Monday, December 19, 2011

Flirty French Macaron!

Nope! No coconut in these babies. These are actually a "macaron" and not a "macaroon" which most of us know as the chewy coconut cookies. If you've never tried a French Macaron here is your chance to try it, although, if you see them in a bakery I recommend trying those first. The thing I like about these "cookies" is that you can make them in every color imaginable with any flavor combo you can think of. I am boring and didn't color mine, mostly due to the fact that I have never made these before so I just wanted to do it once and then experiment later. So that is what I did!

I'll be honest, I have been wanting to make these for months, but I was too afraid. It just seems like so much work and EVERY blog post I have been seeing only shows the pretty pictures and talks on and on about the macarons, too much talking not enough direction! Well, in my blog post you will get more directions than pretty pictures! I am not at the point yet where my macaron will be pretty, but one day I will be a star, and you shall be too!

Also...this recipe as you will see is quite a bit different from all other recipes. Its written in weight as a measure, and I think with macarons you should weigh your ingredients because making these is like a scientific art form. If you have a digital scale, this will make your life much easier!

8.1 oz powder sugar
4 oz ground almonds/Almond flour
5 oz egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
2.5 oz white sugar
Food coloring optional

1. Pre-heat the oven to 300F and line 2 baking trays with parchement paper. You might want to stencil the size of macaron you want with a pencil to get equal sizes. These may spread out a bit while baking.

2. Sift the processed ground almonds with the icing sugar. Now do this again!

3. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the white sugar and beat for another 4-5 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks and it looks glossy.

4. Add all of the almond mixture in and fold in gently. It might take a few folds before it really incorporates, but just keep doing it gently. I've read on other blogs to not allow yourself to fold more than 50 times or less than that.

5. Place the mixture in a piping bag and carefully pipe small circles. If you don't have a pastry bag, use a strong large ziploc bag, one corner cut and a piping tip placed in that corner.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are just firm to the touch. These need to be allowed to cool completely before you try taking them off the pan.

7. While you are waiting for these to cool, you can make your filling...whatever your little heart desires! My macarons in the picture are cardamom flavored (1 tsp sifted with the dry ingredients) with lemon butter cream filling, but the possibilities are endless, which is why I love macarons so much!

When you look at other blogs you will see perfect little macarons, and like I said earlier, hopefully I will get there but it takes practice. As you see mine are all cracked, but whatever, they taste great!

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