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When the French Revolution took place in France, many religious and monastic orders were broken up and dispersed. Some nuns from a convent took refuge with a middle class family living in the city of Nancy, in 'rue de la Hache' (on the street of the Hache). Nancy is a town in the province of Lorraine, France. Their host family was very generous, and to show their gratitude, the nuns baked numerous small delicacies and desserts, of which is the now-famous 'Nancy Macaroons', or in the original tongue, 'Macarons de Nancy'. The nuns went on to be known as 'the Macaroon Sisters', and their recipe has spread all across the world as a simple, yet sophisticated and sweet treat.


The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 150 grams (2/3 cup) of superfine sugar or caster sugar
  • 150 grams (1+1/3 cup) of ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar or icing sugar

    Directions
  • Mix the sugar and the ground almonds into a big mixing bowl. Add the egg whites and beat rapidly with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well mixed. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for at least two, and no more than eight hours (four or five works best).
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degF). Lightly oil a baking sheet, and line it with waxed paper. Oil the paper as well. Divide the dough into twelve to sixteen balls, shaping them with water-wetted hands. Arrange the shaped balls on the waxed paper, and flatten them into discs which are 0.5cm (.25inch) thick. Sprinkle powdered sugar over them using sifter, or a steady hand.
  • Bake the macaroons for fifteen minutes, or until they have become just slightly coloured/
  • Remove the wax paper, and place it carefully on a wet towel. Allow the macaroons to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the wax paper. The macaroons should be easily removeable from the paper.

    Makes between twelve and sixteen macaroons

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