Macarons! I've been seeing them everywhere lately..
including my beloved show Master Chef!!
Seems like a cookie that chefs everywhere agree is hard to
perfect but worth the effort once you've nailed it.
The mini cupcakes I made were ordered for a "Tea-time" themed wedding shower.
I thought the macaron 'sandwiches' would be perfect compliment to the
other tea sandwiches and finger foods that were going to be served.
By-the-way.. macaron is the French cookie pictured above.
Macaroons are the delicious English coconut meringue cookies pictured below.
⇓And these are the mini macarons I made for the shower! ⇓
My husband keeps telling me I need to add some how-to videos to my blog..
haha I'm not planning on staring in videos any time soon, but I did find this
Youtube video that was very helpful in the macaron process!
I used Martha Stewarts recipe for the macarons.
Full recipe below.. Click here for a printer friendly version!
Process the almond flour and powdered sugar
in a food processor until it is very fine, about 2 minutes.
Run the mixture through a small sifter to remove any large almond pieces.
I had quite a bit of large pieces left so I re-processed it for a few seconds,
sifted it again then discarded the remaining large pieces.
Separate the egg whites
Beat them to stiff, not dry, peaks. Add the sugar about 1/2 way through.
I also added a pinch of cream of tartar.
Gently fold the almond mixture into the eggs.
Add color and mix thoroughly.
Pipe out onto parchment paper. I used a small open tip on the pastry bag.
After the macarons are piped level the batter out by 'tapping'
(pretty hard) on the counter to flatten.
Before baking let rest for 20 minutes until a skin forms on top.
The macarons should be firm to a gentle touch, not sticky.
Bake for 15 minutes or until dry. Let cool before removing from the tray.
Once cooled add filling. I used mocha ganache.
.. And add to mini-cupcakes. I made these on a very humid day, a few macrons didn't make it off the baking tray because the wet air softened them too much. But the cookies hold up great in the refrigerator or at room temperature in a cool air-tight container.
How To Cook French Macarons
Techniques from Martha Stewart
Makes 35 macarons
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.
Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
For the filling use your favorite buttercream, or chocolate ganache, or fruit jam.