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Macaroons, Pistachio Sandwiches, (D/P, TNT)
Source: Adapted from "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes From the Rabinowitz Family," by Judy Bart Kancigor
Yield: About 15 cookies

Chocolate Ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream or nondairy whipping cream substitute

2 cups (about 8 oz.) unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
3 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. almond extract
5 drops green food coloring (optional)

Make Ganache:
Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Pour hot cream over chocolate, stirring gently until melted and smooth.

Cover and refrigerate until ganache is cool and thick but still spreadable, about 1 hour. (If made in advance, cover and refrigerate up to 1 week. Before using, let sit at room temperature until spreadable but still cool.)

Make Macaroons:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread pistachios in a single layer in an ungreased baking pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully; nuts burn easily. Transfer toasted nuts to a plate; let cool completely.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine cooled pistachios, powdered sugar, and salt; pulse until nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar, if using. Beat until soft peaks form.

Add granulated sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating for 10 seconds between additions, then beat until stiff peaks form. Add extract and food coloring; beat for 30 seconds. (The meringue will appear dark; it will fade as it bakes.)

Stir about 1/4 of the meringue into the pistachio mixture until evenly moistened. Gently fold in remaining meringue in three additions. Drop tbsp. of the mixture, 1" apart, onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon, flatten meringues into 1" to 1-1/2" wide rounds.

Bake one sheet at a time on the center oven rack until cookies are just firm to the touch and lightly browned on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Place cookie sheets on wire racks; let cookies cool completely, then carefully remove from the parchment. (If made in advance, cookies can be stored in an airtight plastic container at room temperature for 3 days.)

Spread ganache over the flat side of half of the cookies. Place remaining cookies on top, flat side down, pressing gently to form a sandwich. Cookies are best served the same day they are filled.

Posted by Judy Bart Kancigor

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 175 calories; 11g fat (57% calories from fat); 3g saturated fat; 5mg cholesterol; 4g protein; 15g carbohydrate; 10g sugar; 2g fiber; 32mg sodium; 19mg calcium; 169mg potassium