French macarons are one of those desserts that I've never had the courage to attempt. And this is coming from someone who feels quite comfortable baking! But Meredith from The Artisan Bake Shop has promised that her recipe is totally do-able, so long as you follow her steps. And after reviewing each one, I'm feeling infinitely more confident about my macaron producing abilities (don't worry, I'll let you know how it goes).
|3 oz egg whites||1/2 tsp cream of tartar|
|1 oz superfine sugar||1 tsp pure vanilla extract|
|Pinch of salt||7 oz confectioner’s sugar (also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar)|
|3.5 oz blanched almond meal (or very finally ground almonds)||Liquid or liquid-gel food coloring|
|1 pinch table salt|
Process confectioner’s sugar, almond flour, salt to make superfine powder. Set aside.
Whisk whites in a mixer with whip attachment on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar in a fine and slow steady stream.
Once the sugar is incorporated, increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. If you’d like to add food coloring, add a drop or two to the egg whites now and place back on the mixer to incorporate.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift flour mixture over whites, and fold, with a rubber scraper/spatula, until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Prepare your cookie sheet by tracing 2- 2 ¼” circles onto your parchment paper. Each circle should be about ¾” apart. Flip the sheet over so the pencil lines won’t appear on your finished cookies.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 808 or 809 round tip, and pipe onto sheet pan with round (5th from center) 6 x 8 on a full tray. If you don’t have a pastry tip and bag you can use a Ziploc bag and simply cut off one of the corners to form a ½” opening.
Let stand at room temperature for 20-40 minutes to one hour until a crust forms.
Bake about 7-12 minutes at 300F. Macaroons will not have color and will form firm on their foot meaning when you tap the top: the top will be firm and they they don’t flatten onto the cookie sheet.
Cool the cookies completely and place into an airtight container up to 4 days. You can sandwich the cookies together with jam or your favorite cookies for an extra special treat!