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.

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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