Holiday Recipe + Photo Diary: French Macarons

Hi All!

As we make our way into 2012, we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on these past few months!

To tide you over, here is a simple recipe + photo summary to make adorably beautiful French macarons for friends/family/yourself.

Makes about 16 filled macarons
Ingredients
• 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 1 cup almond flour
• 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• Macaron Filling

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together conf. 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. Continue to whip until stiff, glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the conf. sugar mixture until completely absorbed. Add food coloring to batter now if that suits you (I used yellow for my caramel/honey batch, pink for my peppermint/white chocolate batch, and green for my pistachio/chocolate batch).

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Make a pastry bag with one corner cut. Fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter spreads a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Be careful!

Filling
For caramel/honey filling: Melt 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 2 cups of caramel candy, and 1/3 cup of honey in a medium bowl over boiling water. Fill small piping bag with filling, (after cooling slightly) and pipe about 1 teaspoon onto one macaron. Place equally-sized macaron on top. Refrigerate until firm.

For peppermint/white chocolate filling: Melt 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1 bag of white chocolate morsels, about 4 finely-ground candy canes, and 1 drop of peppermint extract in a medium bowl over boiling water. Fill small piping bag with filling (after cooling slightly) and pipe about 1 teaspoon onto one macaron. Place equally-sized macaron on top. Refrigerate until firm.

For pistachio/chocolate ganache filling: Melt 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, and 1/3 cup of finely-ground pistachios in a medium bowl over boiling water. Fill small piping bag with filling (after cooling slightly) and pipe about 1 teaspoon onto one macaron. Place equally-sized macaron on top. Refrigerate until firm.

Be creative with fillings; it’s fun!

Happy Holidays from Mahogany