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Monday, August 20, 2012

French Macaroons

This is my first attempt at making French Macaroons.  I bought a book.  My friend Scarlet has spent the last two years perfecting her recipe.  Apparently they are easy to make but hard to perfect.

3/4 cup Almond Flour or Almond Meal.
1 cup Powdered Sugar or Confectioners sugar
Put this in a food processor and blend for 15+ seconds.  Sift into a separate container.  It needs to be a really fine powder.  Throw out (or eat) the larger almond-sugar pellets.

2 egg whites at room temperature.  Beat until they form soft peaks.
1/4 cup superfine sugar.
I guess this means regular sugar, but I bought ultra superfine sugar just in case.  The granules are smaller than regular sugar.  Add 1 Tbs at a time to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
Beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla or other flavoring or colors.

Fold in 1/3 of almond-sugar powder into egg whites.  Repeat 1/3, repeat 1/3 until all the almond-sugar is folded into the egg white mixture.  The dough is thick and pasty at this point.  Stuff it into a piping bag and pipe out 25 - 30+ small circles onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Let the cookies sit for 30 min at room temperature to set. While waiting, heat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake on two baking sheet trays for 10 - 15 min.  Let cool for 10 min.

Vanilla Butter Cream Filling
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

When cookies are cool completely, fill with buttercream and stick two of them together.  Makes about 16 cookies.

I made too much filling.  I need to only make half or a quarter next time.  I ate the rest.  I could not stop myself.  I love you sugar-butter.  They were not perfect, too crunchy and hollow on the inside and not nearly up to Scarlet's standards, but J and I loved them and ate them all in one sitting.  I am definitely going to try this one again.