Food Editor's Notes: This recipe is one of the winners of the 2007 Passover Recipe Contest! Macaroons are delicious, but don't you sometimes crave a crunchy cookie during the holiday? These will fit the bill perfectly. They are sweet, nutty, thin and delicate looking, and very crispy. I knew immediately when I tasted my first one that I would be baking these frequently, for Passover and throughout the year. They are easy to make and will stay crispy for quite a while – though they haven't lasted more than a couple of days in my house! Sharon suggests using good, double-layered cookie sheets, as these cookies can burn easily. Don't put the sheets on the bottom rack of the oven (unless you have a convection oven) and the first time you make them, check the cookies a few minutes early. Oven temperatures can vary and these delicate cookies are sensitive. It is definitely worth a little trial-and-error to get these right. Yummy!
8 ounces pecans (2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
Coarsely chop 1 1/2 cups of pecans and set aside. Pulse remaining 1/2 cup of pecans in a food processor with sugar, potato starch, salt, and cinnamon until finely ground (do not grind into a paste).
Beat egg whites lightly to a froth (before becoming stiff, less than 1 minute). Stir in dry mixture and chopped nuts.
Drop batter, one teaspoon at a time, 2 inches apart on baking sheets. The batter will spread quite a bit. Bake 15-17 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and slightly puffed. [F.E. note: These were done in 11 minutes in my oven on regular pans]
Cookies will crisp as they cool. Do not remove them from the pan until they are cool. They may need to be gently pulled from the foil.
Cookies can be made up to one week ahead and kept in an airtight container stored at room temperature.
Yield: About 40 cookies.
Sharon Levitan is a former caterer who lives in Weston and is an active member of the Wellesley-Weston chapter of Hadassah. She enjoys sharing recipes and cooking for friends.
Passover Pecan Lace Cookies