Sunday, April 15, 2012


After seeing so many pictures of Macarons and thinking, "I wish I could do that!", I finally decided to take on the task. I mostly followed a recipe from Annie over at Annie's Eats, after looking at some great tutorials from Helene of Tartelette. For those who do not know what a Macaron {pronounced Mac-uh-rhon} is, the world literally  means "button" in French, and that's exactly what they look like...little buttons! These are very different from the American counterpart, the Macaroon, which is very sugary and often made with coconut. These are light, crisp, airy cookies filled with any filling of your choice - chocolate, which chocolate, or espresso ganache; any flavor buttercream; etc.... if you can dream it up, you can make it! You can make any flavor combination you choose in any color, as long as you follow a few simple steps that can be found in the searches listed at the bottom of this post or any ol' Google search.

For my first attempt, I was quite pleased with the outcome! I shared them with The Yosh, my mom, and my sister and brother-in-law and everyone raved. Below are some pictures of the process in case you want to embark upon this culinary adventure too!



Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Filling
Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

For the macarons:
110 gm almond meal (or whole almonds, plain, in food processor)
200 gm confectioners’ sugar
100 gm egg whites (from about 3 eggs), aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
50 gm granulated sugar

For the ganache:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

If using whole almonds instead of almond meal, pulse the almonds in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground.  Add the confectioners' sugar to the food processor and process until blended.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy (think bubblebath).  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth, shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms (think shaving cream).  Add the ground almond mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.  

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip.  Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.  

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.  

While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache.  Combine the cream, butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.  Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk gently in small circular motions until the ganache forms.  Let the mixture cool until it is thick enough to pipe.  (To speed chilling, transfer the bowl to the freezer or refrigerator and let cool, stirring every 10 minutes, until thickened.)

Once the cookies are totally cooled, match them up by size.  Pipe a layer of ganache onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the filling to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.

{For more tutorials, please see the following: Helene of Tartelette visits Pioneer Woman's ranch (see especially the link for Helene's "Demystifying Macarons" article which may only open once on your computer, as is the problem for me), Annie's beautiful step-by-step photos, and peruse the Tartelette blog for many more recipes and pictures.}

Good luck! I hope your family, friends, and coworkers enjoy them as much as mine did!!


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