August 6, 2009

French Macaroons- Baked, Displayed and Enjoyed

If you are one of my past or present clients, you probably know about and share my passion for french macaroons. They are oh so pleasantly sweet and chewy yet crispy on the outside. They can be boxed, stacked or displayed in beautiful glass apothecary jars. Equally suited to accompany a full on wedding feast as they are a morning cup of coffee We've moved! Please visit Ariel Yve Designs  to savor the rest of this post.





Unlike the heavy coconut based macaroons that Americans have grown accustomed to, French macaroons are made using finely ground almonds and meringue...resulting in a lighter crispier cookie.


Stacked, macaroons make a chic and tasty alternative to the traditional wedding cake.
Now back to what you came for...the recipe...which looks long on complicated...but it's really not too bad. At $2.00-$3.00 a pop retail, this recipe is worth giving it a try.
French Almond Macaroons (via Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS


Macaroons
• 1-3/4 cup confectioner
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• all-purpose flour, for dipping
• 1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
• 3 large eggs
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream (increase vanilla to 2-1/2 teaspoons
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling

• 4 large egg whites
• 3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
• 1-1/4 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



DIRECTIONS

Macaroons
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Sift confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats (such as Silpats), and mark circles using a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg-white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula fold until just incorporated. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.
Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as an Ateco #806). Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheet.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small offset spatula, carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on the flat sides of the half of macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160ºF).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
Courtesy of Pure Pastries

VARIATIONS
Flavor/Color
Follow instructions for French Almond Macaroons, adding 4 drops of red food coloring to the egg whites just before you add the sugar-almond mixture (batter will be pink). For the filling, substitute the Vanilla extract with strawberry extract (add extract after butter has been incorporated). Proceed with the recipe. Of course if you prefer a different flavor or color, you can apply this concept to suit your taste.
Filing
A couple of alternatives to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream are, thickened fruit preserves, fine melted chocolate, Nutella, peanut butter etc.

18 comments:

  1. the colors are so pretty for a wedding favor!

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  2. I have been looking for a recipe for macaroons. This one is great!!!

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  3. Love this. Thank you for posting your macaroon recipe!

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  4. I have heard these are the very devil to make. But perhaps that's an exaggeration. Anyone trying this, I would love to hear about it!

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  5. Thanks so much for posting this great recipe!!
    :D

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  6. Hi Ariel Yve thanks for the nice post.I was looking for some nice food to prepare in my easter holidays cyprus

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  7. this is martha stewarts recipe!

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  8. Yes, exactly...that is what I specified in the post. Gotta love Martha!

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  9. I've just made a batch of these beauties and I must say, I recommend going with the almond flour to get that extra delicate cookie. The recipe was lovely and my family is enjoying ones filled with the swiss butter cream, apricot preserves, and nutella.

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  10. I tried making it twice but i had difficulty removing the macaroons once they have been baked. They taste good but they stick to the non-stick tray and the baking sheet so when i try to take them off, they break or the paper will be stuck to the base. How do you do it?

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  11. If the silpats and parchment didn't work alone, you can try lighty greasing your pan (note, you will likely get browning if you do this). You can also try removing the cookies from the pan when they're slightly warm (not hot, not cold),

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  12. Sorry I have a silly question. By 'confectioner' are you referring to confectioners sugar? I have the feeling you are but wanted to be sure :)
    Thanks so much I've been searching for a macaroon recipe a long time and am very excited to find this one!!! :)

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  13. Made these with my daughters n they turned out perfect. Crispy on the outside n chewy on the inside. I was worried about the amount of sugar because I don't like very sweet desserts but these were absolutely delicious. Worth making!

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  14. Ib and Garry foreverNovember 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    OMG, it's Garry's favorite snack! P.s., if u don't know what I mean, it's a kick butt computer game, and one of the characters just absolutely adores these things. Awesome! Thnx for the recipe

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