* 2¹\³ cups (about 12 ounces) shelled hazelnuts (also called filberts).
* 1 cup plus 2 tbsp white or light brown granulated sugar
* ½ tsp kosher-for-Passover pure almond extract, or 1 tsp hazelnut-flavored liqueur, such as Frangelico, or another nut-flavored liqueur, such as amaretto (optional)
* 3 large egg whites
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toast the nuts: Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven, shaking occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until they are fragrant and most of the skins have popped. Wrap the nuts in a dish towel and let them cool slightly. Rub them vigorously against each other in the towel to remove most of the loose skins. Don't bother about the remaining skins - they'll just add to the flavor. You can turn the oven off for now.
2. When the nuts are completely cool, grind them with the sugar in the food processor, using the pulse motion, until chopped fine. They won't be perfectly ground and they shouldn't be. With the machine on, add the extract or liqueur if you are using it, and the egg whites, a little at a time. Process just enough to combine the ingredients into a smooth paste. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (you will probably need either to use 2 cookie sheets or work in batches.) Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Smooth and flatten the tops slightly with the back of a spoon or your fingertips (the batter will be quite sticky, so you may have to dip your finger occasionally in cold water). Bake for about 15 minutes, or until just dry to the ouch' puffed, and beginning to color. Remove from the oven and transfer the sheet to a rack to cool or slide the parchment paper off. The macaroons will be very soft but will harden as they cool.
4. Don't remove the macaroons until they have cooled completely, then carefully separate them from the parchment. They store well in airtight containers for at least 5 days.