Not to be confused with macaroons, macarons are delightful french cookies like no other. Originating in Paris over 100 years ago at the famous Ladurée bakery, they have become trendy and popular and are oh so delicious!
1-1/4 c + 2 tbsp + 1-1/2 tsp ground finely almonds (almond flour)
1 c + 1-1/2 tsp icing sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 c + 1-1/2 tsp sugar
Makes about 2 dozen macaronsé
Add 4-1/4 tsp cocoa to the almond and sugar mix
Add 1 oz of melted chocolate to the beaten egg whites before folding in the almonds
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone liner. Ideally have one that has pre-measured circles drawn or draw your own circles on parchment. (Be sure to turn over the parchment so the ink is on the underside) This makes it so much easier to pipe evenly sized cookies which is important for this sandwich type cookie.
Combine the almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse to a fine powder
Sift to ensure there are no lumps and discards any that won’t sift.
In a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks, add a third of the sugar and whip until dissolved. Add another third and whip, add the final third and whip for another minute.
Here’s the tricky part… Carefully fold in the almond mix into the egg whites with a rubber spatula 37 times, taking care to not collapse the whipped egg whites. Believe it or not but 37 seems to be just the right number of folds lol!
Add a few drops of food colouring if desired and again fold carefully. You can also add the food colouring during the initial folding if you prefer.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2″ plain tip. Pipe small rounds about 1/2″ in diameter. Lightly tap or drop the cookie sheet on the counter to get the macarons to spread fully to about 1-1/4″.
Preheat oven to 300°
Let the macarons sit for 10-15 minutes to dry and slightly form a crust.
Bake for 10-15 minutes
Remove from the oven and carefully pour a small amount of water under the parchment. The steam helps to release the macarons from the parchment, just be careful not to put too much water or the cookies will be soggy. Silicone liners tend to work a bit better at preventing the macarons from sticking.
Once fully cooled, pipe a small amount of filling on half of the cookies and then add another to create the sandwich. Chilling the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 12-24 hours blends the flavours and somehow magically makes them taste even better than when fresh baked.
If your macarons crack on top or don’t form a foot properly, it could be a result of uneven oven temps, or how the batter was prepared. They will still taste just as good but it may take a bit of trial and error to get it just right — in the meantime you get to eat all of the duds!