This post is long overdue. I have had it sitting in the queue for a while now, and I've had the photos sitting on my desktop even longer.
I started to cut out the gluten in mine and my younger daughter's world several months ago. In doing so, I needed to come up with some sweet and tasty treats for when the craving struck. While I like some of those gluten free flour blend alternatives, I prefer to make things that are intentionally gluten free. I seem to have better luck with those.
I have long wanted to conquer the French macaron challenge. Those little almond treats that can come in a rainbow of colors. When done right, they are so good. When done wrong, it can be a sticky mess.
Like any baking recipe, if you follow the recipe properly, they will come out properly and everyone will be happy. Have no fear. It's really not too complicated.
Before you get to work, make sure you have everything ready:
- 2 baking sheets (good, heavy kind)
- parchment paper
- a piping bag
- nothing larger than a 1/2 inch round tip
3/4 cup almond meal
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites (some people suggest using older eggs). Let the eggs sit out for a few hours before using in this recipe.
1/4 cup superfine sugar
Nutella or your favorite chocolate spread, jam, ganache. The list is endless. This is your place to get creative.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor, process the confectioners' sugar and the almond meal together. You shouldn't have too many specks left. Some people recommend sifting the mixture, but I skipped this step and my macarons came out fine.
In a bowl, beat the eggs whites until foamy. You should see soft peaks.
Slowly beat in the superfine sugar. You will see that the eggs whites start to become shiny. If you wanted to add flavoring to the cookie base, this is the point that you would fold it in.
Slowly fold in the almond meal mixture in to the egg white mixture. Don't over mix.
Spoon the batter in to your pastry bag. Alternatively, you can use a large ziploc bag and cut the corner instead of the piping tip.
Pipe out 1-inch rounds on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Tap the bottom of the baking sheet against the surface to let out the air.
Let the baking sheets sit for 30 minutes to rest. You will see the the tops of the batter rounds will look a little dull.
Once rested, reduce the oven temperarture to 325.
Bake only one sheet of macarons at a time.
Place cookie sheet in oven for 10 minutes. When done, the cookies will look solid and crisp, but do not let them brown.
Let macarons cool a few minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks.
Repeat with the second tray of cookies.
Sandwich a couple teaspoons of filling between the two cookies.