I remember the first time I had a French Macaron. I was in New York City, and happened to be walking through the shops at The Plaza. The brightly colored cookies just called to me (and to my daughters). I fell in love instantly, as did my oldest and youngest little girls (my middle daughter has a peanut allergy so unfortunately, these little treasures are off limits to her since they are made with almond flour).
Fast forward several years, and we are on a trip to Miami. Once again, we are shopping (our favorite pastime after eating), but this time I am with only my youngest as my husband took the two older girls to another store. We come across MADMAC…famous for the French Macaron and French Madeleine’s. Of course, we could not pass up the opportunity indulge. I got the rosewater and the pistachio, and my youngest daughter got the chocolate and the vanilla. She said “Mom, no offense, but these are becoming my new favorite cookie!”
The trip to Miami ended and I came home bound and determined to make these cookies. I researched a bit, and found that getting these little gems to bake up without forming small cracks across the top is quite challenging. However, while the cracks may take away from the perfect beauty of the cookie, they do not change the mouthwatering taste or consistency.
So I decided I was up for the challenge. You are supposed to color the cookie to complement the filling. For example, a raspberry filled macaron will be colored pink; a pistachio will be colored green, etc. But, my daughter decided she wanted all the cookies to be colored pink, and her wish was my command.
I filled mine with vanilla buttercream and pistachio buttercream. But no matter what you fill them with, they are delicious!!!
Oh, some of mine did get small cracks across the top…who cares! They are still lovely, and they brought a huge smile to my six year olds face! That is success!
PS: These are a terrific to put in Easter baskets wrapped in cello, or as an addition to your dessert table.
Makes about 30 cookies
2 Cups confectionary sugar
1 ½ Cups almond flour (almond meal)
4 Extra large egg whites
¼ Teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon almond extract
2 drops neon food coloring
To Make the Macarons
In a medium size bowl, stir the confectionary sugar and almond flour together.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt until frothy, then add granulated sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Add the almond extract and food coloring and whip just enough to incorporate.
Fold one third of the confectionary sugar/flour mixture into the egg white mixture. Once blended, fold in the remaining sugar/flour mixture.
Fill a piping bag with some of the Macaron batter and pipe 1 ½ inch wide circles on to a parchment lined baking sheet. The cookies should be spaced two inches apart. If there are any peaks on the cookie, gently flatten them by pressing down with a damp finger.
Tap the cookie sheet on the counter several times to release any air bubbles.
Bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 15 minutes (until the macarons are crisp and easily release from the parchment paper).
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, turn the cookies over so that you are spreading the filling on the bottom of the cookie, (which will now become the middle) and top with a second cookie.
Raspberry or Strawberry Jam
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Pistachio Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
The Elegant Occasion Note: These cookies are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eaten chilled.