Painstakingly, I measured out each ingredient on a scale by grams. I made a meringue using heat for the first time and was super excited when I piped out my first beautiful circles of macaron cookie. I popped them in the oven and waited. They looked like they were rising! When I heard the alarm go off that they were done, I took the macarons out of the oven and placed them on a cooling rack. My excitement quickly diminished when they began to flatten...and stick to the parchment paper. Upset, but hope yet not dwindled, I embarked on another recipe.
I watched the YouTube recipe video numerous amounts of time until I perfected each step in my head. I had in mind to make mint cookies with a chocolate ganache. As I waited for the cookies to come out of the oven I made the ganache. There was no way in my mind that these weren't going to turn out perfect! As you can probably guess, they turned out less then perfect. Lopsided to be exact. I tried the recipe yet again...and they were lopsided...yet again.
I read and watched youtube videos and blogs about possible reasons why I failed at making these cookies. But, alas, I could not figure it out!
My spirits were down and my motivation needed to be rejuvenated. I gave it a few days and vented to some friends of mine until one piped up and said their mother was a macaron genius. I needed her to teach me! Yesterday, she came in and showed me and my friend the ropes. They turned out PERFECT! Thank you to my friend Sara Scheinbach and her mother-in-law Judy Scheinbach for taking time out of their busy days to show me how it's done.
Those light and airy cookies are just a whip of an egg white away and I can proudly say that I can now make macarons! The world is whole again!
French Macarons (Credit: San Antonio Cooking School)
Makes about 45 Filled Cookies
1 1/4 Cup (120 Grams) Almond Flour, ground up in a food processor
1 2/3 Cup (200 Grams) Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup (100 Grams) Large Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
2 Tablespoons (35 Grams) Granulated Sugar
Food Coloring (optional) - a few drop is all you need
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. You can make your own macaron stencil by placing the cap of a gallon of water or milk and tracing 20 circles with a pencil or marker. Place the stenciled macaron paper another piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet. After you are done making your cooking with the stencil, simply slide out the stencil and use it for additional cookie sheets.
Have a pastry bag fitted with a1/4 inch plain tip ready.
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a bowl. You will have leftover almond clumps. Dispose of those clumps or sprinkle over yogurt.
In another bowl, whip egg whites and salt. Begin whipping on medium speed until foamy. Gradually increase the speed to medium high and slowly stream in the granulated sugar. Whipping until the whites form a stiff peak when lifted. Fold in the food coloring.
Add about 1/4 of the dry ingredients and fold in. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients in two to three more equal additions. Fold until the dry ingredients are well mixed and the batter is smooth and forms a quickly dissolving peak when tapped with your fingertip.
Transfer the batter to the piping bag. Hold the bag perpendicular to the parchment paper about 1/4 inch above. Use even pressure to squeeze out enough batter to form a 1 inch circle. Pipe all of the cookies.
Lift each baking sheet about one inch front the counter and drop it to knock the air bubbles out of the cookie batter. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes at room temperature allowing the tops to dry slightly.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time on the center rack for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are smooth and just firm to the touch. Cool.
Carefully peel the paper away from the cookies and place them back on the wire racks until you are ready to fill or store them.
Pipe a small amount of filling onto the bottom center of a cookie. Gently press the bottom of another cookie of the same size onto the filling, allowing the filling to spread just to the edges. Repeat with all of the cookies. Can be made one day in advance. They can also be frozen until ready to enjoy.