Tuesday, February 18, 2014

French Macarons!!!

So I have quickly been obsessing over these cute little French cookies!!!
I first heard about these a couple of years ago when I first tried them from Bottega Louie in LA. They didn't really spark my interest back then, but recently I have been seeing more and more of these guys on Instagram and Pinterest, and also at local tea and coffee bars, so I thought I'd give them a go!!!

Before I got started baking, I did some research first. I looked on YouTube and various baking blogs to find out some tips and tricks to making perfect macarons since I didn't want to make a mess on my first try. I narrowed it down to Martha Stewart's French Macaron recipe and I've been using it ever since I've started making macarons. The only difference from her recipe and mine is that I skip the cream of tartar, which I don't always have readily at the kitchen anyway...

So without further blabber... Here's my very first attempt at French Macarons...

French Macaron 
Makes about 18

1 c powder sugar, sifted
3/4 c almond flour, sifted
2 large egg whites, room temp
1/4 c granulated sugar

Any favorite chocolate buttercream you like...

For the direction, I literally followed Martha Stewart's directions to the tee. Click here. Just so I don't mess up. And I found a great beginners video found here. Those tips are perfect and I came up with pretty good looking cookies, so just keep practicing =)

Tip: The meringue should have soft to stiff peaks, but not dry. It should still look glossy.
Tip: When you are ready to pipe them out, give them enough space in between each cookie because they will spread a bit right after piping.
FYI: These cookies look almost white before baking, but once they bake, they will turn somewhat brownish, which I didn't mind at all, but just keep that in mind with other colors...
 Once your cookies have cooled, you can fill them with pretty much your heart's desire. These ones I filled with a simple chocolate buttercream I whipped up in a few minutes. But you can do whatever you want!!!
Then, I just decorated the cookie shells with extra chocolate and white nonpareil sprinkles =)

But if you want something more simple, just brush on a bit of cocoa powder on top of pre-baked cookies, like the cookies below, which were filled with chocolate-peanut butter cream. YUM!
Nowadays, I've made batches and batches of macarons, and am interested in coming up with different flavors. But if you are just starting off like I was, I would stick to the simple recipe first, because coloring and food dyes are a little bit trickier and need different baking times, because they somewhat can change the consistency of the cookie batter...

In the mean time, simple is beautiful!
Not bad for my first macaron attempt! But all those YouTube videos helped ;)

I can't wait to show you guys the others I've made, stay tuned...


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