Sunday, May 6, 2012

French Almond Macarons

Recently I have been seeing French Macaroons everywhere and I have been dying to make them.  The Bachelorette party I hosted gave me the perfect opportunity to try them.  I ended up doing a test run prior to the party since it was my first time making them and I'm glad I did. They were not difficult and were a huge hit at the party!

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, finely ground with a food processor
3 Large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Sift confectioners' sugar. Whisk in ground almonds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Mark circles on the mats using a 1 1/2 inch cutter dipped in flour or the rim of a small glass (ie: champagne flute)

2. Beat egg whites using whisk attachment on electronic mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add salt. Beat in sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time until medium-soft peaks form. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Fold 1/2 of the almond mixture into the egg mixture using a spatula until just incorporated.  Fold in vanilla extract and remainder to almond mixture. Add food coloring at this time if you are using. Firmly tap bottom of bowl on the counter to eliminate air pockets.

4. Transfer mixture into a pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip and pipe into marked circles.  Pipe straight down on to the paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes rotating half way through

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (softened, cut into tablespoons
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.  Put egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (approximately 5 minutes).

2. Attach bowl to mixer, using the whisk attachment beat egg white mixture on high until it forms stiff, but not dry peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled about 6 minutes.

3. Switch to paddle attachment and mix on medium-low, adding the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir until smooth with rubber spatula.

Put approximately 1-2 teaspoons frosting on cookie and place other cookie on top!

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