Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Raspberry Parisian Macaroons

So finally I dared to try the famously dreaded french macaroons! They turned out lovely and I am so glad I tried them, they are a little fussy but only if you skim through the directions and don't take the time to prepare all you need ahead of time. I suffer from extreme impatience when I cook, I have the final product in my head and I want to get to that perfection as quick as I can thus rushing and ending up with a less then perfect product. This time I was determined to do it right.
BTW in the recipe it calls for room temperature egg whites...a lot of people are very wary about this since they believe eggs are to be kept in the fridge.
In Belgium where I grew up the eggs were often kept on the kitchen counter and very rarely in the fridge so I can safely say that leaving your eggs on the counter for a day won't hurt them a bit!
If you still feel insecure about it you can test your eggs by gently submerging them in water.
  • Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl and probably lie on their sides.
  • Slightly older eggs (about one week) will lie on the bottom but bob slightly.
  • If the egg balances on its smallest tip, with the large tip reaching for the top, it's probably close to three weeks old.
  • Eggs that float at the surface are bad and should not be consumed.
 That said here are the pics and instructions on making these beautiful and scrumptious cookies! have fun...
There are endless varieties on these delectable desserts. Just add flavoring to the basic batter and voila instant success! Try chocolate, coconut, peanut, pistachio, raspberry, and vanilla bean and I even found a recipe for chai-vanilla bean (pretty psyched about that one)

I used Martha Stewart's recipe click here to view it.


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, for filling
First you need to seperate the eggs and let them get to room temperature (I separate them the night before, cover them with saran wrap and put them in the refrigerator until ready to use then I make sure I plan ahead and have them on the counter the morning I decide to make them)

Make sure you get all your equipment ready to go, so you're not rushing trying to find things the last minute...you definitely don't want to stress anymore than you need to with these little desserts ;-)

I didn't want to pay the $30 to buy already ground almond flour, instead I paid $4.49 for a bag of slivered almonds (without their skins!!!) and blended them to make my own flour. One bag let me make two batches of these lovely cookies so well worth it in my opinion!
If you opt (like me) to make your own almond flour just follow these simple directions:
(if not skip to directions)
Blending the almonds into flour

Almond Flour
  • Place max. 2 cups at a time in the blender (anymore would make the almonds turn to almond butter instead of flour)
  • Blend the almonds for 20 sec or until it resembles a flour like texture (again longer than this would turn the almonds into almond butter)
  • Sift the almond flour twice before using
The almond flour after sifting
The left bowl in the picture picture should resemble your almond flour mixture and the almonds on the right are the courser almonds after sifting.Don't throw the coarser almonds away, I save them and use them for almond crusted tilapia or chicken or whatever else you use them for ;-)

The almond/sugar mixture being sifted
Almond flour and confectioners sugar

  •  Next step we are going to pulse the confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined.Sift mixture 2 times.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees ( I used my convection oven so heated the oven to 325 degrees).    Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny
Stiff peaks
I'm sorry there aren't more good pictures my camera decided to "die" so had to charge the batteries and use my phone camera.
  • Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets (or if you have a silpat use that it's amazing with macaroons), dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. 
  • Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.(I let them stand for 45min)
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (again since I was using the convection oven I reduced mine to 280 degrees). Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees (or in my case 325 degrees), heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees (or 280 degrees for convection ovens).
Not quite even but it worked out..ready to put in the oven...
I used organic raspberry jam with seeds
  • Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.)
  • Sandwich 2 same-size macaroons with 1 teaspoon jam. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months
The finished product!
The perfect texture and mmmm so good!


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