The Foodie Blogroll

Vanilla Macarons

A macaron is a meringue-based confection, they are made from a combination of egg whites, almond flour and both granulated and confectionery sugars. A macaRON is not the same as a macaROON. Macaroons are made from egg whites, with ground or powdered nuts, sugar, and usually include almond or coconut. Macarons differ from macaroons in the sense they are filled with creams, ganaches, or butters to make a sandwich like cookie and can be made in a wide variety of flavours from the traditional raspberry or chocolate, to the exotic including rose, lavender, lemon, match, lime, vanilla, etc...

I have attempted making macarons twice before this. The first attempt was more successful than I thought it would be, I mean I got the foot, and the soft almost meringue texture, however, 90% of my shells cracked which resulted in a lack of egg shell-like crust. The second time was absolutely pitiful. I had even left my eggs out at room temperature for 48 hours that time. I was so upset, I still am not sure as to what went wrong with that attempt, but I was so disapointed I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of it, unfortunately I wish I would have, but no point on dwelling on something that can't be changed now. The third time, I achieved the egg shell-like crust, foot 1 and 2, as well the soft meringue texture.

I knew as I was whipping them that they were going to turn out, my mixture was much more different than the other two attempts. I've never seen ingredients grow the way this batter did, I even got the lava-like consistency that you always hear about when trying to make macarons. I literally sat in front of my stove watching the foot rise. I couldn't wait to take them out. I almost started dancing I was so excited... I have to admit I definitely clapped like a giddy 5 five year old and let out a cheer. This is actually one of the happiest moments I've experienced since I started baking, even more so than the time I successfully made my Thanksgiving dinner.

They turned out beautifully, only three macaron shells cracked which made me content. I left two eggs out on the counter for 2 hours, and needed 2 more tbsp of egg whites so I took out another egg and put it into the mixture right as I cracked it, and they still turned out. I ran out of almond meal, so had to substitute with ground pecans, worked out well.

I can't wait to attempt making macarons again, the next time will for sure be matcha. Oh, I am oh so happy right now! I still have a giant grin from ear to ear. Onto the recipe, which will be my macaron go-to recipe from now on.

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:

Macaron Shells:

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup ground pecan
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs - 2 at room temperature, 1 at fridge temperatur)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

Decided to be lazy and just used maple butter.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and almond flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. In an attempt to alleviate any air bubbles in the piped shells, hold the baking pan firmly and tap the pan against your counter-top at least 6-10 times. Sprinkle raw sugar on shells (optional). Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.

Bake with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 13-15 minutes. Cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

venly spread about 1 tablespoon of desired filling to the flat side of a macaron shell. Fit another macaron shell on top of the layered shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining shells.

Sit down and enjoy your beautiful confections!

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