Katrina, a psychiatrist, was a shining light. She cared for people. Things she considered important included: psychiatry and medicine, gardening and botany, cooking.
Especially baking. She had been justly renowned for festive cookies that she baked every year in the late fall: they were her signature gift. Her favorite, she didn't get to bake this past year because she was a hospital patient for over 6 weeks. Her family took a batch to the hospital staff after she died to thank them for their dedication and compassion while caring for her. In honor of all the departed whose lives affected mine, their families and those who cared for them, here's the recipe for Katrina's Nut Macaroons:
- 1 lb. hazelnuts (raw or roasted)
- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- Toast 1 lb. nuts (even if already roasted) in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, longer if raw. Rub nut skin by rubbing it with a dishtowel. Grate nuts in a Kitchenaid or chop in a Cuisinart or by hand. Most of the pieces should be under 1 mm but don't powder them.
- Mix nuts with sugar. Add vanilla and egg whites (up to five) to make a thick paste. Put mixture in the refrigerator to chill and thicken.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place small, rounded teaspoons (about 5 grams) about 2 cm apart, on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or on a silicon baking pad. Bake 15 minutes until slightly brown and sweet smelling. This may take a few more minutes.
- Allow to cool a few minutes, until they start to harden, then transfer to a cooling rack. Outsides will be crisp, centers soft and slightly chewy.