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Raspberry Macarons

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Raspberry Macarons

Well, I finally did it.  I broke down and made macarons.  They have only been on my “to-do” list for more than ten years, ever since I visited Ladurée {Maison de Macarons in Paris}.  In the early 20th century, Ladurée invented the most popular macaron: the Parisian macaron {also known as “gerbet”} which are the macarons most commonly known today.

Macarons are a meringue-based cookie comprised of only four ingredients: almond flour, egg whites, powdered sugar and granulated sugar (making them naturally gluten-free).  Don’t let the small ingredient list fool you, however, because they are known to be a fragile and finnicky cookie.  I think that is why it has taken me this long to finally make them.  But I realized that they aren’t as difficult as I originally thought.  I definitely learned some things during my first go-around and I can’t wait to make them again and start experimenting with the endless opportunities of flavors and fillings.

Blanching Almonds Blanching Almonds

Making Almond Flour Making Macarons

Part of my hesitation for trying macarons was how many variations there are.  When I first referenced my copy of The French Cookie Book that got me through many high school French cooking projects, I discovered a sampling of the many types of macarons.  So many, in fact, that my head was swimming in thoughts of whether I wanted my macarons to be crackled, tender, soft, Parisian, Gerbet, etc.  Overwhelmed and unsure, I put my cookbook away for a while.  But the idea of macarons lingered, especially with how ubiquitous and mainstream trendy they have become.  Macarons are all over the place.

Then the beautiful Pumpkin Macarons and Easter Egg Macarons from Yummy Mummy Kitchen caught my eye.  Using Martha Stewart’s recipe, Marina made macarons seem approachable and gave me the final push of inspiration that I needed to try my hand at macarons.  The basic recipe is somewhat similar to the Parisian Macarons recipe in my French cookbook, only it seems to be simplified a bit which is a fact that hooked me during this very busy time in my life.

Raspberry Macarons

Typically, macarons are colored with powdered food coloring.  I actually tried some dyed with raspberry juice and though they had a beautiful color and tasted deliciously like raspberries, the texture changed drastically enough that they couldn’t really be called macarons.  I decided to leave the remaining macarons white rather than mess with artificial coloring.  I think the natural macarons with the pink raspberry buttercream filling look beatiful and they are the perfect bite-sized melt-in-your-mouth raspberry almond treat for Valentine’s Day or any other day.

Raspberry Macarons
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These natural macarons with pink raspberry buttercream filling taste deliciously like raspberries and are the perfect bite-sized melt-in-your-mouth raspberry almond treat for Valentine's Day or any other day.
Ingredients
Macarons {Courtesy of Martha Stewart}
  • 1¼ cups plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
  • 3¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • A couple spoonfuls of raspberry freezer jam (or raspberry puree), to taste
Instructions
Blanching Almonds
  1. Place plain, raw almonds in a bowl and pour boiling water over the almonds.
  2. Let them set for 1 minute, drain the hot water away and rinse them with cold water until they have cooled.
  3. Once drained and rinsed, you will notice the almond skins starting to shrivel.
  4. Place an almond between your thumb and index finger, gently squeeze, and the almond will pop out of the skin.
  5. I found that some almonds were more difficult than others and if the skin had not started to shrivel, I could rinse the "difficult" almonds in water again.
  6. Place the blanched almonds in a food processor and blend until finely ground, being careful not to over process them into a butter.
Macarons {Courtesy of Martha Stewart}
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground almonds and the powdered sugar.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until foamy.
  3. Increase the speed and add the granulated sugar.
  4. Continue whisking on high until stiff glossy peaks form.
  5. Using a spatula, fold the powdered sugar-ground almond mixture into the egg whites.
  6. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Using a ⅜-inch round tip, pipe the batter into 1-inch circles (or other shapes) on the parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  8. Let the piped cookie batter stand for about 15 minutes until a soft crust forms on the top of the cookies and the shiny surface turns dull.
  9. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes with the oven door slightly open until the macarons are completely dry but being careful not to brown them.
  10. Let the macarons cool completely on the parchment paper and then gently peel them off and place them on a wire rack.
  11. Fill and use them immediately or store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  12. The macarons are fragile and can be easily crushed so take care when handling them.
  13. To fill them, use the frosting, jam or other filling of your choice and pipe about 1 tsp on the bottom of half of the macarons and sandwich them with the remaining macarons, flat side facing down.
  14. Refrigerate them until firm, for about 1 hour.
Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
  1. Beat the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
  2. Blend a couple spoonfuls of raspberry jam, to taste, into the frosting.
  3. Refrigerate any leftover frosting in a sealed container.

 

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