Macarons (noun) Deriving from the French word meaning "awesome intimidating slice of heaven cookie." I'm sure some foodies out there will correct me. No, that isn't actually what the word means, but it's what it should mean. They are intimidating and notoriously fickle cookies to make. They are beautiful. They are expensive to buy. So why not make them? They are expensive to purchase, but not nearly as expensive to make. They will take practice. Even your cracked, broken "Ugly Bettys" will be worth while. Unpresentable, but tasty.
Here is where it gets fun. I was in Michaels (with a coupon of course) and walked down my favorite aisle. The cake decorating aisle. It's my happy place. I just wish I had more occasions to bake and decorate. I am an adult who still likes to color; cake decorating is just an extension of that. So upon me walking into that aisle what do I see? Wilton Treatology system. A whole box of possibilities. After the basic recipe I'll list awesome flavor combinations that I have found that work well.
Plain Macaron recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January
1 cup confectioners sugar
¾ cup Almond Flour (available online & in most grocery stores and yes it's expensive and no you really can't substitute anything for it)
2 Extra Large Eggs Whites
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
¼ cup of superfine sugar
Food coloring of your choice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Wisk egg whites in stand mixer on medium speed until foamy
- Add cream of tartar to stabilize them
- Mix until soft peaks form
- Put mixer and low speed and add superfine sugar
- Bring mixer up to high and mix until stiff peaks form about 8-10 minutes
- If you are unsure if they are stiff peaks. Remove your wisk from the mixer. Using your wisk, hold egg mixture up toward ceiling. If the mixture does not move, then you are good. If it folds down, then it needs to keep going.
- This moment to add your food coloring 1 drop at a time. Do not add too much as the mixture can only handle so much liquid.
- Keep egg mixture to the side for now
- In a food processor, mix confectioners sugar and almond meal. Pulse a few times to make sure there are no lumps. Pulse 3-4 times
- Fold (not in food processor or stand mixer) in almond/sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Fold until mixture is shiny and not lumpy. This is the part that experience will teach you and where most will go wrong
- Place mixture into a pastry bag and pipe circles on to a baking sheet lines with parchment or a silpat
- Tap bottom of cookie sheet to make sure any excess air is out of the cookies
- Place into oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees
- Bake for approximately 10 minutes
- Remove from oven and let them cool for 15 minutes or until they easily come off of your sheet.
- Bring oven back up to 375 if you have another cookie sheet to go in, if not, it's time to turn off the oven
- Place on a wire rack to make sure they are completely cool. Do not fill them until they are cool. You will end up as a Pintrest fail.
1. Here are some common mistakes
- If some cracked- this can be normal, humidity, oven temperature unevenness can do this, or just the way they were folded can put too much air into them.
- If they have no "feet". You have over folded and deflated them like Tom Brady. Yes, a few PSI on egg whites matters.
- If all cracked- you have underfolded them, leaving them with too much air.
- In all of the above cases, they will still be yummy and delicious, just not picture perfect. Eat them, enjoy them, but don't throw them away. They make good lunch bag snacks, break them up and put them on ice cream, give them to hungry family members. Kids (without nut allergies) do like them quite a bit.
- Display them nicely if you are going to bring them somewhere (I
sometimes hide the slightly cracked cookie on the bottom of a perfect one on top.) I made a bunch for a July 4th BBQ and put them on a Veggie platter. When I have my bridal shower, hopefully I'll have nicer display pieces.
Flavorings (for the cookie)
Salted Caramel macarons- 4-6 drops of Wilton Treatology Salted Caramel Flavor
Peach macarons- 4-6 drops of Wilton Treatology Peach
Fillings (for the middle of the cookie)
Make sure that your cookie is cooled completely before attempting to fill.
Jams/Jellies- Keep with seedless jams (raspberry, peach, strawberry)
Icing- Any buttercream works here.