Last month, my family and I took a day trip to NYC and decided to visit The Macaron Cafe and try some french macarons for the first time. We loved them, and Lil Diva in particular, thought they were the best treat she has ever had. So much, that she asked me if she can have them for her birthday party next month.
In doing the math I realized, this will be one pricey birthday party if we were to purchase the macarons for her all her guests, so I decided to take a look and see if I can find a recipe in order to make it myself. I mean, how difficult can it be to make these pint size delicacies?
Answer? It is not as easy as it looks!
My first difficulty was locating a place that sells almond flour. None of my local markets seemed to have it. But after further investigation I discovered it is sold at my local health food store. A 16oz bag set me back $11.49. And because of it's relatively short shelf life (one month), at that price, it is no wonder the markets don't carry it.
Now I was armed with all the ingredients necessary to bake macarons for the first time. I mix all my ingredients while listening to a constant array of questions and commentaries about Lil Man's day. I set up my macarons on the baking sheets, wait the 15 minutes before placing them in the oven, and once the baking time was over I was greeted with.....
I felt a tad bit defeated. Where did I go wrong? Well upon immediate inspection of the recipe I realized....goodness...you don't mix all the ingredients at once! Almond flour and confectioner's sugar is mixed in one bowl, while the egg whites & salt is mixed in a separate bowl to a froth and then slowly add granulated sugar till it peaks like meringue..... That is what I get when I don't pay attention and have a little chatterbox buzzing in my ear!
I set out to try again the following morning. I followed the directions to the T, and VOILA! Raspberry Macarons! Delicious!
I followed the recipe below which I found on the Martha Stewart website and that "Was a Good Thing". I tweaked it by adding pink food coloring to the mixture at the end of step one. I also saved a little time by using Polaner All Fruit Raspberry Spread for the filling. I'd love to hear if anyone makes their own variation of macarons!
Parisian Macarons (makes 16)
- 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Macaron Filling
- To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
- Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
- To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Variations: To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaron filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macarons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macarons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaron filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.
recipe found on MarthaStewart.com