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Revisiting Macarons

I love macarons. Next to red velvet cake, they are probably my favorite dessert. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I LOVE macarons. Now, if you haven’t attempted to make these, you should know, they are not easy. So much can go wrong so easily, and it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint

I love macarons. Next to red velvet cake, they are probably my favorite dessert. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I LOVE macarons. Now, if you haven’t attempted to make these, you should know, they are not easy. So much can go wrong so easily, and it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint what exactly didn’t go to plan. I usually bat around .500 when I attempt to make them. I usually attempt a few batches, get frustrated and give up for a while, before attempting them again. I’ve been feeling the itch again, so I’ve been searching for more recipes again.

This is the newest recipe that I am going to try, so we’ll see how it goes. Here is my biggest insider tip though: WEIGH, don’t measure. Trust me; it makes a huge difference.

Ingredients:
– 65 grams – almond flour
– 65 grams – powdered sugar
– 45 grams – castor sugar (aka extra fine granulated sugar)
– 50 grams – AGED egg whites (app. 2 medium egg whites)*
– 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
– GEL Color of your choice (DO NOT use liquid color)

What you will need:
– electronic scale
– 2 very clean and dry mixing bowls absolutely free of oil or water – preferably NOT plastic. I usually wipe my bowls down with a little white vinegar to make sure they are clean.
– a hand or stand mixer
– a sifter
– a flexible spatula
– a piping bag
– a round piping tip
– a good quality baking pan
– template with macaron outline
– oven thermometer
– parchment paper or Silpat mat – DO NOT use wax paper
– dehumidifier or make in a dry environment with low humidity

Directions:

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Keep beating and slowly add the sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the gel color just before you get to stiff peaks.

Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour over the egg whites. Fold the dry mixture into the egg whites, giving the bowl a quarter turn every third fold. Mix until the batter reaches a lava-like consistency. Do not over mix!

Working quickly, put the batter into a piping bag.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (Tip: use a little batter to “glue” down the edges of the parchment paper so it stays put). In a circular motion, pipe 1½-inch dollops onto the baking sheet. Lift the baking sheet and gently tap on the counter to settle the batter. Let the cookies rest for 1 hour, until they are no longer wet to the touch and a skin forms on top.

Preheat the oven to 285ºF.

When the cookies are dry to the touch, bake for 13-15 minutes, until they have risen. Let them cool for 10 minutes. To fill, pipe a circle of whatever filling you would like in the middle. Sandwich with another cookie. Macarons are best kept refrigerated until serving.
* Aging egg whites for macarons is an important step. Separate the eggs, place the whites in a clean glass, cover with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in and let them hang out in the fridge for a few days before using. This will dehydrate them and make them perfect for macarons. This step isn’t a must do but a bunch of little things can add up to a big difference when making these cookies. 

Cream Cheese Filling:
– 300 grams (~5 1/2 ounces) cream cheese room temperature
– 150 grams (~5 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
– 250 grams (~2 cups) powdered sugar
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon milk

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on low speed until smooth. Dice the butter and add to the cream cheese. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. If too thick, slowly drizzle in milk until pipe-able. Transfer the cream cheese filling into a bag pipe onto cooled cookies.

Again, I’m not going to lie; this isn’t an easy recipe, but totally worth the results. After you give this a shot, you’ll realize why these tasty little cookies tend to be on the more expensive end!

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