French Chocolate Macarons


Chocolate Macarons

I love looking at macarons in bakeries.  Aren’t they pretty?  They’re typically lined up by color and one looks more perfect than the next.

I have made these numerous times. These cookies are delicious and they impress guests when they’re served. Please don’t confuse macarons with macaroons. Macarons are light cookies made with egg whites and almond meal. They are typically served as sandwich cookies with a filling in them. Macaroons are cookies that are like small circular cakes often made with coconut.

I didn’t find these cookies difficult to make, but take a tip from me. If you want to serve them at a particular time, don’t decide to start them two hours prior to serving. Numerous steps are involved in these cookies, and the filling needs time to cool before you use it. Do yourself a favor and unlike me, start these cookies in the morning of the day that you want to serve them (assuming that you’re serving them in the evening.) You don’t want the tops sliding off the cookies like mine did as I transported them to a meeting. As they cool, the filling will set and the tops will stay put.

You need a pastry bag to make these cookies. If you don’t have one, you can put the batter in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off. You won’t have the control that you do with a pastry bag, but it should work for you.

French Chocolate Macarons

Recipe from where the recipe was adapted from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovits

Macaron Batter

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Chocolate Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch) ready.

Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

To make the chocolate filling:

Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.

Yield: 15 – 25 sandwich cookies, depending upon how big you make the cookies

One year ago: Classic Potato Salad with Peas
Two years ago: Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cookies
Three years ago: Honey Cornbread Muffins
Four years ago: Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Chutney
Five years ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars
Six years ago: Decadent Brownie Tart

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