french macarons, oui oui!

i am sick of cupcakes! i make them for every occasion and i feel like they’ve “jumped the shark”. i know they’re adorable and delicious; especially my recipe, but i was looking for something a little more “grown up” to make for my friend corey’s birthday. he’s quite the trendsetter, so i needed something that would be the pastry equivalent of a prada shirt. i can’t afford to buy him a prada shirt nor would i feel comfortable picking out clothes for this man (he can dress me under the table). i started to search for recipes and came across pictures of french macarons. they were so beautiful and elegant and i knew i hit the jackpot. the recipes were pretty intimidating though. i’m completely self-taught when it comes to pastry so i’m not as confident going in as i am with culinary recipes. after a few tries, i think i came up with a solid recipe that i can proudly pass along to you. they are really fun to make too…

french macarons (makes about 60 cookies or 30 sandwiches)

basic macaron batter

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup powdered almonds (about 4 ounces slivered blanched almonds, pulverized in a food processor)
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar

*2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
*red food coloring
*yellow food coloring

chocolate ganache filling

1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
*1 tablespoon raspberry extract

combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on med-low until the chocolate is melted. set aside and let cool to room temperature. *(i divided my ganache into 2 bowls and added the raspberry extract to one).

preheat oven to 375 degrees

line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag (or a gallon size freezer bag) with a medium sized plain tip ready. (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone)

in a food processor, grind the almonds to a fine powder and then push the powder through a mesh strainer. (this step really makes a difference in the batter’s consistency)

in the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
carefully fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag. *(at this point, i divided the batter into 3 different bowls and gently folded in the cocoa powder into one bowl and the food colorings to the others).
pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in one inch circles (about 1 tablespoon of batter) spaced one inch apart.
let the macarons sit for 20 minutes and then bake them for 12-15 minutes. (this step is really important if you want your macarons to have a nice flat top) let the pan cool completely on a rack and then remove the macarons from baking sheet.
spread a little of the ganache on one macaron and sandwich together. if you’re serving your macarons today, leave them out on a pretty plate. if you plan to serve them later, store them in an airtight container.

not all of my macarons came out perfect, but they all tasted fantastic. you can play around with different fillings and colors (a smear of raspberry or apricot jam would be lovely) and help me make these little confections the new cupcake!

About jentarantino

i went to culinary school back in the mid 90's where i soon discovered that most of my favorite things to eat begin with celery, carrots and onions; or at the very least, one of the three. i cooked professionally for a very short time, but never stopped being a "home cook". i used the skills i acquired in school to teach myself to bake and kept up on food trends by becoming addicted to cooking shows and food magazines. i will eventually open my own soup shop, but until that happens, this blog will be my culinary outlet. i hope it inspires you to... stand lovingly over a simmering pot, wait anxiously for rising bread dough, frost cupcakes with care, marinate, brine, and most importantly... make it yourself!
This entry was posted in desserts, recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to french macarons, oui oui!

  1. these look so cute…

  2. corey says:

    These are couture, not your typical RTW.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s