Lynda’s First Attempt (and a successful one!) Making French Macarons

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Trader Joe’s standing in the aisle where the Speculoo’s cookie butter is located, and one shelf higher, there were bags of almond meal.  I had previously been researching how to make French Macarons, and almond meal is the main ingredient…so of course my brain immediately connects the two, and I have to purchase a bag and try to make them myself with some cookie butter as the filling!

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal

2 cups powdered sugar

3 egg whites at room temperature

¼ cup white sugar

A dash of cream of tartar

A dash of salt

Speculoo’s Cookie Butter

I followed the directions from this You Tube video.  I think it really helped in the process of me getting it right the first time.

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In the video, Beth mentioned 6 integral tips to making sure your macarons turn out:

  1. Be sure to sift your powdered sugar and almond meal through a sieve!
  2. Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature.
  3. Add more food coloring than you think you’ll need, because it does fade during the baking process.
  4. When you mix your powdered sugar/almond meal mixture into your egg whites, don’t over mix, and don’t undermix, or else your cookie won’t turn out properly.
  5. Once you pipe your macaron mixture onto the parchment paper, bang them on the counter to get out any excess air bubbles.
  6. After banging your baking sheets to remove excess air bubbles, leave them sit out for around 30 minutes before you place them in the oven.

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Here was my process (and yours too if you attempt to make them at home!):

  1. Mix almond meal and powdered sugar in a bowl and sift through a sieve with a spoon.  [After I did this, I set this mixture aside to start on the daunting task of making stiff peaks with my egg whites.]2014-07-06 16.10.34
  2. [Before I started making these, I did let my 3 eggs sit on the counter for an hour so they could reach room temperature.]  In an empty clean bowl, add three room temperature egg whites.  You want to make sure that you don’t add any yolk!!!2014-07-06 16.17.37
  3. [Now comes the beating of the eggs.  I don’t have a fancy stand mixer so I used my trusty little hand held mixer].  Add a pinch of salt and cream of tartar to egg whites and starting mixing.  [The cream of tartar is important in getting your stiff peaks faster, however, you don’t have to use it…it will just take longer to beat your eggs if you don’t.]2014-07-06 16.34.46
  4. Once you have stiff peaked eggs [yay, a mini workout while baking!], add white sugar and continue mixing until the sugar is integrated.
  5. Now comes the part where you fold your powdered sugar/almond meal mixture into your meringue.  According to Beth on the video, you don’t want to see ridges anymore, but you also want it to be viscous enough to run off of your spatula like molten lava.  That’s what I aimed for.  [Side note: after this step, I was feeling pretty defeated, like I messed something up somewhere, even though I didn’t, which lead to me not really trying my best through the next step]
  6. Pipe your meringue onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet in 1 inch globs.  [At this point, I got kinda lazy and instead of hunting down my pastry bags, I decided to just use a plastic sandwich bag to pipe my batter onto the parchment paper.  I read that it works really well if you draw circles onto the backside of your parchment paper before you pipe, so you get perfectly even cookies, but yet again, I was lazy about it, so I eye-balled this step.]2014-07-06 17.27.23
  7. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Bang cookie sheets onto the counter to let out all the air bubbles.  [I did this and scared my dog out of the kitchen in the process.]  Then let them sit.  For 30 minutes, like the video said.
  9. Place in oven and let bake for 20 minutes.  Don’t open the oven to peek, or it will disrupt the air flow…macarons are finicky, so one wrong move and they could be ruined! [This was very hard for me, being the impatient person that I am, but I didn’t peek!]2014-07-06 18.12.38
  10. Let cookies cool down for about 30 minutes, remove from parchment paper, and sandwich together with Speculoo’s Cookie Butter2014-07-06 20.32.19 2014-07-06 20.30.58

They turned out to be delicious!  Have you ever tried making French macarons before, and if so, what flavors did you create?!  Did they turn out? Let me know!

2014-07-06 20.29.25 2014-07-06 18.39.30

Bows and Arrows,

Lynda

2 thoughts on “Lynda’s First Attempt (and a successful one!) Making French Macarons

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