The macaron de Nancy was first created at the Monastery Les Dames du Saint-Sacrement in Nancy, a Benedictine order founded by Catherine de Vaudément, Abbess de Remiremont and daughter of Charles III, Duke de Lorraine. Charles III could not eat meat, but loved sweets and chocolate. Nuns cooking in the monastery are believed to have created this simple wafer which became known as the macaron de Nancy.
In 1792, following the French Revolution when religious congregations were forbidden, two sisters or Soeurs, Marguerite Gaillot and Marie-Elisabeth Morlot, went to live with the local doctor at 10, rue de la Hache in Nancy. There they began to bake and market these macarons, and soon became known in the community as Les Soeurs Macarons. In 1952 the city renamed the street where they first baked and sold their macarons “Rue des Soeurs Macarons”. The macaron de Nancy recipe is a secret, but this one comes as close as possible to the light, dry on the outside, slightly soft on the inside macaron of Nancy fame.
10 oz. powdered almonds
18 oz. granulated sugar
6 egg whites
4 tablespoons water
Preheat oven 350º F. In a bowl, mix powdered almonds, 14 oz. sugar and the egg whites. On the stove in a sauce pan, mix the remaining 4 oz. sugar and about 2-3 tablespoons water over medium heat. Boil sugar-water mixture to hard crack stage (but not caramel) and pour it over the ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Place dollops of the mixture on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes until the exterior is a light golden brown. Cool.