The hazelnuts are so fat and round this year! I always pass a patch of hazelnut trees during my morning runs. I was crunching away on the unripe green vegetable-like nuts a few weeks ago but now the ripe golden brown nuts with their little pixie hats are all dropping from the trees. I can never resist stuffing my pockets with them and this week I gathered enough to bake this classic Haselnußmakrone cookie from Germany. The Haselnußmakrone is the rough German adaption of the elegant French almond macaron which has its roots in the Middle East and travelled up north via Italy. The first recipes for makronen appeared in Germany in the 16th century and German bakers soon substituted the expensive imported almond with the cheaper local hazelnut. The Haselnußmakrone cookie from Germany is baked the whole year through, but is traditionally a Christmas cookie. I have become a real fan of the slightly shabby looking Haselnußmakrone with its crunchy outside and soft chewy inside and secretly prefer it over the fussy French version.
Haselnußmakrone cookie from Germany
for about 20 cookies
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
100 grams caster sugar
150 grams skinned hazelnuts + 20 extra
rind of ½ organic lemon
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
With an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the salt until they are foamy.
Keep beating and slowly add the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon. Beat until the egg whites are firm and shiny.
Keep the extra hazelnuts separate for decoration. Grind the rest of the hazelnuts finely. Grate the lemon rind.
Preheat the oven to 150˚C/300˚F. Carefully mix the egg whites with the hazelnuts, the lemon rind and the cinnamon. Try to keep as much air in the mixture as you can.
Spoon little heaps of the mixture on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper. Leave some room for the cookies to spread. Place a hazelnut in the middle of each cookie.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 min. The cookies should still be quite pale. Leave to cool on the cookie sheet. They should be crispy on the outside and just a little chewy inside.
This post is also available in: Dutch