My Mom challenged me to try my hand at French Macaroons. This was my attempt. Honestly – I’ve never even tried one before this, so I have nothing to compare it to. These were surprisingly tasty. They were light and chewy and paired with Nutella as the filling were the perfect combination. I used Almond Meal, which is really just ground up almonds. I liked the nutty flavor and texture. They were pretty easy too.
So if you are feeling daring, give these a try. I have heard that they can be quite temperamental, but I didn’t have a problem. The hardest part was piping them onto the cookie sheets and trying to make them flat and perfect. I’m sure with some more practice I can manage to perfect them a bit more.
-1 cup almond meal or almond flour (I found this the cheapest at a local health foods store that sold bulk items) (or you can just grind up your own using almonds)
-1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
-4 egg whites, at room temperature (it is best to use aged egg whites, I set mine out on the counter in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap for about 48 hours)
-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
-food coloring paste if you want to tint it (I used a lavender, which people actually seemed pretty unsure of, they thought it was going to taste like grape or something)
In a medium bowl, sift the almond meal and the confectioners’ sugar together. Set aside. Using a mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. It will get foamy and start to thicken a bit. Start adding the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to whip the egg whites while you are slowly adding the remaining tablespoons. Once all the sugar is added in add your food coloring. Continue whipping the whites for another minute or two until they become glossy and shiny. Remove from the mixer and fold in about half of the flour/sugar mixture. When it is almost all folded in, add the remaining flour/sugar mixture. Fold until the mixture is smooth and stiff.
Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a piping bag with a small round tip, pipe out the batter into small rounds about 1 inch in diameter. Try to minimize the peaks that naturally form. To flatten them, simply dip your finger tip into water and flatten the peaks. Shake the cookie sheets a bit to get out some of the air bubbles that might have been in the batter.
Let the cookies rest before you bake them about 20 minutes, or until the batter is not longer tacky when you touch it.
Bake one cookie sheet at a time on 300 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. I used Nutella to sandwich in between the cookies, but you can use any kind of filling. Raspberry preserves, lemon curd, chocolate ganache, use your imagination!