Sephardic Almond Macaroons

By: 
Marcia Silcox
Almond Macaroons

These Sephardic cookies are chewy and pretty – and they’re delicious all year long, not just during Passover!

This recipe was handwritten on a card by the late Helen Aresty Fine, z”l, of Rochester, N.Y., whose family had deep Sephardic roots from the city of Monastir (now Bitola) in North Macedonia.

Helen was an excellent baker dedicated to keeping Sephardic cooking alive. Her recipe card included notes about buying bulk almond paste at the Rochester Public Market, which still exists, 50 years later.

Ingredients: 
1 lb. almond paste (not marzipan) or two 7-oz. packages
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
½ tsp salt
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place three egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with whisk attachment at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, and beat until dissolved and thick, about 5 minutes. Break up almond pasted and add to egg mixture, beating until well incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate for at least two hours, up to overnight. Drop by scant teaspoons onto parchment lined paper, about two inches apart, as they will spread. Drop sliced almonds on top of each cookie.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on a baking rack. Makes about 72 cookies.

    Marcia Fine Silcox is the president of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. She is an avid baker and sharer of family recipes, especially Sephardic treats.