Macarons!

Macarons terrify me.  They sit on the plate in all their fluffy glory filled with creamy goodness, beckoning “eat me!” in the hues of a rainbow.  Yet, you begin to attempt to make them and the horror stories quickly emerge.  “Mine were raw”, “Mine were flat”, “Mine were burned”, Mine were to sweet”, “Mine were lumpy” and on and on it goes.  However I was forced to attempt them and I must say…they ARE a bit tricky.  But if you slow down, pay close attention to texture and weigh the sugar and almond flour you should be successful and the envy of all!

Here is what I did, I hope you try it too!

macaroon

I began with a trip to the local health food store for ground almond meal, once acquired I went home and promptly weighed out the amount I needed.

I put a sheet of wax paper on my scale so after the meal is weighed I can easily lift it off and pour into the sifter.

I put a sheet of wax paper on my scale so after the meal is weighed I can easily lift it off and pour into the sifter.

 

Repeat this process with the powdered sugar.

Repeat this process with the powdered sugar.

Sift these two together and set’em aside.

The sifter is your friend.

The sifter is your friend.

On to the eggs!  The egg whites are the only part of the egg you need, unless you want to save the yolks to make lemon curd which you could use to fill the macarons when they are done.  Dang, I wish I had thought of that while I was making these.

Note to self ~ Save the yolks next time!

Get those eggs separated x 3.

Get those eggs separated x 3.

Then start whipping adding a little white sugar until they form soft peaks, add in some gel color and whip them some more.

Pretty isn't it?  You can add any color you want!

Pretty isn’t it? You can add any color you want!

Next you dump all those dry ingredients in at once and start folding…

This part was a bit frightening but fold gently, fold quickly, fold about 35 times and it will get there.

This part was a bit frightening but fold gently, fold quickly, fold about 35 times and it will get there.

I added my extract after I was half-way through the folding process.

Grab a pastry bag and fill'er up!

Grab a pastry bag and fill’er up!

As you fill the bag you have to kinda hold the end closed with your fingers otherwise you end up with a bag that never fills and a mess on your counter.

Only maybe not this full.  This was a little too full.

Only maybe not this full. This was a little too full.

This is where it gets a little tricky.  You see, as you fold the mixture it gets less and less fluffy.  You want it to go flat as soon as you pipe it out of the bag then stop itself.  If it is still to fluffy there will be a nipple on top of the cookie which not only looks tacky but makes them dense and impossible to stack.  If you fold it to much they will flatten out and keep getting flatter and flatter and be like little hard pancakes.  Not good.

So when you think you have folded them enough try it out by piping one on the lightly greased parchment paper you have waiting….

See the little fellow on the upper left, bad nipple!  Fold a few more times and try again.

See the little fellow on the upper left, bad nipple! Fold a few more times and try again.

The ones above are perfect except those first little guys in the top left.  These here below….

pancakes

pancakes

I over-folded them, see how flat they look?  This is bad.  Don’t do this, you can always fold more but you can’t unfold that which was folded.  Amen.

Once your macarons are perfectly piped grab a glass of tea, glass of wine, mug of beer, cup of coffee, whatever makes your skirt fly up and take a break.  These babies have to sit for about a hour making a little hard shell on top.  They do this entirely on their own so please leave them alone during this time.  Thank you.

macaron

These are perfect.  These were not over-folded, under-folded nor were they over-baked, under-baked or disappointing in any way.  They even lifted off the parchment with ease.

These were baked at 300 for about 15 minutes.

Let’em cool off then make your favorite frosting, grab your best jam or whip some cream and fill those babies up!  Seriously, I am regretting not thinking about lemon curd until now.  You can even fold lemon curd into whipped cream for extra fluffy and make the macaons yellow….

macaron

So make’em, fill’em, eat’em, love’em and (if you feel really nice) share’em!

Later y’all, I gotta go buy some lemons!

Perfect

Perfect


The Specifics~

Macarons ~ Also spelled Macaroon although the French spell it with a single ‘o’ and I’m with the French, they invented them.  Thank you France!

3 egg whites

1/8 plus 2 teaspoons white sugar

3.5 oz. ground almond flour

7 oz. powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract or any flavor you would like (optional)

Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining each with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar, set aside.  With whisk attachment whip the egg whites until shiny and medium-soft peaks form slowly adding the white sugar.  Add gel color if desired and whisk until well blended.  Add the almond mixture all at once, quickly and gently fold into the egg whites using about 35 strokes adding the extract, if using, halfway through.  Test your mixture by piping a cookie onto the prepared cookie sheet, it should flatten into a nice disk with no peak.  If there is a peak fold it a few more times and retest.  Once all your cookies are piped let them rest for 1 hour.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 300.  Bake the cookies for 12-18 minutes taking care not to let them get brown.  Remove and let them cool completely on the parchment.  Carefully remove them and start assembling!  You can fill with your favorite frosting, jam or sweetened whipping cream!   Enjoy and Good Luck!

Yields about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Macarons!

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