Thanksgiving at the in-laws? Your mother-in-law will swoon if you walk through the door with these!Â Let’s face it, macarons are chic little buggers. Calories couldn’t possibly count when something is this adorable, right?! Â With a few basic tools and a little finesse, macaroons are simple to execute. Â Below is the my Basic Macaron Recipe. Â The recipe provides a solid base structure to customize anyway you wish. Â As foliage is near peak in Boston, I played up the Autumn notes. Â Scroll down to see three unique flavor combinations using the same basic batter recipe. Â These make great hostess gifts! Â Pick up some professional white pastry boxes at your local craft store and let these sweet cakes speak for themselves the next time you walk through the door. Â They’re already dressed for the party! – Anna Rossi
My basic Macaron Recipe
Equipment: Food Processor, Hand Mixer, Pastry Bag with 1/2? plain round tip, Sil-Mat or Parchment Paper, Cookie Sheet
Ingredients: Makes 16 Macarons
– 3/4 cup ground almonds (flour/meal)
– 1 cup confectioners sugar
– 2 extra large egg whites
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– Seasoning/Flavoring of choice
– Food Coloring (optional)
– Favorite Filling
Preheat oven to 325F. Â Prepare baking sheet with a sil-mat or parchment paper, trimmed to fit. Prepare Pastry Bag with 1/2? plain round tip.
In a food processor, combine ground almonds and confectioners sugar. Pulse 10 times to integrate and create a light, fluffy powder.
Using a hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites to form soft peaks. Â Add desired seasoning/ flavoring and food coloring (optional). Â ContinueÂ mixing and slowly add granulated sugar. Â Continue mixing on medium speed until egg mixture forms stiff peaks and has a beautiful, meringue-like, sheen to the batter.
Gently fold in flour mixture to egg mixture, one third at a time, using a rubber spatula. Continue folding until the dry ingredients have completely integrated and batter resumes a beautiful, shiny quality and a ribbon like texture.
Fill pastry bag with batter and carefully pipe approx 32 small circles onto prepared cookie sheet. Before placing in the oven, lift cookie sheet and tap bottom with hand a few times to release any airÂ in batter and help mixture settle. Â Let rest Â for 10 minutes before placing cookie sheet into oven.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely. Â Sandwich pairs together with desired filling. I use a ziplock bag as a pastry bag with the bottom corner snipped to make an even circle of filling on flat cookie surface. Chill macaroons until ready to serve. Enjoy within 24 hours of assembling.
*Cater your macaroons to the season with these fall inspired flavors
Maple Sugar Macarons with Pumpkin Ganache and English Toffee
Maple Sugar Macarons
1 basic Macaron Recipe (see above). Substitute 1/4 cup granulated sugar for 1/4 cup maple sugar, if available 1/2 tsp maple extract
Pumpkin Ganache: (Warning: You may want to find a private corner and consume in huge spoonfuls. Â AMAZING!)
8 oz white chocolate (I like to use the Lindt Classic Recipe White Chocolate Bars found at most grocery stores), chopped
3 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I love Trader Joe’s mix)
English Toffee/Heath Bar/Almond Rocca crushed for decoration
Melt white chocolate in a double boiler.
In a small pot, heat heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and spice until warm.
Remove White Chocolate from heat. Â Fold in pumpkin mixture. Place mixture in pastry bag (I use a ziplock and snip a small hole in the bottom corner when I’m ready to use) and chill for 30 minutes until thickened slightly.
Pipe evenly and generously onto flat surface of cookie.
I like to use crushed English Toffee as a decoration for this tasty treat.
Pumpkin Pie Macarons
1 Basic Macaron Recipe (see above)
Plus 2 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Seasoning
Maple Creme Filling
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/4+ tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
Creme Preparation: Combine all ingredients and cream with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Â Transfer to pasty bag and pipe.
Cumin Macarons with Citrus and Anise Mascarpone (Note: This is an unexpected flavor combination, best served to a sophisticated palate)
1 basic Macaron Recipe (see above)
Plus 1/8 tsp cumin, finely ground
Citrus and Anise Mascarpone:
1/2 cup mascarpone, softened
1/3 cup citrus marmalade (orange, grapefruit and/or lemon are fantastic)
pinch ground anise
pinch ground clove
Preparation: Whip with rubber spatula until smooth. Transfer to pastry bag and pipe.