May 6, 2017

Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling

These Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling are so gorgeous, pretty much fail-proof, and delicious! 


These Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling are so gorgeous, pretty much fail-proof, and delicious!

I love the recipe for these macarons. Yes, there are a few extra steps to guarantee success, but it is totally worth it.

Macarons and I go way back. Before I started this blog, I made my first batch, and they came out perfectly. This initial success lulled me into thinking that I was the macaron master.

The next batch I tried came out pretty nicely, except that they did not full flatten out on the baking sheet, and had little peaks on the shells.

The final batch I tried cracked and were a complete disaster.

At this point, I needed a reset. I took a couple of hands-on macaron classes, and finally got my macaron mojo back. Check out these Ovaltine Macarons from the way back machine.

Still, I am always reluctant to make a batch of macarons, because if they don't turn out, it's a huge investment of time and ingredients! That's why I'm so excited about this recipe.

These Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling are so gorgeous, pretty much fail-proof, and delicious!

First, this is a small batch recipe, meaning, if they fail, you haven't invested a huge amount of ingredients and time only to end up with a fail.

Second, this recipe includes a secret ingredient that ensures that the recipe turns out perfectly. Instead of adding granulated sugar to the egg whites, the recipe calls for adding a tablespoon of meringue powder for every egg white.

I completely manhandled the macaronage process (the mixing of the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites), and these still turned out great.

These Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling are so gorgeous, pretty much fail-proof, and delicious!

By the way, these are delicious. I filled them with my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting.

For those of you who aren't familiar with macarons, they are a French cookie sandwich made from almond flour and egg whites. They were all the rage for awhile, kind of like cupcakes, cake pops, whoopie pies, and unicorn anything. Except, they are not like all of those other things.

While they were a fad for a while, they are timeless. And French.

Some tips for success:
  1. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture through a mesh strainer twice to sift out any larger pieces of almond flour. 
  2. Age your egg whites. Separate the egg whites and then place them into a small container. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 
  3. Use powdered food coloring for the pink color. Add it to the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture before sifting. If you can't find powdered food coloring, add water based (I like this gel coloring) to the egg white and meringue powder mixture. Of course, you can skip the color altogether. 
  4. Use good quality parchment paper for baking these macarons. Do not skimp on this. I recommend the pre-cut parchment sheets from King Arthur Flour, or Reynolds parchment, which comes in rolls. Both are heavy duty, and have non stick qualities. They are also reusable. 
  5. Draw circles with a Sharpie onto a piece of paper the same size as your pan. Place this paper under the parchment paper you are baking on. You will be able to see the circles through the parchment to pipe uniformly sized cookies. 
  6. If your oven has a window, stare at the macarons while they are baking the whole time to will them to develop feet and to not crack (just kidding, but I can't help myself). 

These Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling are so gorgeous, pretty much fail-proof, and delicious!

If you've been afraid of trying macarons, or if you have had a macaron failure, try this recipe. It works!

P.S. My oldest grandson spotted the shells on Instagram. My youngest grandson (age 9) dropped by and saw these, and declared "macarons!" with a French accent! What? I asked him how he knew about these and he couldn't tell me.

P.S. I took these to work, and they pretty much disappeared in the first 15 minutes.

This recipe has been adapted with permission from Christina Lane, who adapted it from Anne Thornton. Christina has three books, all dedicated to desserts and meals for two. Her book, Desserts for Two has 5 stars on Amazon. She also published Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two, and her newest book is Sweet and Simple: Desserts for Two.


Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling Recipe

Macarons with a Chocolate Buttercream Filling Recipe

Ingredients

  • 68 grams almond flour
  • 153 grams powdered sugar
  • Pinch of powdered food coloring, optional
  • 2 aged egg whites, brought to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • About one cup of chocolate buttercream

Instructions

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If your baking sheets are thin, or if your oven runs hot, you can double up the baking sheets (one on top of the other) for insulation. 
  2. Process the almond meal and powdered sugar (and optional powdered coloring) in the food processor. This step is optional, but helpful to blend the ingredients.
  3. Over a medium bowl, sift the almond meal and sugar mixture through a mesh sieve to separate out any clumps and/or larger pieces.
  4. In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer (this batch is too small for a stand mixer), beat the egg whites at medium speed until foamy, about 10 to 20 seconds. While continuing to beat the egg whites, slowly add the meringue powder. Beat the egg whites and meringue until you have soft peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not over mix.
  5. Using a small rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of the almond mixture until it is completely incorporated. Repeat with the remaining two thirds of the almond mixture, 1/3 at a time. The almond mixture should be completely incorporated into the egg whites.
  6. Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch (#12) pastry tip, and fill the bag with the mixture, pushing it down to the tip.
  7. Pipe the mixture into slightly larger than 1 inch circles onto the parchment paper, 24 per pan. Rap the pan a couple of times on the counter to knock out any air bubbles. Let the cookies rest for 30 minutes, to dry the tops. It could take longer on a humid day. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F with a rack placed in the middle.
  8. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan. Once they have cooled, peel off the parchment (I sometimes use a thin spatula) and fill with your favorite chocolate buttercream (here's the recipe I used, which I halved). You can also fill them with jam. Sandwich together. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Yield: 24 sandwich cookies

14 comments:

  1. Oh I was counting the HOURS to get this post on my screen!!!! YEAH!!!!!

    yes, I've used that trick of the meringue powder in one of my batches but they did not turn out very good - I don't think it had anything to do with the meringue powder, I know I messed up some other step - you know, it's easy to do. Too many variables

    I should try your method in my next batch - not sure when. I still have one macaron recipe to blog waiting in line, and I feel like baking simpler cookies tomorrow

    I swear, I need a day with 48 hours, that would be great

    I love the color of your shells - very nice, and perfect contrast with the chocolate buttercream

    (somehow I expected a shot of you staring into the oven.... ;-)

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    Replies
    1. I almost did include a shot of the stool I sit on, ha ha! I have not tried adding meringue to the "normal" macaron recipe I have. I have added cream of tartar (just a bit). It can be so stressful, can't it?

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  2. Karen, let me make sure I get this correctly - when you make the meringue you do not add any sugar to the egg whites, right? Just the meringue powder?

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    Replies
    1. That's correct. I was wondering about that too! But it worked!!

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous!! I can almost taste them. Your staging and photography are just as amazing.

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  4. Thank you kindly~
    I wanted to try the recipe with flowers for the colors, and pistachios (crush to flour).

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    Replies
    1. I've heard of using other nuts for the nut flour, but have never tried it.

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  5. I have two ancient egg whites in the fridge. Assuming they are ok, I may just give this a try!

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    Replies
    1. Lol, I can't wait to hear how it turns out!

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  6. I've heard macaroons are hard to make but yours look PERFECT! Yum! I wish I had one right now!

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  7. Hi Karen,
    This looks amazing! I was wondering what kind of Meringue powder you use, I live in Spain and I am trying to find the best possible alternatives.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kim! The brand I used was Wilton, but I think any brand would work.

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