Thursday, August 22, 2013

Perfect French Almond Flour Macarons Recipe


















For me, the pinnacle of baking confectionery genius can be defined in two words...French Macarons.  Macarons take cookies to an unimaginable extreme of culinary perfection.  Hello my darlings! It's Chef Tess here! We recently had a new Honeyville Hands-on Class at our Chandler, Arizona location and I had such an amazing time sharing with my darling ladies!  I decided it was only fair to share with the rest of the Honeyville groupies!  

Macarons are not to be confused with the coconut cookies called "macaroons"...these almond flour cookies are made with a meringue base.  When baked correctly, they have a light crisp sugary coating surrounding a tender chewy cookie interior. Two of these perfect bites of heaven are then joined in holy-happiness  in a sandwich-style confection by creamy rich buttercream, truffle chocolate ganache, or tart jam.  The flavor is remarkable.  Resistance is futile. I save them for special occasions when  I can lock myself in a closet and be alone. I also share them with people who I really love. If Elvis was alive (or ever to come out of hiding)...he'd be the first to get one of these. Seriously. 



 Macaroons can be tricky to make, and the secret to success is of course, having a great recipe!  It doesn't hurt to have the most perfect Almond Flour on earth either! Honeyville Almond Flour is absolutely the standard of excellence when it comes to getting a really remarkable Macaron. You know what else helps? Honeyville Powdered Egg Whites. Each can is equal to 255 egg whites. Wowza!   Because of the way this powder foams and fluffs, it is practically fool-proof! 

Tess' Honeyville French Almond Macarons

Ingredients:
¾ cup Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour
1 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Honeyville Powdered Egg Whites plus 1/3 cup water
¼ teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Bean Paste (Honeyville store locations)
¼ teaspoon pure Almond Extract

Directions:
  • Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a separate bowl, Mix confectioners’ sugar with almond flour and SIFT well. This is a pivotal step if you want a smooth batter that will bake well and not be "bumpy".
  • Place 1/3 cup water in a clean glass or metal bowl. Add the egg white powder and salt.
  • Whisk lightly to combine. Allow to sit 3 minutes.
  • Beat whites with salt in mixer at medium-high speed in a metal bowl mixer until they just hold soft peaks, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to medium, then add granulated sugar, a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks (about 3 minutes).
  • Add flavorings.
  • Fold almond flour in 2 batches into whites until just combined. Transfer meringue to pastry bag and pipe 16 (1 1/2-inch-wide) mounds 1 inch apart on each lined baking sheet (32total).



Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.


 

 Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until macaroons are puffed and tops appear dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Macaroons should be crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. You may need to sample ten or fifteen to be sure they're just right...Okay...I made that part up.

 

Slide parchment with macaroons onto racks and cool 10 minutes, then peel macaroons from parchment, transferring to a rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Variation:
 Chocolate: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Honeyville Dutch-process Cocoa Powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.



Tess' Favorite Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:
2 lb Powdered Sugar
1 cups Butter
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla or Rum extract
3/4 cup very hot, almost boiling Water

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a Bosch mixer with the paddle attachment. Put on speed 1, with a spill guard installed or you will get powdered sugar all over the floor. Whip 3-5 minutes until very smooth. Pipe a dot of buttercream between two of the cookies. Resist the impulse to just pipe it right into your pie-hole...in public...



Now. Go share them with someone super-darling and cookie-tastic! I'm so thankful that these gals came to class! What a blast of baking perfection!




Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

8 comments:

Laura said...

I had no idea Honeyville sold almond flour. This is one of two things that has prevented me from diving down the macaron baking hole.

I've gotta ask, how did the centers turn out? You got perfect feet on those cookies!

Chef Tess said...

Laura,
Thank you! The centers turned out perfect! Give them a try. This is probably one of the best recipes I've used for the macarons. Xoxo!

Anonymous said...

Some of the photos show pink and yellow one yet you do not mention food coloring. What did you color them with? Do you add the coloring at the end with with flavorings/extract? If not, at what point do you add the food coloring?

Chef Tess said...

I used regular food coloring or gel coloring will work as well. Just a few drops to my taste. Add them when you add the flavoring.

Laura said...

i've got this bookmarked. every other recipe i've seen has been...daunting. this makes it realistically doable. thanks for posting it. :)

Lora Brady said...

I have just revived my foray to the finicky world of macaron baking. I have been using Honeyville's almond flour since day one but I have not tried using the dried egg whites only method which will eliminate having to "age" the egg whites. One book I have suggested to add 2teaspoons of it to a cup of egg whites that is why I bought it. Big Honeyville fan here!! I will try the egg white version today, hopefully my macarons will have that elusive "foot" or ruffling which is the hallmark of success when making these delicious treats.

Anonymous said...

What if I don't have powdered eggs? How can I translate the powdered into fresh?

Cookin' Cousins said...

The translation for the powdered egg whites are 2 Tsp = 1 reconstituted egg. So if the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of Egg White Powder, that equals 3 egg whites.