Magical Macaroons in Two Flavours- Almond, Cardamom and Berry OR Ginger, Lemon and White Pepper (gluten-free)

So, I have been on a big lemon curd kick and this means that I have a lot of leftover egg whites. I came across a recipe for Fresh Berry, Almond and Cardamom Macaroons in The Food and Cooking of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by Silvena Johan Lauta.  These were the kind of macaroons that are actually a baked meringue  (as opposed to the macaroons that are a dense ball of sweet coconut).  The have a chewy bottom topped with a  thin domed bubble of sugar that pops and dissolves when you put it in your mouth! I love almonds and cardamom AND it so happened that my local sketchy discount green grocer had fresh raspberries for cheap.  SO I made these ridiculous, beautiful cookies.

They are so very pink and magical that I have never been so sad to not have a seven-year old daughter in my life.  These are serious little girl tea party cookies.  If you do not have any daughters you could serve these cookies to your doll.  You could also leave these cookies in some magical spot in your back yard where fairies are known to gather.

These cookies also made me think about all of the girls that me and my best friend, Thea, were not friends with at our one room elementary school.  All of the other girls at this little school played with strawberry shortcake dolls.  Thea and I did not come from families that could afford to spend money on things like strawberry shortcake dolls, so we were excluded by default.  This was alright with us, since those strawberry shortcake girls were mean…and boring!  Thea and I built gnome houses out of sticks and moss instead.

I found myself imagining that Thea and I had made these beautiful cookies out of delicate, sweet, and very poisonous mushroom caps.  The macaroons pop and then dissolve in your mouth like those  mushrooms that pop and release spores when you touch them.  We filled the mushroom caps with this bright pink berry filling that we knew the strawberry shortcakes would be unable to resist and invited them over to our gnome house for an ill-fated tea party!

Don’t let my dark imagination prevent you from serving these cookies to  seven-year old girls if you are lucky enough to be in a position to do so.  These cookies are not poisonous!  The macaroons are     deliciously sweet and full of cardamom flavour and the berry filling is actually quite tart!  They are in fact perfectly acceptable for grown-ups as well.

Now one trick is that it is really not raspberry season right now and I realize that not everyone has an unscrupulous grocery that sells whatever items that fell off the truck this week in their neighborhood.  For that reason, I will probably repost this recipe again in few months.  In the meanwhile, I have been thinking about winter variations.  I made a delicious ginger macaroon with Meyer Lemon Curd filling that is perfect for this time of year!

It turns out that my sister and I are pretty big advocates of the old lemon ginger combo.  On this blog you will find recipes for Gluten-Free Lemon Ginger Pancakes and Gluten-Free Blackberry, Lemon, Ginger Tea Cake and Spicy (read Ginger) Lemon Date Spread….to name just a few.

MAGICAL ALMOND, CARDAMOM and BERRY MACAROONS

  • 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • scant 2 cup fresh berries, chopped if large
  • 2 Tbs berry jam
  1. Put a clean metal mixing bowl in the freezer and put the egg whites in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Grind the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle
  4. Whip the egg whites in the cold metal bowl until they form stiff peaks.
  5. Using a wooden spoon slowly and gently fold the icing sugar in to the egg whites and then the ground almonds and cardamom.  You should have a smooth mixture.
  6. Using a teaspoon, dollop the mixture onto the parchment paper covered cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches in between each dollop.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
  7. While the macaroons are baking, whip the heavy cream and then fold the jam and berries into it.
  8. When the macaroons are totally cool, make sandwiches using the berry whipped cream as filling.  You can make the macaroons and the filling a day in advance.  Do not make the sandwiches until you are ready to serve them.  They will melt!  It would be nice to let the seven-year old girls make the sandwiches.

LEMON, GINGER AND WHITE PEPPER MACAROONS

The first step is to make a batch of Meyer Lemon Curd which will provide you with 6 leftover egg whites and the filling.  To find that recipe click here.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp finely ground white pepper (black would work too)
  • Meyer Lemon Curd for filling
  1. Put a clean metal mixing bowl in the freezer and put the egg whites in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Whip the egg whites in the cold metal bowl until they form stiff peaks.
  4. Using a wooden spoon slowly and gently fold the icing sugar in to the egg whites and then the ground almonds, ginger and white pepper.  You should have a smooth mixture.
  5. Using a teaspoon, dollop the mixture onto the parchment paper covered cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches in between each dollop.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
  6. When the macaroons are totally cool, make sandwiches using lemon curd as the filling.  You can make the macaroons and the curd a day in advance.  Do not make the sandwiches until you are ready to serve them.  They will melt!

About Big Sis Little Dish

This is a blog run by two sisters. Erin is the big sister who lives in New York, and Silvi is the little sister who lives in Vancouver. They both love to cook! They created this blog to share and store recipes for the food they make.

9 comments

  1. Katherine

    I love this story! An evil Erin & Thea fairytale…!

  2. Katherine

    By icing sugar, do you mean confectioner’s sugar?

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