Doable Macarons

5 Jan

I have friends with mad baking skillz.  It makes my life mucho deliciouso.  Right now, it’s also making me lazy.  Because rather than actually make macarons I’m just going to share pretty pictures of hers and tell you how easy they are to make.  And by make, I mean eat. And a side note – Miss Stevie recommends gold sugar glitter on all macarons.  Or everything. Necessary.

Stevie Tegan’s Orange Almond Macarons

(OK fine, they’re Martha’s too)

Ingredients

Makes about 16 filled macaroons

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Macaroon Filling (see below)

Directions

  1. To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
  3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
  4. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. Variations: To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.

Orange Almond Macaron Filling

(Also from Martha)

Ingredients

Makes 3 cups

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • Zest of 2 oranges (Because Stevie is sexy like that)

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.
  3. Variations: To make hazelnut-honey filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of macaroon filling with 1/3 cup finely ground hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons good-quality honey.

You know you’re good when you make TWO kinds of macarons.  For someone’s birthday.  While planning their party.  Not to mention cakes and cookies, oh my!  Yes, I’m spoiled rotten.  True story.  And without further adieu, I give you macaron variety #2, and probably my favorite.  Only good luck because you won’t be able to stop eating them therefore sharing will be an exercise of will power.

Stevie Tegan’s Chocolate Mocha Macarons

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Makes about fifteen cookies

Adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway) by David Lebovitz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
  • 3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  3. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.
  4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.  The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes
  7. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

Chocolate Espresso Filling

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces
  • Instant espresso powder to taste

Directions

Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup and espresso powder. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

Assembly

Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it, but I prefer to spread it by hand; it’s more fun, I think.)

I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.

Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macarons soggy.

I highly suggest making these nowish.  Why yes, that is easy for me to say.  They will change your life and make you all kinds of new friends.  Promise.

 

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One Response to “Doable Macarons”

  1. Steven Rydin January 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    How do the chocolate ones fair in the mail?

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