- READ ALL THE DIRECTIONS BEFORE YOU START.
- Print out this recipe. Trying to read a recipe off your laptop, tablet or phone will most certainly:
a. drive you insane
b. get all kinds of cooking related scum on your very fancy electronics.
- Don your apron. (Don means put on, it’s a Navy thing).
- Take your eggs out of the refrigerator. Separate whites from yolks. (You can use yolks to make pastry cream, or hollandaise) Put whites in a shallow bowl and rest on counter for at least half an hour. This step brings the egg whites to room temperature (when you’re baking everything should be at room temperature) and allows them to evaporate a bit, which will help them stay puffy later. Also, if you’re in a rush (although you probably shouldn’t rush through this recipe) you can microwave the egg whites on low for 10 seconds to speed up the aging process.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure your workspace is close to a power outlet. Have a kitchen towel handy too to clean up spills.
- Assemble your mise en place. All the utensils listed are necessary for this recipe, might as well ensure you have them, they are in working order and you know how to operate them before you start. Almond flour ain’t cheap. So, get out everything you need, both utensils and ingredients. Line everything up on the counter and check off your list (see how I put check boxes next to everything? Yes? The answer should be no, because you shouldn’t have skipped ahead!). Again, this brings everything to room temperature.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. You may have to cut the parchment paper to fit the pans. Ensure that the paper is lying flat. Return parchment paper to pantry.
- Take pastry tube and cut 1 inch off the bottom. Insert pastry tip from inside of the bag so it sits in the cut corner of pastry bag. Now, take tip and pastry bag and insert tip end into a large plastic glass or container (like a trash bag goes in a trash can) Pull edge of pastry bag over the side (again like a trash bag). Now it’s ready for the cookie mixture (you don’t want to waste time setting this up later while your egg whites go flat).
- A quick note about measuring. Baking is a science, your measurements need to be exact. When measuring dry ingredients you need to scrape the excess off so it’s exactly what the recipe calls for. You know what you taste when you eat a delicious baked good? It’s ½ cup of attention to detail!!
- Measure the ¼ granulated sugar out, place in blender. Blend until sugar is a super fine texture (should only take a minute or two on high). Turn off the blender; leave the sugar in the blender for now.
- Measure out the almond flour; use the freshest, most newly opened package. Almond flour that is stale and has moisture will not hold the proper shape. Dump almond flour into bowl mixing bowl #1.
- Measure out the confectioner’s sugar. Dump into bowl #1.
- Add a pinch of salt to bowl #1. Salt makes everything better, always. Again, science.
- Measure out chocolate powder and add to bowl #1.
- Stir the contents of bowl #1 together.
- Place the sifter inside bowl #2.
- Spoon about half the dry ingredients of bowl #1 into the sifter that’s inside bowl #2.
- Lift the sifter up a couple of inches and sift the ingredients into bowl #2. Sift gently if you would like to be not covered in a fine cloud of sugar and flour.
- Break up any lumps with a fork, if they won’t break, just toss them out. Macarons hate lumps and so should you. Unless you don’t mind textured, bumpy macarons. In that case, just keep ’em in there.
- Repeat sifting process with the rest of the dry ingredients. (steps 18-20).
- Set aside bowl #2 with sifted dry ingredients to the side. You can now wash/stick in the dishwasher the sifter, measuring cups, bowl #1. Also return to the pantry all the remaining: almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt. (I like to clean up as I go along, less work later).
- Take egg whites (which should have been sitting at room temperature for quite a while now) and add them to the metal bowl.
- Measure out cream of tartar, add to metal bowl. Return cream of tartar to pantry.
- Measure out vanilla extract, add to metal bowl. Return extract container to pantry.
- Plug in hand mixer, start mixing egg white/cream of tartar/vanilla extract on low until frothy.
- Once eggs whites are frothy, begin to add small amounts of the fine granulated sugar from the blender. Continue to add granulated and mix egg whites on high with hand mixer until egg white mixture are glossy and hold peaks.
- If they don’t hold shape after 1-2 minutes of high mixing, add another little pinch of cream of tartar. Once they hold the appropriate shape (glossy, hold soft peaks, if you turn the bowl upside down nothing would come out). Technically what you have with this mixture is Meringue, and you could use it to make meringue things, pies, tiny animals, whatever.
- Remove hand mixer attachments and wash them. Return hand mixer to the pantry.
- Do you know what “folding” is? It’s mixing ingredients gently together, emphasis on gently. Take your rubber spatula, scrape along inside of the bowl half way around the perimeter of the batter. Then fold contents over the center. I can’t get any more specific than that, if you’re still wondering the just YouTube it.
- This step is called the Macaronage- the act of making the batter. Gently fold half of the dry ingredient mixture from bowl #2 into the egg white mixture in the metal bowl, until combined. No dry spots, no wet spots. Try not to over mix at this step.
- Gently fold other half of dry ingredients into egg mixture. Gently fold until the mixture resembles lava like texture. When you lift up a scoopful of the mixture, it should slowly pour off the spatula. Wash/put in dishwasher bowl #2.
- Spoon mixture into the cup/trashbag setup of pastry bag an tip. Make sure you scrape the bowl, no use in wasting that macaronage mix. Wash the metal bowl and the rubber spatula.
- Twist the top off of the pastry bag and secure with a rubber band.
- Now get your cookie sheets lined up on the counter.
- Pipe little circles on to the cookie sheets. You should be using a motion sort of like drawing a lower case “o.” Size doesn’t matter so much, I usually go for larger macaroons 1.5-2 inches which makes about 15-20 cookie sandwiches.
- Now that you’ve got them all piped out, you can throw away the piping bag and wash off the tip and the plastic container put it in the dishwasher.
- Take the sides of the pans with the macarons piped out and bang the pan on the counter three times really, really hard. Rotate the pan 180 and smack the pan three times of the counter again. This process gets all the bubbles out of the batter and lets your macarons grow the ruffled little feet.
- Repeat this smacking process with the other pan.
- Let your macarons sit out on the counter for 30 minutes (This allows them to dry out and form a smooth surface on the top). If it’s humid out it may have to be a little longer.
- Place your macarons gently in the preheated 300 degree oven. Let bake for 7-10 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and switch pans from top to bottom.
- Let macarons bake for another 7-10 minutes. Overcooked is always better than undercooked when it comes to macarons. If you remove the macaron trays before they are cooked thorouogly they will collapse You’ll be able to smell the aroma of cookies when they are done, they’ll be a tiny bit golden brown, but not much. If you poke one of them it should hold its shape.
- Remove trays from the oven. Allow to cool on the tray they were baked on for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from Macarons from tray to wire rack. If they are cooked correctly they should just pop off the pan easily. Let cool for 60 minutes. Again, dryer is better. Wash your cookie sheets while you wait!
- Match up cookies with similar sizes. I destroy proof of mistakes by eating the evidence. Now, spread a thin layer of the chocolate spread on to one side, and sandwich cookies together. Put a piece of parchment between layers of cookies when putting them in the tin. Ensure that there’s enough room so they don’t get smashed.
- Place assembled cookies in a large plastic airtight container. You can freeze these up to two months, or have sitting on the counter for two-three days. They get better after time. Wipe down the counter.
- Instagram/Facebook/Twitter your creations with #macaron or #metzgrlsailor… whatever. People will be impressed.
- Enjoy your macaron/hard work with tea or a glass of milk. Cookies should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
- J And guess what, the kitchen is CLEAN (if you followed all the directions, like I said).
Notes on this Recipe
Adapted from British Food’s Recipe: http://britishfood.about.com/od/eorecipes/r/Easy-Macaron-Recipe.htm
Read this whooooooooooole thing before you start. Just do it. It’s a lot, but it’s all necessary information. Just remember it’ll take you longer to redo this entire recipe twice than it would take you to read the directions and make sure you have everything/know what to do. Boom, knowledge in your face!!!
This recipe takes a couple of hours… Around 3ish from beginning to end. Once you get the technique down, you can alternate the flavors/colors!
Mise en place technically is only about ingredients, but ingredients are only half the battle when it comes to this recipe. It’s extremely important that you have the proper tools and techniques in order to make this recipe work.
Is it a humid day? We want these puppies to be dry… If it’s humid you’re going to have the rest period be longer than prescribed.
A lot of recipes you’ll find call for weighing ingredients, which yes, technically is more accurate. But ain’t nobody got time for that. These measurements are by volume because it’s easier and I’m lazy. If you sift the ingredients and follow my directions you should be good to go.
And hey, these are gluten free, if you care about that!
METZGRLSAILOR’S CHOCOLATE MACARON RECIPE
Mise En Place (French for Get Your Shit together)
- Blender/Food Processor/Stick Blender
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring spoons
- Parchment Paper
- Piping bag with large round tip
- Rubber Band
- Hand Mixer with whisk attachments (or whisk if you’re feeling froggy)
- Rubber Spatula
- Copper, Steel or Ceramic Bowl (aluminum bowls don’t hold whipped egg whites for some science-y reason)
- Mixing Bowl #1 (Doesn’t matter what kind it is)
- Mixing Bowl #2 (Doesn’t matter what kind of bowl this is either)
- Large glass or upright container (use to fill pastry bag)
- Sifter (yes, you really need this)
- Flat cookie sheets, metal rimmed
- Wire cooling racks
- Airtight container
- Apron (Not only are they super cute, they are useful for your clothes not getting crazy dirty/floury)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour (fresher is always better- when you open the bag of almond flour is gets stale easily, stale=moisture=flat macarons)
- 2 egg whites (large eggs)
- ¼ cup caster or granulated sugar that’s been blended in a blender.
- 1 tsp vanilla/almond/hazelnut extract (your choice)
- 1 tablespoon, Dutch pressed chocolate
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar (helps whipped egg whites hold their shape)
- Chocolate Almond Spread. This recipe is already pretty complicated, might as well keep the filling simple and delicious.
THE END. Enjoy!!
P.S. If you have issues look at this troubleshooting guide.