Two days after I flew back to the Bay Area, I took the quick 30 minute train ride into San Francisco to meet my god mother Tina. She had arranged for us to take a baking class for Christmas! I had no idea what we were going to make. We walked into the Sur la Table on Union St., met our instructor, Jan Diamond, who greeted us with a recipe for French Macarons!
I have never made a macaron before this class and I was so giddy with excitement! I knew that macarons were very precise cookie to make with a lot of specific steps. If I had attempted to make these without the help of an instructor the first time I tried, they wouldn't have turned out nearly as good as they did.
One of the best things about these cookies is that they are naturally gluten free! So if you are like me and have a sensitivity to gluten, these pretty cookies are the ones for you! Caution, dairy comes into the picture when you add in the frosting. Note: these cookies are just as amazing alone unfrosted as they are with frosting!
Let's get baking because I want everyone out there to try these and have as much success with them as I did! Ill take over as Jan today and help you make these wonderful French treats!
French Macaroon (Basic): Pre heat the oven to 300° Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets with a silicon mat with the macaron circle found here
First, separate 6 egg whites and set in a bowl with plastic over to bring to room temperature *always use real eggs and separate them* in a food processor pulse your pistachios unshelled until they form fine meal
Using a large bowl to catch the ingredients sift together with a wide mouth sifter, the almond flour, pistachio meal and confectioners sugar
*there will be residue after each sift, you can throw away the pieces of larger pistachio or keep them for garnish!
Repeat the sifting step three times, throwing away each sifts residue
- 5 ounces ground almond flour (best to use almond FLOUR not meal)
- 5 ounces of ground Pistachio (meal) this will be meal
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 6 egg white
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon gel food coloring of your choice
Fix the stand mixer with the whisk attachment whisk together until a frothy milk look the room temperature egg whites and the baking powder
Slowly add in the sugar one teaspoon at a time whisking on speed 6
After about 10 minutes of constant whisking, peak should start to form in the egg whites
Add in the food coloring and whisk for a 2-3 more minutes, we want hard peaks but still a gloss to the look of the whipped mix
When hard peaks form, remove the bowl from the mixer and cover the bowl with the sifter and sift in 1/3 of the nut mixture
Using a soft folding motion, place your spatula in a clockwise motion from 12-3 then place the spatula to the center of the bowl then swiftly bring the spatula up! Rotate the bowl and repeat 4 times
*add in the rest of the mixture 1/3 at a time sifting into the bowl and repeating the 12-3 motion until all gently combined into the peaks
Open a piping bag and fit with a 12mm tip, fill the bag with all the macaron cookie mix
Pipe from the center of the circle on the silicon mat and evenly squeeze out the mix 1/2'' from the mat until it reaches the inner part of the circle
Lift the cookie sheet up three inches from the counter and simply drop the sheet down, do this three times
Dropping the cookie sheet will remove all the air pockets and then the shells will be smoother after baking
After you have filled your sheets and used your macaron mix, place the cookie sheets to dry out for 15 minutes on the counter
*the cookies should be hard to the touch and shouldn't stick to your fingers when you touch them
That is when you know they are ready to bake
Place in the oven at 300° fahrenheit for 8 minutes then rotate and bake for another 8 minutes
*Test the tops of the cookies, if they wiggle, they still need to be cooked, if they are firm and (over hard as some cookie lovers hate their cookies) they are perfect!
Macarons are suppose to be cooked until they are hard. If they aren't fully hard and wiggly when you remove them from the oven, they are ruined and the top of the cookie will fall. So my advice is to follow this recipe to the full extent as intense as it is!
Kirsch Almond Butter Cream:
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg whites
Place the bowl over bowling water for about 2 minutes to pasteurize the eggs
Put the bowl into the stand mixer and beat for about 5 minutes until the egg and sugar mix is cooling down
Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces and slowly add into the egg and sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time
*beat until you see no chunks to add in the next piece of butter
After the butter is all combined, add in the salt and the vanilla extract
Add in the Kirsch and then the almond extract
Beat until all combined and thick
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of Kirsch Liquor
- 2 sticks of room temperature water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place in a piping bag with a 12mm attachment end and pipe a circle onto the flat side of the macaron and place the top on the other side of the frosting!
Eat and Enjoy for up to three days in a sealed container!