I am sure I once posted making Macarons before, but if I did, I cannot find it. If anyone happens across it, please let me know. I hate to think of it wandering around the ethereal web, homeless, begging for a cup of sugar (confectioners of course.)
I am talking macarons, not macaroons. These are the almond flour confection with the “feet” not the shredded coconut cookie type. I made these with two different fillings, buttercream for Amy and blackberry jam because I had some extra blackberries in the fridge and I like blackberries. Plus, we thought they would travel better than other pastries.
I use a modified version of the Food Network’s macaron recipe and technique.
- 1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line a large double-thick baking sheet with parchment paper that you drew 1¾” circles about ¾” apart and flipped clean side up. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.
- Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it. Sift a second time.
- Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.
- Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold using a figure 8 pattern until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold. Be sure the spatula goes all the way to the bottom in incorporate all the dry mixture.
- Add any food coloring and/or extract. Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ -inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1¾ -inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).
- Bake until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Bake time is everything, too long and they will discolor, too short and they will be soft inside.
- Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling.
- Puree berries in a food processor
- Sieve puree to remove seeds and solids
- Equal amounts (weight) of sieved berry puree and granulated sugar.
- Boil in a small saucepan until mixture reaches 225 F, stirring frequently to keep from burning.
- Cool jam until it is thick enough to pipe, or spread but not flow.