I started making macarons after I made it my new year's resolution to perfect the macaron. Macarons are known to be tedious and difficult, basically a baker's worst nightmare. They require a lot of patience and T.L.C. (tender loving care). I began my adventure by experimenting with different cereal macarons, which has become a favorite among my circle of friends. It's been fun trying out different ingredients to create macarons that you can't buy anywhere else. I actually took a macaron class in New York City this past April and I learned the authentic french technique of making macarons. It involved a scale, sugar water, tempering egg whites and a candy thermometer. Very complicated and intense. But they turned out beautiful. The only thing is, they're sort of boring. Authentic french macaron shells are only made with almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites. The coloring of the shell depends on what flavor the filling is, so for example, a pistachio macaron, you would add green food coloring and the filling would be a pistachio paste. And that is where all the flavor comes from.
Maybe it's the "American" in me, but I like to have more of a robust flavor in my macarons, and so I always add flavor to the shells as well. Either in extract or powdered form. I know the French would be appalled at my macarons, but hey, they're pretty darn delicious!
This recipe is for the beginner macaroner! It requires NO weighing. BIG plus! And little prep work. I made these for my co-worker's wedding this past weekend as favors. Her colors were blush and gold and so I made them strawberry flavored with gold accents. Some with edible gold sprinkles and others I hand-painted with edible gold paint. You definitely don't have to decorate them as I did, but it does add a nice regal touch. Hope you have some good luck with this recipe! Lord knows, I've messed up plenty of macarons! Let me know if you have questions and I can help you troubleshoot. Sorry I don't have many step by step pictures, I decided to blog these last minute!
Wedding Strawberry Macarons
2/3 cup almond flour (minus 2 Tbs)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp powdered freeze dried strawberries
3 egg whites (9 tbs of liquid egg whites) Microwaved for 10 seconds*
5 Tbs granulate sugar
1 tsp of meringue powder**
*this is a quick way to "dry out" your egg whites.
**can be found at Michael's, Joann's, Hobby Lobby etc.
1 stick of softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs powdered freeze-dried strawberries
1 -2 tbs milk
1. In a food processor, mix the almond flour, powdered sugar and powdered strawberries until well combined.
2. Meanwhile, using a mixer, whisk egg whites until foamy, gradually add sugar and meringue powder. Whisk until a stiff peak forms, or I like to hold the bowl upside down and if it doesn't move, you are good to go.
3. Add dry ingredients into the meringue and fold until mixture is lava-like and there are no pockets of dried ingredients. Be careful not to over mix!
4. Pour mix into a piping bag with an Ateco 806 tip (1/2 inch round tip). Pipe circles onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5. Once you pipe one pan, tap the pan on the counter until all bubbles are released and each circle is smooth. If you want to add sprinkles, this is the step where you would do that. Add sprinkles to each circle of batter.
6. Let shells rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes before putting into the oven. Touch the shells to make sure there is a skin that has formed. (i.e. batter should not stick to your finger).
7. Heat oven to 280 degrees, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Macaron shells should be easily removed from parchment paper. Pull the parchment sheet onto a cooling rack. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before piping with filling.
8. To make filling, use a mixer to whip the butter with a paddle attachment. Butter should almost be white in color and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and powdered freeze dried strawberries. Add milk as needed to make sure filling is smooth and creamy.
9. Fill piping bag with strawberry filling. Add filling between two shells and sandwich.
10. Once all the macarons are filled, it is it best that they "rest" in the fridge for at least 24-36 hours before eating. It improves the texture of the macaron and allows the filling to add to the chewiness of the shells.
Congrats to Sarah and Eric!!!