Whether you spell it ‘Macaroons’ or ‘Macarons’, these colorful Parisian, light and delectable
evil heavenly pieces are too pretty to eat. But you eat them anyway. Not just one. But about a dozen. That’s why they always sell them by the dozen or per pound, which equals about 12-15 pieces. And no matter where you look, you’ll fork over upwards of $25 for them.
Who can resist these colorful temptation?
So when Emily wanted to try to make them , at 11:30 PM last night, how can I say, ‘No’? And I happen to have blanched almonds in my cupboards – don’t ask me why.
We used this recipe from Martha Stewart because the direction seemed simple. So we thought.
Martha Stewart’s French Macaroons
For the Macaroons
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup almond flour or finely ground blanched almonds
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
For Filling: We used Butter cream but you can fill them with fruit jams or fruit jellies.
• Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
• Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
• Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.
• Sandwich 2 same-size macaroons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Like I said, we thought the recipe was simple. But truth be told, it took us well over an hour, just to decipher the instructions, and then, to read it over and over while trying to determine whether the soft peak was forming and when to turn down the oven, let the batter sit, wait until they are crisp and firm, etc.
It was a mess.
Then, when she finally piped the batter onto the cookie sheet, the glob just spread itself out like a goopy monster, melting onto a hot NYC pavement in August. (I couldn’t even take a picture because she forbade me.)
And this is what we ended up with…not the pretty fluffy and crispy 35 pieces that the recipe was suppose to yield but just 10 pieces of orange discs.
Don’t they look like orange moon pies? or peeling hockey pucks?
Well, they were sweet (needed less butter cream filling), chewy (needed to whisk more), and HUGE (definitely follow direction on this one and make them smaller).
We may never make them again but hey, now we can say, we made Parisian Macaroons. Or are they Macarons?