By Clint Brown
Pella — 1 3/4 cups blanched almonds (about 8 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
2 heaping tsp freshly grated lemon rind
24 almond slivers (optional)
1. Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper, allowing it to extend slightly over sides of baking sheet.
2. In food processor, grind almonds with sugar until mixture forms even crumbs. (Process in batches if you have a small processor.) Add egg whites and lemon rind and process until smooth.
3. Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. With moistened fingers, press slightly to flatten each macaroon until they're about 1/2 inch high. If desired, press an almond sliver into top of each. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until very lightly but evenly browned. Centers should still be soft. Remove from oven.
4. Lift one end of paper and pour about 2 tablespoons of water under it, onto baking sheet; water will boil in contact with baking sheet. Lift the other end of paper and pour about 2 tablespoons water under it also. Tilt pan so water spreads under all the cookies. When water stops boiling, remove macaroons carefully from paper. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Store in airtight container.