on cookie sheet before trying to remove.

When sufficiently cooled, remove from parchment paper (peeling the paper away works best), and transfer to an airtight container to ensure freshness and to prevent drying out.

Makes 8 to 9 dozen macaroons.

Thursday, December 09, 1999

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