Hello blog world, I am so happy to finally be a part of you! This is my first post EVER and I am so excited to see where this will take me. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. My love for macarons started in Paris, France at the oh-so-famous Ladurée and when I say “love” I really mean “obsession.” So, I thought it be more than appropriate for my FIRST post to about my FIRST time making macarons and the recipe that I used. In all honesty, they were to die for , it would be blasphemy for me not to share!
Yield: 35 sandwich cookies
- 7 oz. confection sugar, sifted
- 4 oz. almond flour or meal (you can make this if you have a coffee grinder)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large (5 ounces) egg whites, room temperature (the eggs need to be a 2+ days old)
- 3-1/2 oz. granulated sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Brown gel food coloring, optional (DO NOT use liquid)
Preheat oven to 325ºF
Mix the confection sugar, almond flour and spices. Sift the mixture multiple times until fine. Set aside.
The Meringue: In a stand mixer, fixed with a wire whisk, whisk egg whites on medium speed until a “soft peak” forms. Gradually add the granulated sugar and whisk for 10 seconds. (Note: I always add in thirds, so this should take about 30 seconds.) Add the cream of tartar and food coloring. Increase the speed to high until a stiff, glossy peak forms. (Stiff peak= when you pick up the wire whisk it is a thick and stuck to the whisk.)
To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time over the egg white mixture and FOLD using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. (Note: It should have the consistency of thick lava.)
Transfer the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip and pipe 1-1/3 inch round on parchment-lined baking sheets. (Note: Make sure when you pipe the batter you are holding the bag at a 90º angle.)
Firmly tap the baking sheet on a hard surface to get rid of air bubbles. Let stand at room temp. for 30-45 minutes. They are ready to be placed in the oven when a slight crust is formed, in other words, you should be able to lightly tap the top of the macarons and have nothing stuck to your finger.
Bake each sheet one at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, this should take about 12-15 minutes. If the macarons are still soft, lower the temp to 300ºF and cover with aluminum foil.
Lastly, let the macarons cool and transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool before placing the filling.
Yield: ~3 cups
- 2 large (2-1/2 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons (6ounces) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (you can find this at Sur La Table)
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a double boiler, place the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over the boiling water and whisk until sugar dissolves. The temperature needs to be at 141º F.
Remove the bowl from the heat and place it into a stand mixer with metal whisk, Whisk on med-high speed for 5 minutes. Next, for 2 minutes whisk on high until a stiff peak forms. Reduce the speed back to medium and add the butter, slowly, until it is all thoroughly incorporated. Lastly return to high speed for 1 minute until fluffy.
On low speed, add the orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla bean paste until it is completely incorporated into the mixture. (Note: Use buttercream immediately or cover and place in the fridge. If you refrigerate, make sure it is at room temperature before using. You can do this by beating the buttercream at low speed, the consistency needs to be smooth.)
FINALLY, using a small spatula, or even a pastry bag, spread the buttercream between two gingerbread macarons.