High on the successes of my strawberry pie, I decided to tackle the pastry du jour, macarons. You can bake a pie, you can make a macaron, right?
Wrong. Macarons are on a WHOLE other level, and you probably already knew this. I even knew this in the back of my head but I was filled with an inflated self-confidence following my pie so this is what happened. I bought a food processor (the Ninja is a little miracle worker, I highly recommend it. Plus it has an awesome name), I also bought myself a hand mixer, almonds, almond extract, food coloring (I went with pink on the outside and lavender on the inside!). One thing I did not buy: parchment paper. Parchment paper is what will keep your macarons from sticking to the pan, so mine stuck to the pan. They were near impossible to scrape off the pan still looking cute, but here is one example of a cute one! Now, I hesitate to connect these results with a recipe, because I really did not do it justice. But as you can see from Jess's results, the fault was in my execution and not in the recipe. I skipped the orange zest and went with a buttercream filling (instead of marmalade). I also may or may not have added an extra egg white by accident. And my version of "folding" turns out to have been ALL wrong.
But having said all of that, these macaron-alikes were DELICIOUS. They tasted just right. I've had fancy store-bought macarons and yunno what? These were just as good. They just didn't have that aesthetic appeal.. which let's be honest is 90% of the attraction with these oh-so-cute pastel-colored morsels. Possibly the cutest thing we've ever seen on a plate, right? I'm gonna work on that.
Get the recipe (with my alterations) after the jump!
Gluten-free recipe courtesy of Forgiving Martha:
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups almond flour (I used my Ninja food processor to grind the almonds into a fine powder)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
- Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
- Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. Add zest and almond extract to the batter. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip.
- Pipe one-inch-sized mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
- Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F. Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
- Cool on a rack before filling.
As I said in my last food post, (which was my first):
If I can do it, you can do it!