These are great to make for luncheons, book clubs, dinner parties, baby and bridal showers, really they are great for anything. I have been seeing a lot of people using these little beauties used as favors at weddings as well. I like to make a big batch, and they do keep in an airtight container for a week, they are great with hot chocolate and a good book, also they make great gifts.
Raspberry Chocolate Macaroons
2 cups blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pink food coloring
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon raspberry extract
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Grind almonds with 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a food processor until very finely ground, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Sift in remaining cup confectioners sugar, stirring to combine.
Beat egg whites with salt in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add granulated sugar, a little at a time, beating, then increase speed to high and continue to beat until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks. Add drops of food coloring to reach desired shade and mix at low speed until evenly combined. Stir almond mixture into meringue with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
Spoon batter into bag, press out excess air and pipe out meringues the size of a Hershey's kiss. Let cookies stand, uncovered, at room temperature until tops are no longer sticky and a light crust forms, 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 300°F.
Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until crisp and edges are just slightly darker, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on racks, about 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate with cream in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. (Bowl should not touch water.) Remove bowl from heat, then add butter and raspberry extract, stirring until butter is melted. Let stand at room temperature until cooled completely and slightly thickened.
Carefully peel cookies from parchment (they will be fragile). Sandwich a thin layer of ganache (about 1/2 teaspoon) between flat sides of cookies.