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Chocolate Macaroons




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Chocolate Macaroons
Gourmet December 1992

For the macaroons:
1 1/3 cups blanched whole almonds (about 1/2 pound)
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 large eggs)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon milk
5 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
9 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 sticks (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Make the macaroons: Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor grind the almonds fine with 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar, add the cocoa powder and the remaining 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, and blend the mixture well. In a large bowl with an electric mixer
beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks, add the granulated sugar, and bet the whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold in the almond mixture gently but thoroughly, transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip, and pipe small mounds (1 inch in diameter)
2 inches apart on the parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Bake the macaroons in batches in the middle of a preheated 400-degree F. oven
for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macaroons are still slightly soft to the touch, transfer them on the
parchment paper to dampened kitchen towels, and let them cool for 5 minutes. Peel the macaroons off the paper and let them cool completely
on racks. The macaroons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in
layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container.

Make the filling
: In a saucepan bring the cream and milk just to a boil, whisk in the cocoa powder, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chocolate and the butter, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Let the filling cool, and chill it for 30 minutes, or until it is firm enough to hold its shape when piped or spread.
If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with the 1/2-inch tip, cleaned. Pipe some of the filling, or spread it with a knife generously on
the flat side of half the macaroons and top the filling with the remaining macaroons, flat sides down, to form sandwiches. Makes about 90 sandwiches.

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