Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Macarons. Go ahead, Trebek it, I'll wait.

I heard that making a french macaron was very difficult... So I didn't do it.  

Years after they were "all the rage" I decided to give them a try, and I'll tell you why.  I like to try and make food when I have ZERO ingredients for the food I want to make.  Making cookies is always something I want to do when I have NO FLOUR.  

So I was sifting (baking humor) through my ingredients to see what sort of flour-less cookies I could make when I stumbled upon a bag of almonds.  Now, I'm not going to lie... I could have made my life WAY easier by buying almond meal and superfine sugar, but what's the fun in that? So I literally ground the almonds down to flour in my food processor and sifted them 3 times, just to make sure. Then I gave my sugar a spin in the processor to make it "supa fine" like me.  

The finished result was an incredibly fragile shell with NO LEGS.  Legs on a 'ron is the non-smooth area at the base of the cookie.  Where it rises. You want legs...

Instead, mine rose in cracks all over the place, but once it's in your mouth, you can't taste the difference.  
Forgive my horrible photography... I try to get creative and it gets bad.

I put some plain ol' frosting in the middle.  Nothing special.  Packed them up for my Aunt Linda's birthday.  

*Word to the wise:  write "fragile" on the box... she reached her hand right in there and crushed the poor macarons.  

French Macarons 
Recipe by THE Martha Stewart
  • Yield Makes 35 macarons


  • For the Macarons

    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • Pinch of cream of tartar
    • 1/4 cup superfine sugar


  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
  4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Cook's Note

Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.

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