macarons

macaroon cookies cover

Don’t these macarons look fabulous? I made them!!! Yes, in keeping with exploring Dallas, my friend and I decided to do a macaron cookie class at Sur la Table. Honestly, macarons are intense, and I don’t think I’ll ever set aside a whole Saturday to make a set of these bad boys, but I will purchase them for what seems like too much money, knowing full-well, it was all worth it not to spend my whole Saturday slaving away. That being said, if my friends called up and said they wanted to make them together, with a bottle of wine perhaps, I could open up a Saturday.

Kam & I

Here’s one of the recipes we made in class and my favorite macaron filling.

Hazelnut Macarons

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 ounces almond flour or meal
  • 1 1/2 ounces hazelnut flour or meal
  • 4 large (4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
  • Wilton brown food clothing

Recipe

Preheat over to 325°, if baking using double-baking sheet cooking method, or pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, if using single baking sheet cooking method.

Prepare the baking sheet with the parchment paper macaron templates – line baking sheets with Silpat silicone mats and top with parchment paper template.

Pulse one third of the powdered sugar and all the almond flour and hazelnut flour in a food processor to form a fine powder. Using a fine-sieve, sift the mixture 2 times onto a medium piece of parchment paper. Using a fine-sieve, sift remaining powdered sugar 2 times. Set aside.

To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, and the mixture is thick, add the cream of tartar, scrape down sides of bowl, add food coloring and increase speed to high, whisking until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form.

To complete the macaronnage step: sift almond flour mixture one-third at a time over the egg white and fold using a large spatula until mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated, check for the correct consistency, as the batter should be nicely firm, have a glossy shine and drip slowly (like lava) from the spatula.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (#12) and pip 1-1/3-inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your fingers when lightly touched.

If using the double baking sheet cooking method, place an empty baking sheet underneath the baking tray with piped macarons.

Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10-15 minutes. If the macarons are still soft inside, lower oven to 300 degrees, cover with aluminum foil and bake for a few more minutes. If the top of the macarons look crinkled, your oven temperature may be too hot.

Allow macarons to cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filing with caramel buttercream!

Macaroon Class

Caramel Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces water
  • 13 ounces sugar
  • 3.5 ounces water (second use, you need both waters at different stages)
  • 2.5 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces egg yolks
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste (optional)
  • 13.5 ounces butter, softened, not cold, not melted

Recipe

In a large saucepan, cook the FIRST WATER and sugar on medium heat, washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and water (to help prevent crystallization) until boiling. Cook to caramel stage, about 320 degrees or honey-colored. Remove saucespan to a large bowl containing cool water and shock bottom of pot in water to stop cooking process. Allow caramel to cool to about 250 degress, then add SECOOND WATER and heavy cream, stirring with a rubber spatula.

Cook mixture over low heat until the mixture is smooth, stir in salt, set aside.

Using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip egg yolks until light and in “ribbon stage” about 2-3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, carefully pour in the hot caramel down the side of the bowl. Continue whipping until mixture has cooled to about 85 degrees. This could take 10 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. Begin adding chunks of butter, incorporating each into the mixture before adding more butter. If the mixture looks too soft, chill in the refrigerator before using.

FIX THIS: If the buttercream looks “broken” like a sauce, try whipping it on high speed for a few minutes. If it doesn’t come together, set a pan of water on the stove and heat to simmering. Place the mixer bowl over the simmering water and whisk until mixture comes back together, making sure to only do it as long as the mixture isn’t melting.

Store in refrigerator until ready to use. To soften before using, whip it by hand with a whisk, or gently rewarm over a pan of simmering water, whisking as you go.

macaroon cookies cover II

I told you they were intense, right? But they’re amazing to eat! Enjoy. Happy week, friends!

3 thoughts on “macarons

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