Thursday, November 17, 2016

French Macarons

Have you ever been intimidated by a recipe or a technique???

I have. I don't know why, but French Macarons have always been a mystery to me.

But after spending a large part of my day tackling these things, I realize they're not such a big deal after all. They're actually pretty easy - just a little time consuming. And, of course, I did a very basic version.

Granted, my first attempt quickly found its way to the garbage can. So, after wiping my tears and heading back to the internet, I combined 3 different recipes and baking techniques and came up with something half-way decent.

I just went with a plain, no-color version this time, but oh my gosh, the possibilities and flavor combinations are absolutely endless! I will be doing these many more times and you should, too. Don't let a recipe intimidate you. Just jump in and see for yourself! The results are delicious!

French Macarons

3 egg whites (room temperature, if possible)
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract (or almond)
1 c. almond flour
1 2/3 c. powdered sugar

Line 2 flat baking sheets with silicone baking mats and set aside.

Beat egg whites in large bowl of stand mixer until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar and extract. Continue to beat until fluffy and you achieve soft peaks (about 6 to 8 minutes).

In medium bowl, sift powdered sugar with almond flour.

Remove bowl from mixer and quickly fold in powdered sugar and flour mixture. Fold by hand until well incorporated.

Preheat oven to 325°

Scoop macaron batter into piping bag fitted with open round tip. Carefully pipe batter into 1 ½ inch round discs about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Gently tap bottom of pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Allow pans to sit for about 20 minutes. 

Place 1 pan in upper part of preheated oven and place the other pan in the lower portion. Immediately reduce heat to 300° Bake for 8 minutes.

After the first 8 minutes, open the oven. Switch the upper level pan with the lower level pan and bake for another 9 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 20-30 minutes. Carefully “peel” macarons from the baking sheet(s) and place on a wire rack.

Fill as desired. (I used a store-bought can frosting, but you could also use seedless jam or other filling).

(Note: to change the color of your macarons, add a few drops of gel food coloring to the beaten egg white mixture just before folding in powdered sugar and almond flour).

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