At the heart of the fruit season, a simple cookie can be a cook's best friend. Right now we have late-season citrus including mandarins and sweet strawberries, and the first apricots and cherries, peaches and nectarines.

An almond macaroon is about as simple as a cookie can get - just five ingredients: almonds, sugar, salt, egg whites and a whiff of vanilla. Grind the almonds, sugar, salt and vanilla to a fine powder; beat the egg whites to soft peaks and pulse them into the almond mixture. Roll between wet palms (they're sticky as heck) and bake.

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The cookies come out of the oven crisp on the outside yet moist and chewy on the inside, with a flavor that is deeply and purely almond. A perfect match for citrus or stone fruit.

The flavor of a snickerdoodle is a little more complex than the macaroon - a combination of browned wheat, the slight bitterness of cream of tartar and sweet spicy cinnamon sugar.

To make cinnamon sugar, mix 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or to taste) with a quarter cup of granulated sugar.


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