While i was trying to find my recipe for French Macaroons i came across several website and blogs describing introductions to the French macaroon. People describe it like a religious experience. many people were lucky enough to have this come to Jesus moment in Paris. I had my moment in a tiny French pastry shop in Portland Oregon called PIX. Of course the owner had lived and trained in France so i pretend this counts. i understand only too well the passion and dreams that stem from that first bite of crisp chewy goodness.
Now Most people think of a macaroon as that mound of coconut and stuff that makes the mound a mound. they are good and sweet and very coconutty. I have no idea how it even has the same name as the French Macaroon. After my first dreamy bite of goodness i thought, i wonder if i can make these? They are about $2 each and you cant have just one and for the price of a dozen, you could afford an entire cake at a fancy bakery.
So i set out to master the French Macaroon. I was NERVOUS! Apparently i had no need to be. I think i am one with the FM and they spoke to me. i humbly thank you for this.
I very cautiously measured and sifted and whipped and folded and baked and my little pillows were crisp, chewy and had the infamous foot that seems to elude so many. I didnt go crazy (like i tend to do) and make a dozen different flavors and colors on my first round. I opted for a simple white chocolate ganache in the center.
next time i would love to try pistachio, raspberry or my absolute favorite passion fruit. but one thing at a time. If i learned anything from the blogs i read, it is to master the foot first.
before i begin i have to give the highest of props to the blogger i got this recipe from. I think i was so successful because she graciously figured out all the issues and shared them with the world. I got lucky! Also if you have questions or issues, her post is very thorough.
French Macaroons (insert flashing lights and fun music)
2 cups of finely ground almond flour ( i used Bobs Red Mill Finely Ground, perfect.)
2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar (i ran out so i ground my own in a blender using regular sugar and no cornstarch)
5 egg whites room temperature
2 tablespoons of sugar
Preheat Oven to 200 degrees.
sift together almond flour and powdered sugar in large bowl.
whip egg whites to soft peak. add 2 tbs sugar whip to stiff peak.
soft peak stiff peak
Fold 1/3 of egg whites into flour mixture quickly. its ok not to “fold” the first third. this is the mixing stage
fold remaining 2/3 of egg whites into flour mixture gently.
place this handy dandy template onto your cookie sheet. place parchment paper over the template.
pipe circles onto parchment paper and gently slide template out from under parchment paper. Let sheet sit for 15 minutes. This is when i lit my candle and began to pray to the french pastry gods.
I used a plastic baggy with a hole cut from the corner for my piping bag. make sure the hole isnt too large!
place sheet in oven for 6 minutes to set the circles
remove sheet and raise oven temp to 375.
place sheet back in oven for 7-9 minutes. I learned that 9 minutes gave my cookies a very light brown top and made them pop off the sheet easily. anything less and they stuck like glue.
this is how they looked right out of the oven. notice the small “foot’ around the edge and the smooth shine to the tops. mine kind of baked together but a gentle slice with a sharp paring knife took care of that.
cool cookies on sheet and GENTLY pop off. If they dont come off easily or start to crack, slide parchment paper onto a damp towel for a few minutes. this should loosen the cookies. be gentle, these little critters are fragile.
set aside and make your filling. i made a very simple white chocolate ganache but you can make anything you want!
heat 1 cup of heavy cream
pour over 2 cups of white chocolate bits and beat with whisk until smooth.
add vanilla if you want to or grand marnier or …whatever delights you.
cover bowl and set in fridge until chocolate becomes very thick and spreadable. i think i had mine in the fridge for about 4 hours.
place about 1 tbs of ganache onto cookie and sandwich with another.
I then place them back in the fridge. i like to eat them cold.
Finally i dare you not to eat about 20 of them…good luck with that!