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 macarons-2these 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.

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

METHOD

Cookie

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  10. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling.

Berry Filling

  1. Puree berries in a food processor
  2. Sieve puree to remove seeds and solids
  3. Equal amounts (weight) of sieved berry puree and granulated sugar.
  4. Boil in a small saucepan until mixture reaches 225 F, stirring frequently to keep from burning.
  5. Cool jam until it is thick enough to pipe, or spread but not flow.
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