Wednesday, April 4, 2012

strawberry french macaroons

if you've ever bought macaroons you know that they run about $2 a pop, which seems ridiculous. i mean, they're typically quite small and they're light and fluffy, meaning to get your fix you've got to eat about three of them. that's $6 to bring just a little sweetness into your life. but you're in luck! they're really not that hard to make at home, so save yourself some money.

sliced almonds on their way to being ground up

this is as fine as i could grind the almonds with a regular blender. i'm sure if you've got a Vitamix you'd be better off. and if you can get almond flour that'd be best.

the discoloration comes from being on different racks in the oven. the heat difference made them different colors. boooo!!!!

also, i wish i'd used more food coloring. i wanted a more red color rather than pale pink.

please excuse the mess. strawberry jam, strained. i added a bit of mint just to bring in a bit of brightness. 

buttercream before i added the strawberry mint jam....well sort of. it never seems to turn out right.

strawberry french macaroons

macaroon ingredients:

- 1 1/2 c almonds, finely ground or almond flour
- 1 3/4 c powdered sugar
-  1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites from large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
-12 drops red food coloring

meringue buttercream ingredients:

- 2 egg whites from large eggs
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
- 3/4 c scant granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 c strawberry preserves, strained

macaroon directions

1. preheat oven to 300 degrees F
2. sift powdered sugar into a bowl
3. whisk ground almonds in with the powdered sugar and set aside
4. line two baking sheets with parchment paper
5. with an electric mixer beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. add salt.
6. add sugar 1 tsp at a time until the whites reach soft peaks
7. pour half of sugar/almond mixture over egg whites and fold in until just incorporated
8. add vanilla, food coloring and remaining sugar/almond mixture and fold until just incorporated
9. tap the bottom of bowl on counter to get rid of air pockets
10. carefully put mixture into a freezer bag and cut off corner to make a 1/2" opening
11. pipe mixture onto parchment paper in 1 1/2" circles
12. bake for about 20 mins or until the macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch
13. let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before you pull them off

directions for meringue buttercream

1. place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water
2. combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissovled
3. take off stove and beat egg white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff peaks
4. continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled
5. switch mixer to paddle attachment. on med-low speed add butter three tbs at a time, beating well after each addition
6. beat in vanilla and strawberry preserves

then spread the buttercream onto the flat surface of a cookie and sandwich it with another cookie.

* while i followed the buttercream recipe exactly as it was read it didn't turn out that well. it was light, smooth and tasted good, however it was too moist. this is my third attempt at meringue buttercreams and i just can't get it right. i don't know what i'm doing wrong exactly. maybe i need to invest in a real Kitchenaid mixer. someone help me with meringue buttercream!!!

1 comment: