What I have learned about macarons– pronounced like macaroni and very different from macaroons. Which, are also a lovely treat. Maybe I will make those soon, too.
It took several attempts to get them just right… I will do my best to explain it in my terms-which may or may not be easier.
This particular little threesome was an experiment for me- you see, traditionally macarons are made with almonds. These gems in particular, I made with macadamia nuts. The result? mmmm….ahhh…ooo.
So, feel free to experiment with other types of nuts-unless those nuts are family members, of course. 🙂
First of all, you need egg whites. AGED egg whites. Why? I don’t know… I need to google that one day. Maybe because they will fluff better? Hmmm, I don’t know. To “age” egg whites you simply put them in a container that is loosely covered for 48hrs or up to 5 days. (yes, at room temperature)
Second, you NEED pastry bags. You can get the disposable ones at craft stores. They are awesome. Anyone that tells you that plastic bags do the same job…run from. Seriously. No comparison. Forks and sporks, ya know.
and third, you need a food processor… you want to have the finest texture possible with the nut meal and sugar. Okay… got it? Let’s begin.
3 egg whites
5 tbs granulated sugar
6 oz ground nuts (traditionally almond is used) *don’t grind them without the powdered sugar
8 oz powdered sugar
Place the nuts and powdered sugar in a food processor, and pulse until you reach a fine consistency.Now,
place your “old” egg whites(3 of them) into your trusty mixer mix at high speed until foamy (bubble bath)
gradually add 5 tbs of granulated sugar, and continue to beat until you reach a glossy stiff peak. What the #$@& does that mean??!!! That’s what I thought. Best explanation that helped me? Shaving cream consistency.
Fold the two together…this part is tricky… sort of. You want to mix it enough but not too much. Mix it (by hand with a spatula) until it drips off like runny oatmeal.
Now, filling your pastry bag. Best trick? This:
place your bag in a nice tall glass or cup. Ta-daaa!
When it’s filled, cut off the pointed end just enough so that the hole will be the diameter of a sharpie marker.
Now, I fold over and close my open end of my bag with a clothespin- because it can get messy.
Pipe out vanilla-wafer sized circles onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Like this:
Now, just go chill… that’s right. Walk away. Do dishes. Read. Pick up dog poop. Paint your toes…or your dog’s toes. Why? Because these babies need to get their skins. What’s that? When you touch em- it feels like they have skin. Takes about an hour.
After that pop em in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. Maybe 11. Allow to cool before removing. If all goes right they will have little “feet” like this:
As for fillings? The possibilities are ENDLESS! I have used chocolate ganache ,a jam and cream cheese filling, lemon butter-cream, and also a white-chocolate ganache.
My hubby’s fav is a mixture of strawberry jam (2 tbs) 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 c powdered sugar mmm.
my favorite? White chocolate almond ganache
now, I am not a pro by any means… but I sure am having fun trying. 😉