Re: Les macarons
A. not the easiest Paris cookie to make…i double-stuffed my chubby meringues, which was a little excessive.
B. were lonely in their existential beige-osity on the pedestal before Yo Gabba Gabba friends joined them,
sufficiently funking up the pastry fun.
C. are way yummy and a tres easy route to an uninspiring muffin top (read: sinful quantity of butter).
I tweaked ones I found online. Delicious and beautiful, these babies are worth the effort.
Laduree and Pierre Herme
apparently sell THE holy grail of macarons, so flitting over to Paris is a reasonable option.
Helpful tips: (1) make sure to dissolve the sugar adequately with the egg whites (not entirely successful in my first attempt) (2) if you prefer colorful macarons, add more food coloring than you think is required – mine were meant to be pale pink (3) I halved the macarons recipe but still made the 1/2 recipe of the buttercream–naughty and very fattening! (4) share these and give them a special photo shoot–see that your hard work is preserved for generations!
• 1-3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• all-purpose flour, for dipping
• 1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
• 3 large eggs
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats (such as Silpats), and mark circles using a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg-white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula fold until just incorporated. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.
Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as an Ateco #806). Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheet.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small offset spatula, carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on the flat sides of the half of macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
• 4 large egg whites
• 3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
• 1-1/4 cups sugar
• 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160ºF).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.
Partying with stuff and nonsense today, and if you’re visiting from the bash, hope you’ll choose to follow!
Peace to you right where you are.