French Macarons

READY IN: 35mins
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Combine almond flour and icing sugar in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds until light, airy and fine.
  • Sift the icing sugar and almond powder mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir until all the sugar is moistened. Try not to get any sugar up the sides of the saucepan as this will burn.
  • Fit the saucepan with a candy thermometer and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the thermometer reaches 238°F DO NOT STIR.
  • Immediately after turning on the heat under the sugar, add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and start to whip on medium speed.
  • Once the egg whites are foamy, add the lemon juice and continue to beat until soft, rounded peaks form.
  • When the sugar syrup is ready, pour into the whipping egg whites by gently tipping the saucepan into the space between the whisk and the side of the bowl, using the side of the bowl as a guide. You want a slow, steady stream of syrup to pour into the egg whites. You can pour the sugar directly down the inner side of the bowl, using the lip of the bowl as a rest, if it is easier on your wrists.
  • Once all the sugar is incorporated into the egg whites, turn the mixer up and whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the bowl of the mixer is no longer warm.
  • If you wish to add food colouring, add it now to the egg whites. The food colouring must be in powder or gel form, do not use liquids.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape half of the egg whites out and fold into the almond flour mixture until fully combined.
  • Fold in the remaining egg whites into the almond mixture and mix well.
  • Now it is time to stir. This step is called "Macaronnée", which is basically slapping the mixture against the side of the bowl using the spatula to thin the mixture. It is ready when a scoop of the mixture falls from the spatula in a continuous ribbon and disappears back into the batter in the bowl in about 15 seconds. *This is part that will usually make or break the cookies.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a round tip and spoon the mixture into the bag.
  • Use a baking sheet fit with a silicone baking mat (best results) or a piece of parchment paper cut to size.
  • Pipe equal rounds of batter about 1.5" apart. Use steady pressure when pushing the batter out of the bag to ensure equal rounds. I also count to three, then I move on the the next and repeat. That's my little trick. Pipe straight up and down so the rounds are perfect. the piped macarons should look like flattened Hershey's kisses.
  • Gently tap the bottom of the pastry sheets to smooth the macarons tops. *This will smooth out the "nipples" as I call them. The little points from where the piping bag was pulled up.
  • Let the macarons sit for 1 to 2 hours until the tops are dry to the touch and matte. The time will differ based on multiple variables so don't worry if it takes less or more time.
  • Preheat oven to 275°F.
  • When macarons are dry, bake them in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. *They should have a smooth, rounded shell-like top and a "foot" which looks like a thin cloud.
  • Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the trays. They should have a smooth, rounded shell-like top and a "foot" which looks like a thin cloud.
  • Once the macarons are cool, you can package them and freeze them, or fill them with your desired flavoured buttercream, chocolate or fruit filling.
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