The macaroons of my childhood usually came in a can and have a spongy texture. They're delicious, but totally different from these macaroons, which are crunchy and crispy.
The Sephardic Jews are from North Africa, Spain and the Middle East and have a language (Ladino) and a culture that is very different from that of the Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews of my ancestry.
The only complicated thing about making these is blanching and peeling the almonds. You may be able to find preblanched, skinned almonds in a Middle Eastern or Indian food store. Even if you do have to skin them, the process is well worth the results.
I recently made these cookies to send to friends and wound up grinding the nuts, adding the sugar and sealing them in a plastic bag for a week or two. When I finally got around to making the cookies, all I had to do was add the egg whites. This worked so well, I will probably do the same when I make these at Chanukkah. Because they may be a Passover cookie, but everyone loves them at any time of the year.
Sephardic Macaroons3 cups (1 lb) whole raw almonds
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites (you can use fresh eggs, or the eggs whites that come in a carton)
If the almonds are still in the skins, they must be dropped into boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drained, cooled and peeled.
Grind almonds in a blender or a food processor. Mix with the sugar. Add the egg whites and mix thoroughly.
Drop by teaspoon onto parchment paper cover baking sheet, leaving 1/2" room between cookies.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes--bottoms of cookies will brown a little.
Dust with confectioners sugar