Holiday How-To: Macaroons

Saturday, May 31st is National Macaroon Day, and to celebrate this we want to share our favorite Macaroon recipes as well as tips and tricks to make your homemade treats come out perfect.

For those of you who are new to the Macaroon scene, they are light as a feather French delicacies that have become the most coveted cookie in France. They come in many colors and flavors and the possibilities really are endless. They are one cookie you won’t be disappointed eating!

Concierge Elise shares her favorite recipes and variations from Food Network as well as some advice on how to get your homemade Macaroons to come out just right.


Blueberry Cheesecake Macaroons 

IMG_2046Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 drops of royal blue gel food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • IMG_20478 oz or 1 block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp. of blueberry jam
  • Silpat baking mats
  • Baking sheets
  • Pastry bag with 1/4 inch round tip
  • Fine mesh sieve

When I first decided to try out this recipe, I spent countless hours researching how to make sure the Macaroons come out just right. How do I make sure they don’t crack? Is there such a thing as over mixing? In honor of National Macaroon Day my mom and I decided to tackle the elusive macaroon.

Following these steps will help make sure your own homemade treats come out just like the bakeries!

First preheat the oven to 300 degrees. If you have a convection oven, be sure to put it on the convection setting. Line your baking sheets with the Silpat. Measure out the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a medium size bowl and then whisk to combine. 

Admittedly, I am the kind of chef who hates measuring things and typically just “eye balls” it Rachel Ray style. For this though, it is very important to make sure you measure everything exactly.

As far as the Silpat goes, I did try out a batch using parchment paper since Silpats can be kind of pricey. I recommend using only a Silpat or another silicone baking mat, the Macaroons stuck to the parchment paper and left about half of the cookie on the sheet when I tried to get them off.

IMG_2049Sift the almond flour-sugar mixture through a sieve a little bit at a time into a large bowl. Once the entire mixture has been pushed through the sieve you will see little pieces of the almond flour left over. Throw those out and then put the entire mixture through the sieve one more time. 

This part of the recipe took the longest. It’s so important to make sure you get the course pieces of the almond flour out, that it takes a while to get everything through the sieve. You may end up with a decent amount of the flour left. Not to worry this is completely normal! Different brands of almond flour have varying degrees of course-ness, so some may end up with more pieces than others.

IMG_2048Next, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Then increase the speed to medium high, while gradually adding in the superfine sugar and beating the mixture until stiff and shiny. This will take about 5 minutes. 

Be sure not to rush this part!

IMG_2050Transfer the beaten egg white mixture to the large bowl with the almond flour. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold. 

For those of you that have folded egg whites into something before, this takes a little more time and muscle than normal. The almond flour takes more turns around the bowl due to the texture. Be sure to fold until just incorporated, the mixture will still be course and look lumpy.

IMG_2051Add the food coloring and extract. Continue folding and turning scraping down the bowl until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a ribbon. This will take about 2-3 minutes.

When you are done with this step, the mixture in the bowl should look very loose and almost watery. Not to worry this is exactly right.

IMG_2052It’s important to make sure after this step the batter is loose enough to go in the pastry bag.

Once you see that consistency though, be sure not to keep mixing. Over mixing can cause your cookies to not set up properly.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with the 1/4 tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe out 1 1/2 inch circles, about 24 per sheet. IMG_2053

Tap the sheets against the counter to release any air bubbles.

This for me was the hardest part of the recipe. It took a little to master the art of piping the batter onto the Silpat.

For the first few cookies that weren’t perfectly round, they still tasted delicious! The batter spreads out as it sits, so make sure to leave enough room for that.

IMG_2054Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch. This could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch. This will protect the cookies from the heat.

I made these on a rainy day and it took me about 15-20 minutes for the cookies to set up. The double baking sheet seems silly but it really did help, especially if you aren’t using a convection setting on the oven!

IMG_2058Bake the cookies until they are shiny and rise 1/8 of an inch to form a “foot”- about 20 minutes. Halfway through open the oven to let the steam out. Transfer the Silpat to a rack to cool completely. Peel the cookies off the mat and apply a layer of the filling to the middle. 

For my cookies, it took about 17 minutes to cook.

It’s also important to make sure the cookies are completely cool before you peel them off the Silpat otherwise they can stick or crack. When the cookies are completely cool the have a slight indent in the middle and this is the perfect place to put the filling.

You can pick however much filling you want, I chose to put enough that you could see the blueberry jam from the side.

That’s it!
You are now a Macaroon master!

IMG_2063

If blueberry cheesecake doesn’t sound good, be sure to try out one of these other flavors!

Almond- Raspberry

  • Tint the batter with 2 drops of neon pink food coloring instead of blue
  • Flavor the batter with almond extract instead of vanilla
  • Fill the cookies with seedless raspberry jam instead of the cream cheese and blueberry mixture. You will need 1 cup of jam.

Mint- White Chocolate

  • Tint the batter with 2 drops of mint green gel food coloring instead of blue
  • Flavor the batter with mint extract instead of vanilla
  • For the filling microwave 6 ounces of chopped white chocolate, 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons butter in 30 second intervals stirring until smooth.
  • Stir in 1/2 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop of mint green gel food coloring.

Lavender-Honey

  • Tint the batter with 2 drops of violet gel food coloring instead of blue
  • Flavor with either almond of the vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon
  • For the filling, mix 1 1/2 cups of mascarpone cheese, 4 tablespoons of honey, and 2 teaspoons of ground dried lavender together.

Pineapple

  • Tint the batter with 2 drops of lemon yellow gel food coloring instead of blue
  • Still flavor with the vanilla extract
  • For the filling press 1 cup of pineapple jam through a sieve and discard the large pieces
Post by: Elise D.
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