These are the perfect treat for your holiday parties! They are certainly a labor of love and look beautiful plated on a cake stand. The abundance of detailed work & patience that goes into them pays off when you eat your first one in one bite. ;)
for the shells:
1.5 cups of confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup of ground almonds
(I've use Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour from Whole Foods & have also used their almond flour by the bulk)
3 egg whites from large eggs
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of superfine sugar
(mine is in a carton that says "baker's sugar")
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
Place parchment paper or silicone mats onto baking sheets.
1. Place the almond flour, spices, and confectioner's sugar in the food processor and mix for at least 30 seconds.
2. Pour the egg whites in a mixing bowl, add salt, and mix with a handheld mixer
until they hold a stiff peak. Don't over do it! When you're getting close, just mix for 5 seconds and re-check. (Trust me that the handheld works better for macarons than your stand kitchen aid mixer)
3. Continue to mix at medium speed while adding the super-fine sugar a teaspoon at a time.
Make sure that it's getting blended before adding the next teaspoon. Keep mixing until the mixture is glossy and thick. Again, don't over mix!
*If you're using food coloring, do so now. Use it sparingly and I recommend gel over liquid drops.*
4. Dump in the ground sugar & almond mixture into the side of the bowl holding the whipped egg whites. Fold in, gently, using a large metal spoon.
5. Continue to mix until fully incorporated and somewhat smooth.
6. Fill your piping bag (with a large tip in place) with the mixture and pipe in circles onto parchment paper or silicone mats.
7. Lift baking sheets above 3 inches above the counter and drop evenly. This will burst any air bubbles. At this point, you'll want to add any toppings (cinnamon, for example) to the shells. Remember, you'll only need to do that for half of them.
8. Let rest for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour to dry.
9. Preheat the oven to 315° F
10. Place macarons, one sheet at a time, into the oven for about 8-10 minutes and let cool thoroughly before removing from baking sheet.
for the filling:
6 oz of white chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1. Place chocolate in a small, metal bowl.
2. Pour heavy cream & vanilla into a saucepan and heat until cream starts to boil. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and leave to melt for a minute or two. Add 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and stir until smooth. Leave to cool and place in refrigerator to thicken.
1. Match shells together, size wise.
2. Spread or pipe a little bit of filling onto half of the shells & top with matching shells.
3. Let sit for an hour before serving. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
-I let my egg whites sit out on the counter at room temperature for at least 24 hours. This is called "aging" the egg whites & I think it makes a huge difference. I have no idea why.
-Make sure you don't miss the "tapping" on the counter step. Getting these air bubbles out is crucial! It's actually my favorite part. :)
-Blending the almond flour & powdered sugar together in the food processor is important to get everything blended nicely and all the "clumps" out.
-Have fun with the filling! This recipe would be delicious with a dollop of molasses in the filling.
-I, again, recommend this kit for macaron making.
-Sprinkle Bakes has a great video HERE for double checking your consistency every step of the way.