12 Days of Christmas Cookies: French Macarons
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’
- After you have piped them, if you have a bump on the top, wet down your finger and touch the top to flatten it.
- Let the cookies sit on the counter before cooking them.
- Let them cool before trying to peel them off the parchment paper.
- 100 grams of ground almonds
- 180 grams of icing sugar
- 100 g of egg whites
- 35 g of granulated sugar
- Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place ground almonds in a medium bowl and Sift icing sugar on top bowl.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Gradually add the granulated sugar, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue just holds stiff peaks.
- Then, in three additions, sift the ground almond/sugar mixture over the meringue.
- When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Once the almond mixture is completely folded into the meringue, pipe the Macarons.
- Fill a pastry bag with about half the batter.
- Pipe about 1 - 1 1/2 inch (3 - 4 cm) rounds onto the parchment paper.
- Then gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles.
- Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 325 degree F (160 degree C) with the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven.
- 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.
- The Macarons are done when you can just barely separate the cookies from the parchment paper
- Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
- To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with your filling (place filling on flat side of cookie).
- Popular choices are a Swiss buttercream frosting, lemon curd, chocolate ganache, jam, or dulce de leche.
- 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.
- Best served at room temperature.
Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/frenchmacarons/MacaronsRecipe.html#ixzz3tYaFoNZ8
Joy of Baking totally has a GREAT video that shows her making them and there were lots of things I learned while watching it.
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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