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1 to 1 1/4 lb. unblanched shelled almonds
8 egg whites
2 lbs. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla

With the finest blade of the food chopper, grind 1 to 1 1/4 pounds (4 to 5 cups) unblanched, shelled almonds. Feed the almonds into the chopper slowly and it will be much easier.

Beat 8 egg whites until they stand in peaks but are not dry. Gradually add 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat for 5 minutes. Or 15 minutes, using a rotary egg beater.

Divide mixture in half and add ground almonds to half of it. Add enough of the ground nuts to form a mixture that can be easily handled and rolled out. Roll portions of the ground almond mixture about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 4 x 1/2 inch strips. Place close together (they don't spread) on a greased baking sheet.

Spread strips liberally with the remaining meringue mixture. Let dry 5 minutes. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet immediately. Makes about 75 to 80 vanilla sticks.

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