We have made what feels like thousands of different cookies over the years but surprisingly, we have not tried making the classic Macaron. What better time than two days before Christmas and on a day off work! These cute little treats are going to be used for a Christmas get together with both my boyfriend and mine families tonight. Have you make macarons before? What is your favorite flavor?
- 90 grams egg whites, room temperature (1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp.)
- 127 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp.)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ to ½ tsp. desired flavoring (we used 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract)
- Gel or paste food coloring (if desired)
- 212 grams almond flour (1 ¾ cups plus 2 ½ Tbsp.)
- 212 grams powdered sugar (1 ¾ cups plus 2 ½ Tbsp.)
- 80 grams egg whites, room temperature (1/3 cup)
- 1 recipe buttercream filling or a filling variation
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line three large cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a fourth parchment paper, use a permanent marker to draw 1 ½ inch circles, 1 inch apart, to create a pattern. Set aside.
Fill a 2 qt. saucepan with 1 ½ inches water. Bring to boiling over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer. For meringue, in the metal bowl of a stand mixer combine 90 g egg whites, the granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Place bowl over simmering water, making sure water does not touch bottom of bowl. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved (about 150 degrees Fahrenheit), stirring constantly with a rubber or silicone spatula.
Return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high 8 to 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and bowl is cool to the touch. Add food coloring the last 1 minute of beating.
Meanwhile, using a coarse mesh sieve, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Discard any larger pieces (up to 1 Tbsp. total) that remain in sieve. Add 80 g egg whites to flour mixture; stir with a spatula until a thick paste forms. The mixture may seem crumbly at first but will come together after mixing.
Fold and press one-third of the meringue into almond flour paste. Repeat, folding and pressing in remaining meringue by thirds. Batter will be thick at first but will loosen as you fold. Add flavoring during the folding of the meringue and almond paste. Pressing the mixture during folding helps to release air bubbles. Continue folding until batter falls off the spatula in a thick ribbon and you can draw a figure 8. Batter should be loose enough that it does not hold its shape but stiff enough that you can still see the figure 8 after about 10 seconds. (It is better to slightly undermix than to overmix.) The batter will appear grainy, but the cookies will smooth out as they bake.
Fit a pastry bag with a ½ inch round tip. Fold open end of bag up; place empty bag in a large glass; and fold bag edges over rim of glass. Fill bag two-thirds full with batter.
For each batch, slide parchment pattern under plain parchment sheet on a cookie sheet. Pipe batter onto parchment, stopping just before batter reaches outline of circle. Firmly tap cookie sheet five to ten times on the counter to release air bubbles. Using a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife, pop any remaining bubbles that come to the surface. Slide out parchment pattern; repeat with remaining prepared cookie sheets.
Bake macarons, one sheet at a time, 10 to 12 minutes. Tops of cookies should be firm and not slide when gently touched. Immediately slide parchment paper off cookie sheet onto the counter; allow macarons to cool completely.
Prepare Buttercream Filling or desired filling variation. Spread filling onto bottoms of half of the macarons, using about 1 ½ tsp. for each. Top with remaining macarons, bottom sides down. Store filled cookies in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 2 months.
In an extra-large bowl beat ½ cup softened butter with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in ½ cup powdered sugar. Beat in 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, ½ tsp. vanilla, and a dash of salt on low until combined. Gradually beat in 1 ½ cups additional powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in 1 ½ tsp. additional heavy cream on high 1 minute.
*Recipe courtesy Better Homes & Gardens*