Daring Bakers, October 2009: French Macarons

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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.

 

 

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Macarons are French cookies made with egg whites, almond flour, and sugar and sandwiched with a delicious filling.

For this challenge, we were encouraged to create whatever flavor of macarons we wished. I decided to make chocolate flavored cookies filled with coffee meringue buttercream. It was certainly a winning combination.

“You never make enough of those things,” my sister chided.10-21-09n1

I suspect that I did not make my macarons properly. There was no almond flour in the house, so I attempted to grind the almonds with the powdered sugar. It worked fairly well, but I just couldn’t get the almonds ground fine enough. Also, almond flour is dryer than ground almonds, so the cookies were a bit dense. However, the flavor was wonderful.

These cookies were surprisingly easy to create. Next time I will either grind the almonds more or break down and buy some almond flour. I also think I could make these healthier by using raw sugar that has been processed in a blender or food processor.

Here is a very nice video showing how French Macarons are made.

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French Macarons

Printable Page

Ingredients

For the Macarons:

  • 2 ¼ cups Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar (225 g, 8 oz.)
  • 2 cups Almond flour (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated sugar (25 g , .88 oz.)
  • 5 Egg whites at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, optional for chocolate macarons

For the Meringue Buttercream:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup demerara or white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 teaspoons of coffee extract, espresso, or flavoring of choice

Directions:

For the Macarons:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder (if using), 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 over fold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip. 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 until lightly colored.
7.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack before filling. When the macarons are completely cool, spread with filling of choice and serve.

For the Meringue Buttercream:

1. Place the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and whisk gently and constantly until the egg whites are hot (approximately 140° F) and the sugar is dissolved, 3-4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and whip with a hand mixer until thick and cooled, approximately 5 minutes. Beat in the butter and flavoring and continue beating until smooth and spreadable. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Return buttercream to room temperature and beat with a hand mixer before using.

Yield: 10 dozen.


  1. Meeta says:

    i still think these look truly wonderful. hats of for having a go at these.

  2. Lauren says:

    Wonderful job! Your macs look amazing! I love the flavours you chose – gorgeous photos =D.

  3. Ellie says:

    They look lovely and I bet they taste good too~~

  4. Wonderful job! They look lovely- great flavor choices!

  5. alana says:

    I had similar almond issues… but yours look delicious. fabulous job.

  6. Anne says:

    Where are your feet?

  7. Memoria says:

    Even without the “feet”, I think these macs are beautiful.

    P.S. Has anyone ever told you that look like (a better version) of Renée Zellweger?

  8. Becky says:

    Hey Erica!
    I just love your webpage. I was thinking about your ground almonds not being fine enough? I use my electric coffee grinder to grind things like that. I works so fabulously!!
    Your recipe’s always look so super yummy!!

  9. Hannah says:

    those look fantastic!

  10. Erica says:

    Becky: So glad to hear that you enjoy my blog! Thanks for the tip about grinding almonds — that would probably do a better job than a food processor.

  11. colleen says:

    I’m sure they are delicious but if you’d pay a little more attention to correct spelling, readers wouldn’t have to wonder if macarons is macaroons or macaroni.

  12. Erica says:

    colleen: Macarons is the correct spelling. If you follow this link, you can read more about French Macarons.

  13. Paula says:

    they look good but are you sure they are the right consistency? They look a bit hard like biscuits- but macarons are suppose to be extremely delicate and soft when you bite into them. Just like the ones at Laduree which are sooo yummy!!

  14. boytoy says:

    Those are NOT macarons. They look like hockey pucks. The French would start another REVOLUTION if they saw these. They would NEVER EAT THEM!!!!!!!!

    SORRY!

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