Makin’ Macarons(A First and Hopefully Successful Attempt)


Macarons in a variety of colours.

Image via Wikipedia

Approximately one week ago, I wore capri shorts to school. Today school was canceled because it is snowing polar bears and penguins. I have been wanting to make macarons for some time now and after I tried my first one yesterday, I knew that the time to make them was now. I had to work around a few problems before I could make them, however. The first setback was that we did not have any ground almonds/almond flour. I first ground them in our food processor then spent half an hour trying to grind them through a sifter. Another thing that I do not do well with in the culinary world is whipping and folding egg whites. I really hope that I did get them to the right consistency. Once I did that, I had to pipe bunches of little evenish circles which turned out pretty well, but then they were too close together and now some of the macarons are touching. Right now, they are developing their skin and should be ready soon. I just made plain vanilla flavored macarons, but so they wouldn’t be blah, I added some green food coloring which gave them an interesting hue(I am now slightly regretting doing this). The recipe that I used is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. I was happy to find that recipe because most of the recipes that I had found on fellow food blogger’s websites were all in metric, this one is not. Her recipe, though, did not mention letting the macaron develop a skin, but I have read that this is a crucial part in having them turn out right and to have the all-powerful feet. I will post pictures later whether they turn out or not(so be prepared for carnage).

Edit: Well, I just looked in the oven and this was a fail! They are all cracked and collapsed(not anything like the picture above). If anyone has made macarons before, please tell me what I did wrong.

~thechildcooks

French Almond Macarons

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 cups(4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground or almond flour

3 large egg whites

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Food Coloring(optional)

Filling(Frosting, jam, jelly etc.)

Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter dipped in flour(I drew circles with marker then flipped the paper over).

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 large bowl.

Add food coloring, 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 to eliminate any air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheets.

Let sit for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20  minutes turn the oven on to 300F and set timer for 10 minutes(or until your oven heats up). By this time your macarons should have developed a skin. Bake, 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Macarons will be able to be lifted off the sheet and bottoms will feel dry. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer parchment and macarons to cooling racks until completely cool. Using a small spatula, carefully remove macarons from parchment. Fill with 2 teaspoons of desired filling sandwiched between 2 cookies. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for up to 2 days.

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