French Macarons

French Macarons. As addictive and delicious as they look.

French Macarons. As addictive and delicious as they look.

Am I the only person who watches TLC?  You know, that channel that pits brides against each other to compete for the best wedding, and features catty wedding parties as they go shopping for dresses at these adorable little boutiques with sassy-as-heck consultants.  No?  Good.  Because that channel is so my guilty pleasure TV.  Add in some David Tutera and you have the makings of a wonderful night of television.  All of those junky shows, however, had me completely freaked out about bridesmaid dress shopping.  What if it was as drama-ridden as Monte makes it out to be?  Fortunately for me, I have the world’s most down to earth bridesmaids, and dress shopping was a breeze.  But in case it wasn’t, I made sure I had a snack waiting for me when I got home.

Ah, macarons.  With one o, not two.  When you use two o’s, you end up with strange little coconut cookies.  With one o, you get these delicate almond meringues.  And when you put chocolate ganache in the middle?  Holy cow.  They are addictive.  Seriously, I had  good 40-50 sandwiches from this recipe.  And they were gone within about 12 hours.  Now, my dessert-addicted fiance probably had something to do with that.  But in all fairness, we all contributed to the demise of these bite-sized pieces of happiness.

The look fancy, and honestly I was a little bit intimidated when I started.  But they are way easier than they look, and serve as a great way to impress your friends!

French Macarons

Adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com/318387/french-macaroons

Ingredients

How to make macarons!

How to make macarons!

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and almond flour until combined.  Sift the mixture into a bowl, discarding anything that won’t go through the sifter.
  3. With the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Reduce speed to low and add sugar.  Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into the egg whites, and fold mixture (don’t stir, you’ll crush the eggs!) until the mixture is smooth and shiney.
  5. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a ½ inch round tip.  Pipe ¾ inch swirls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  After it’s piped tap the sheet on the counter to get rid of any excess air bubbles.  Let the piped cookies stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and place the cookies in immediately (yes the oven temperature will drop as they’re cooking, that’s the whole point).  Bake for about ten minutes, until macarons are crisp and firm, rotating halfway through.  After each batch, increase the oven temperature to 375 and then reduce before baking more.
  6. Upon removing macarons from oven, let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Be careful, though; if your cooling rack is like mine, the cookies might fall through the slots.
  7. Let cool completely, then sandwich with filling of choice.

 

Sandwiching ganache.

Sandwiching ganache.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

Ingredients

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3.5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp softened butter
  1. Bring cream to a boil over medium high heat.  Pour cream over chocolate chips, and let stand for 2 minutes.  Add butter and stir mixture until smooth.  Let cool, stirring often.  Use immediately.
  2. To fill, I used two teaspoons and just plopped some ganache on upside-down cookies.  I then sandwiched them together.  Martha Stewart says you can make them in advance, and that they hold well in the freezer.  I wouldn’t know.  Mine were all gone within twelve hours.
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