12 Days of Christmas Cookies: French Macarons

12 Days of Christmas Cookies | Just Rhonda

A few years ago I started making Macrons. They are a finicky cookie that can be changed easily color and taste with a little food coloring and flavoring. But I started making them at Christmas time as a neighborhood gift. I love how fancy they look and I love the airy almond taste of them.

Christmas Cookies: French Macarons | Just Rhonda

I’ve try a few different recipes (like this one) but I’ve settled on this one. I like it best. It only has 4 ingredients, unless you want to add food coloring or a flavor.

Christmas Cookies: French Macarons | Just Rhonda

I’ve learned a few tips from all the times I’ve made them. I’m sure there are more to learn, but these are the few I’ve learned.

  1. Leave the egg whites in a bowl in your fridge for 24 hours before baking and then set them on the counter to come to room temperature before using.
  2. When you pipe them, hold your piping bag straight up and down from your pan and don’t lift it until the very end of the cookie.
  3. To know if your egg whites are mixed enough, you slowly raise the whisk the meringue is straight up, no  drooping, called a ‘beak’ but do not over mix the meringue or it will ‘break’
  4. After you have piped them, if you have a bump on the top, wet down your finger and touch the top to flatten it.
  5. Let the cookies sit on the counter before cooking them.
  6. Let them cool before trying to peel them off the parchment paper.

Christmas Cookies: French Macarons | Just Rhonda

French Macarons

Ingredients

  • 100 grams of ground almonds
  • 180 grams of icing sugar
  • 100 g of egg whites
  • 35 g of granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place ground almonds in a medium bowl and Sift icing sugar on top bowl.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
  4. Gradually add the granulated sugar, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue just holds stiff peaks.
  5. Then, in three additions, sift the ground almond/sugar mixture over the meringue.
  6. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  7. Once the almond mixture is completely folded into the meringue, pipe the Macarons.
  8. Fill a pastry bag with about half the batter.
  9. Pipe about 1 - 1 1/2 inch (3 - 4 cm) rounds onto the parchment paper.
  10. Then gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles.
  11. Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky.
  12. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 325 degree F (160 degree C) with the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven.
  13. Bake the cookies (two sheets at a time) for about 14 - 16 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom, front to back, about halfway through baking.
  14. The Macarons are done when you can just barely separate the cookies from the parchment paper
  15. Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
  16. To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with your filling (place filling on flat side of cookie).
  17. Popular choices are a Swiss buttercream frosting, lemon curd, chocolate ganache, jam, or dulce de leche.
  18. While you can serve the Macarons the day they are made, these cookies really need to mature for a day or two in the refrigerator.
  19. Best served at room temperature.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/frenchmacarons/MacaronsRecipe.html#ixzz3tYaFoNZ8

http://rhondasteed.com/french-macarons

Joy of Baking totally has a GREAT video that shows her making them and there were lots of things I learned while watching it.
Christmas Cookies: French Macarons | Just Rhonda

The blue ones I made for a mom who placed an order for her child’s baptism. They are coconut flavored but the blue matched the decor 😉 To make them coconut I just added some coconut flavoring to the icing. The white are just regular almond.

Such a fun little treat. I like making them more and more to get better at them and I love sharing them with others at Christmas time!

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