So being this is my first blog post after leaving my other website behind in the dust (rip wix.com) it just wasn't doing it for me so I've moved on to better things and 3 years of blog post. Cheers to new beginnings! Anyways I've been a little infatuated with French Macarons the last 4 years and I've come to the conclusion that I absolutely cannot afford this habit of mine any longer. So I broke down and finally decided to make these amazing little cookies.
The first time I made these cookies was in 2012. It was actually the first time I had ever seen them. Not sure how I made it my entire life up until that point and not seen or even heard of French Macarons but I did. My first bite and I knew I had to go home and attempt to make these sweet treats. Little did I know my first attempt and my almost last attempt pretty much blew up in my face. That was way before I even knew how to make anything besides cold cereal let alone how to make my eggs whites with stiff peaks. Which by the way is EXTREMELY important and pretty crucial for a French macaron.
My second attempt was pretty good I must say but its definitely not my last attempt. I chose to go with Lavender Macarons with 3 different fillings since my recipe makes quite a few cookies. I made a chocolate ganache, pistachio cream (I even made my own pistachio paste which is super easy!) and honey butter which was just unsalted butter and local raw honey. Now I know most people think Lavender cookies? You can eat lavender? Yes.. Yes you can and actually it makes your whole kitchen smell heavenly. When we lived in Southeast Connecticut about once a week I would make a trip out to a bakery called Zest it is located in Stonington, Connecticut and that where I tried my first Lavender Macaron. It was life changing! So I knew that I wanted to try and make them for myself. Side note: My kids even loved them!
275 g. ground almonds (almond flour)
250 g. confectioners' sugar
6 egg whites + half egg white (separated as indicated in instructions)
210 g. caster sugar
a few drops food coloring or food coloring gel
Piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch round tip (you can also use a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.)
Sift almond flour & confectioners’ sugar together in a bowl to remove any lumps, set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites to a foam (or soft peak stage). Once they are foamy, add a third of the granulated sugar, whip for another minute until sugar is dissolved; add another third of the sugar, whip for another minute; finally add the remainder of the sugar and whip for one more minute. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sifted mixture of almond flour & confectioners’ sugar into the egg whites. Add a few drops of food coloring as desired; keep in mind that the color fades a bit while baking. In a separate small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ egg white until frothy; then add to the final mixture, folding gently to slightly loosen the batter.
Transfer the mixture to the piping bag fitted with the round tip. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe macaron rounds 1 ¼-1 ½ inches. Lightly tap the sheets so the macarons spread fully.
Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Allow the macarons to sit uncovered until they form a thin shell on the outside (so you can lightly touch the macarons without the batter sticking to your fingers). This will take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour on very humid days. Bake for 15-17 minutes until they form a slight crust.
Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Remove carefully & sandwich your favorite jam, frosting, or filling between two cookies—a little filling goes a long way. These should be stored covered in the refrigerator. If you can practice enough self-control, wait to eat these until they’ve spent the night in the fridge. I don’t know what it is, but something magical happens to these bad boys overnight & they taste twice as good the next day!
Let me know how yours turn out and what flavors you use! I am already deciding on my next cookie flavor.
xoxo Alexa Pettengill