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Pinched Orange Macaroons

This recipe, one of Martha's favorites, is courtesy of Patrick Lemble, executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons restaurant, in New York City.

  • Yield: Makes 5 dozen
Pinched Orange Macaroons

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2000

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 pound almond paste
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for surface and coating
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

Directions

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Beat 1 egg white, the almond paste, confectioners' sugar, and almond extract with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add Grand Marnier and orange zest, and beat until combined, about 1 minute.

  2. Turn out dough onto a clean surface lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar, and roll into two 3/4-inch-thick logs, about 18 inches long. Cut each log crosswise into thirty 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

  3. Lightly beat remaining egg white. Brush onto each dough ball, and roll in sugar, tapping to remove excess. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently pinch each piece of dough with three fingers to form an irregular pyramid shape. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely. (Macaroons can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

Reviews (57)

  • MaryDGinHP 21 Sep, 2013

    Yummy & easy

  • s4nte 16 Jan, 2012

    These macaroons are very delicious! They're delicate & orange-y with just a little crispiness. The batter was a little wetter than in the video so I used a lot of powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup) when rolling out the log. I also found they slumped a bit when baked: they didn't hold their pointy pinched peaks. This might have been because the batter was wet and, I think I made the individual macaroons too big (got 48 not 60 out of the batch). I think this is a good recipe. I'd make em again.

  • AAlliston 27 Dec, 2011

    These are excellent. They were so good that I bought more paste to make a second batch. I took the advice of another commenter and used orange extract rather than almond extract so they had a lovely orange taste. A bit daunting the first time as I had never worked with almond paste before and did not know what to expect but they turned out beautifully. Agree that they are very messy to make but well worth it!

  • ljhutz 24 Jan, 2010

    Destasio: Would you mind sharing the brand name of the almond paste that you used? Thanks.

  • destasio 18 Jan, 2010

    These are the best cookies EVER! I love anything almond so I'm a little biast. The orange flavor wasn't too strong so next time I think I will exchange the almond extract for orange oil since the almond paste is already strong in flavor. Otherwise, a big hit and so easy...but a bit messy!

  • destasio 18 Jan, 2010

    These are the best cookies EVER! I love anything almond so I'm a little biast. The orange flavor wasn't too strong so next time I think I will exchange the almond extract for orange oil since the almond paste is already strong in flavor. Otherwise, a big hit and so easy...but a bit messy!

  • elysee 11 Jan, 2010

    I'm so glad that chef Lamble gave us this recipe. I made these cookies a few days after the show aired and they were the biggest hit at my dinner party.

  • joycesdream 27 Dec, 2009

    The source for the almond paste is Bazzinni Nut House, Bronx? 800-228-0172??, why not try to make your own almond paste, the recipe is on the internet.

  • h2oann 27 Dec, 2009

    i would also like to find the almond paste source? it was to be on the website, just don't know where to look

  • HotNana24 25 Dec, 2009

    Martha mentioned the source for the almond paste would be on the website. Please tell us where we can buy the almond paste.

  • wordsandmusic 4 Dec, 2009

    Made these last year and they were fabulous. Even after 12 months, my family remembers them and is requesting them. Recipe worked perfectly. I just wish the video was still online. Mine looked just like Martha's, and that doesn't often happen with recipes online. Thanks, Martha!

  • LindsK 31 Dec, 2008

    Mine didn't turn out at all! I used almond paste from the bulk food store and it was terrible to work with...the paste was hard, the dough runny and super hard to work with. Rolling, dipping, rolling in sugar - what a mess! They started to slump as soon as they hit the cookie sheet and in the oven melded into one huge crusty cookie (so funny, wish I could upload a pic!). But they're still delicious. Don't know if I'll try this one again, it was too time consuming to risk another flop.

  • bibliobethica 21 Dec, 2008

    My dough was really wet - nothing like on the video. I made my own almond paste using The Taste of Home recipe. It looked perfect - thick like paste. However, I think the homemade paste must have been the problem. All the other ingredients were followed closely. I even use the same mixer (not blue . . .) I'll try them again with the canned version.

  • Eddie-Joe 18 Dec, 2008

    Luckily the nearbye bakery carries almond paste, I found these time consuming to make, the egg white then the rolling in the sugar , but they turned out quite incredible and begrudgingly will have to add these to my repertoire, big hit with family and my friends, along with many requests.....Damn you Martha Stewart!

  • CanMom 18 Dec, 2008

    I just made these and they didn't turn out at all. I knew something was wrong when the dough was too runny. I persevered and added tons of icing sugar until the dough looked like the one on the video. Things seemed to be fine and I proceeded to roll and dry. When I took them out of the oven they were completely flat. And they are way too sweet. I won't be trying them again as it cost almost $10.00 for the almond paste. Oh well.

  • terryfee 17 Dec, 2008

    Just made these cookies and they turned out great. I love anything with almond paste. I always rate my cookies and these scored a perfect ten. Thanks Martha.

  • Kork 17 Dec, 2008

    mIne went flat and mushy too. Even after doubling the sugar. the goo still tasted good but I don't know if I will b e trying these again.

  • BakingMom 16 Dec, 2008

    To those who had difficulty with the dough, I wonder if it's the difference between brands of almond paste. I'd be curious to know what you used. I used 2 8-oz. cans of Solo almond paste (NOT almond pastry filling; too wet). Followed recipe exactly, adding additional 30 min. drying after pinching. Macaroons were perfect. (Also, wet your hands a little when forming the balls. Helps with the sticky dough.)

  • BakingMom 16 Dec, 2008

    To those who had difficulty with the dough, I wonder if it's the difference between brands of almond paste. I'd be curious to know what you used. I used 2 8-oz. cans of Solo almond paste (NOT almond pastry filling; too wet). Followed recipe exactly, adding additional 30 min. drying after pinching. Macaroons were perfect. (Also, wet your hands a little when forming the balls. Helps with the sticky dough.)

  • BakingMom 16 Dec, 2008

    To those who had difficulty with the dough, I wonder if it's the difference between brands of almond paste. I'd be curious to know what you used. I used 2 8-oz. cans of Solo almond paste (NOT almond pastry filling; too wet). Followed recipe exactly, adding additional 30 min. drying after pinching. Macaroons were perfect. (Also, wet your hands a little when forming the balls. Helps with the sticky dough.)

  • larbour 15 Dec, 2008

    I found the dough very difficult to work, wet and sticky. All the balls went flat before drying and while cooking, they all went flat. What went wrong?

  • nicodemus6 15 Dec, 2008

    Could orange extract or just plain oj be used instead of Grand Marnier? If so, how much? 1 tsp or 1 Tbsp?

  • bmayres 15 Dec, 2008

    Haven't a clue what I did wrong but in following this recipe I found the dough to be very wet and after adding an additional cup of confectioner's sugar it was still difficult to roll out. The cookies slumped quite badly in waiting the 30 minutes. Did anyone else have a problem?

  • acfisch 14 Dec, 2008

    I love love love this recipe. You can really tell it's from a real pastry chef--absolutely every detail worked perfectly true to form. The taste is delicate and refreshing with the fresh zest and Grand Marnier. I can't wait to include these in my holiday gifts for people this year. I'm planning to package them up with some tea as a lovely homemade present. This recipe will definitely have a permanent place in my recipe collection.

  • acfisch 14 Dec, 2008

    I love love love this recipe. You can really tell it's from a real pastry chef--absolutely every detail worked perfectly true to form. The taste is delicate and refreshing with the fresh zest and Grand Marnier. I can't wait to include these in my holiday gifts for people this year. I'm planning to package them up with some tea as a lovely homemade present. This recipe will definitely have a permanent place in my recipe collection.

  • vettie 12 Dec, 2008

    kateivy,

    Your can of Solo should be fine. The sugar content of almond paste makes it last a long time.

    Should you ever need a substitute for almond paste go to :

    http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html

    HTH

  • kateivy 12 Dec, 2008

    I HAVE ONE CAN OF ALMOND PASTE FROM LAST YEAR> > DOES ANYONE KNOW IF STILL GOOD< SOLO BRAND . Has anyone tried using SOLO BRAND ALMOND cake aND PASTRY FILLING INSTEAD???? DO YOU THINK IT would work??? code on can heroglyphics. Almond paste I think has doubled in price
    in this area since last year near Chicago.
    MAybe too runny????

  • LEGsmom 12 Dec, 2008

    Anyone know if there is a way I can make these without the almond? I would love to give a small box of 4 or 6 to the administration at the school, but with the no nut policy, as well as the head secretary having a nut allergy I would like to try with something else.
    thanks for your assitance

  • BakingMom 11 Dec, 2008

    Made these this morning. Incredible. I'm glad almond paste (store bought OR homemade) is expensive; otherwise, I'd eat way too many of these. One suggestion....let them dry another 30 minutes AFTER pinching. They will be much more attractive. Thanks for a great recipe! Love it when Martha gives us "restaurant secrets!"

  • lvtocraft 11 Dec, 2008

    LindaBill no problem I've sent you an email today for almond paste(marzipan)

  • ruk_the_cook 10 Dec, 2008

    Could marzipan be used as an alternative to almond paste?

  • cookiesgalore 9 Dec, 2008

    You can buy almond paste at any large grocery store in the baking section. It's usually from Denmark. however, I have made my own just by grinding almonds (WITHOUT THE SKIN) in a food processor or coffee grinder, and grinding it really fine. Then you add glucose syrup (or corn syrup or honey if you can't get glucose syrup...I've even used vegetable food grade glycerin). and add it to the almond to make a dough-like paste. If you've ever had marzipan, it's just like that.

  • rachelvivian 9 Dec, 2008

    where can I buy almond paste

  • rachelvivian 9 Dec, 2008

    where can I buy almond paste

  • HollyTyler 9 Dec, 2008

    You can buy a Microplane at Crate

  • violetz6 9 Dec, 2008

    hummingbird94501,

    MACAROON
    A small cookie classically made of almond paste or ground almonds (or both) mixed with sugar and egg whites. Almond macaroons can be chewy, crunchy or a combined texture with the outside crisp and the inside chewy. There is also a coconut macaroon, which substitutes coconut for the almonds. Macaroons can be flavored with various ingredients such as chocolate, maraschino cherries or orange peel.

    - THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

  • violetz6 9 Dec, 2008

    raoke

    No need to purchase a microplane at Sur La Table unless you have a coupon code.

    You an easily find them at discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, eBay, outlet stores, and on sale at major department stores, etc, for a fraction of the price.You can get them for about $12 and this includes shipping.

  • kiwae 9 Dec, 2008

    Could I do the same if I made Pecan paste? Or would the taste/recipe change it?

  • tourtes 9 Dec, 2008

    These sound good....but oh so sweet! Did anyone who made them find them too sweet?

  • bluefairie 9 Dec, 2008

    Thanks Martha for providing us with this recipe. They look absolutely deliciious and it was educational to watch them being prepared by the chef and yourself. Can't wait to try them. Love the little gingerbread boxes too....Michael's here I come. Nice little gift to give to neighbours, friends, etc.

  • dusterqueen 9 Dec, 2008

    duster queen.........please I also need the almond paste receipe.thank you

  • CutiePatootie 9 Dec, 2008

    Hi, LyndaBill!! I found this recipe for almond paste that might be close to Craft's, minus the lemon juice though. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Homemade-Almond-Paste

  • hummingbird94501 9 Dec, 2008

    I'm confused. I thought anything named macaroon would have coconut in it. I am still going to make these cookies, but wonder about the name.

  • LyndaBill 9 Dec, 2008

    Ivtocraft: Any chance of getting that recipe from you for the almond paste??? my email: flkeller10@yahoo.ca
    Thanks. Lynn.

  • lvtocraft 9 Dec, 2008

    I make my own almond paste by using fresh almond flour, egg whites, confectioners sugar and lemon juice. I refrigerate it in a plastic bag for future use.This is great future use. Can't wait to try them. I love anything almond.

  • SandraSam 9 Dec, 2008

    Any idea if these can be frozen so they can be made ahead of time?

  • miro224 8 Dec, 2008

    the microplane is available at Sur La Table for about $25. Well worth it and it comes in a few sizes.

  • tally426 8 Dec, 2008

    I live in Michigan and I am going use the almond paste in a can. from the grocery store or if I get to the candy supply store they also selll the paste so try
    one of them stores good luck

  • re-nee 8 Dec, 2008

    bebe, I'm in Chicago also, I'm sure substituting any good almond paste would work. I've bought almond paste at both TI and Dominicks, I don't notice any real difference.

  • bebe59 8 Dec, 2008

    So you mean I need to order an almond paste from Bazzini (I live in Chicago) before I can bake these?? Is there any other way to go around this.......Seems like a lengthy process.....

  • momtomany 8 Dec, 2008

    Just baked these cookies and love them!! Have always been a fan of the traditional pastel sandwich macaroon but these are now my new favorite. They are easy to bake and my three sons love them too.

  • hot_chocolate_friend 8 Dec, 2008

    Please share the brand of Almond Paste that this chef uses. These look delicious.

  • raoke 8 Dec, 2008

    What is the name of the microplane grater that was used on the orange?

  • kateivy 8 Dec, 2008

    THese look great. Good going Martha for getting the recipe from 4 Seasons.
    You always come thru for us. How about adding Nurtitional Info. on your
    cookie recipes this year.???? I'm trying to make Healthy cookies for friends and
    family. These look like they fit the bill. Anymore heirloom or famous cookies this
    year???

  • carolr27 8 Dec, 2008

    Bazzini

  • carolr27 8 Dec, 2008

    Nancy - Martha's favorite nut source - Bazzini

  • NancyNH 8 Dec, 2008

    On the show they mentioned the best source for Almond Paste....Martha said it would be listed on the website. Can you please let me know the company.

    Thanks
    Nancy

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