The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
It seems like such an easy cookie with few ingredients, but the French Macaron is an art! What makes it such an art is getting the infamous “feet” at the base of the cookie. My friend Barbara gave me a few tips that helped me achieve my success.
- Age your egg whites. Set them out on the counter, loosely covered for 3 days.
- Beat your egg whites till stiff and hold a peak.
- Sift your almond flour. ( I forgot to do this!)
- Weigh your ingredients.
- Use double pans stacked on each other. (I used airbake pans)
- Use this template
And I’ll add another tip.
6. Use a Silpat liner so your cookies wont stick. I used one pan lined with wax paper, and every single cookie stuck to it. They came off the Silpat liner with no problem. I love my Silpat.
I must say, this is an addicting little cookie. With a lot of room for improvement, I cant wait to give it another try. The flavors could be endless. With a little love, patience, and practice, I think I could master this macaron!
Look at those “Feet”!
Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). 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.
2. 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.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). 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.
These cookies were sandwiched with Nutella Hazelnut Spread. I also added 2 Tablespoons of cocoa to the cookie batter.