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Recipes: Basic Macarons

I understand macarons can be daunting. Their characteristic "feet", the base of the macaron, can be difficult to attain. When making macarons you must accept that sometimes they will not work out depending on if the batter is over mixed or is not able to dry enough, this is totally OK! Take some time to practice and you will be whipping them out like a pro.

The main ingredients of macarons are whipped egg whites and almond flour. The almond flour could be a hard and expensive buy as not all stores carry it. When in doubt by it online. I purchased mine from a local store at $20 for 4 lbs. That is enough to make more than 10x this recipe below, so buy it in a smaller quantity or store the extra in the freezer. This recipe makes about 70 individual circles, creating about 30 cookies once they are sandwiched together and filled with the confection of your desires.

I like making them because you can add different flavorings and fillings for thousands of flavor variations. Below are a few of my favorites.
- Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder for a chocolate flavored macaron, fill them with your favorite chocolate filling or even peanut butter
- S'mores: Exchange 1/4 cup of the almond flour for graham cracker crumbs of the same size as the almond flour. The macarons can be filled with marshmallow and chocolate ganache to complete the s’mores theme!
- Tiramisu: Add 1 teaspoon of coffee extract to the macaron mix. After the macaroons are baked fill with a tiramisu buttercream then dust with cocoa powder  (these are my favorite)

Macarons are typically made in circles by piping the mix in a circle. Not only is there a link to download my recipe below but it includes the circle piping guide for under your parchment paper. Don't be afraid to make them in other fun shapes!

Basic Macarons

Total Time: 60 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
# Servings: 30 cookies
Cost: ~ $20

Ingredients:
3 large egg whites at room temperature (left out the night before)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 and 2/3 leveled cups of powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream and tartar
Pinch of salt

Materials:
The initial mixing required for this should be done using the whisk attachment in a stand mixer. It could be whisked by hand but it will be tiring.  The almond flour is mixed in by hand with a rubber spatula. For this recipe you will also need a sifter, cookie sheet, parchment paper, and piping bag with a medium circle tip. This recipe will fill 2 to 3 large cookie sheets at 2 templates worth (30 single cookies) per sheet.

Steps:
1. In the stand mixer bowl, add the egg whites and sifted cream of tarter. Whisk on medium high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
2. While the egg whites mix, sift the granulated sugar. At this time also pick out the coloring if you want to add some.
4. With the mixer still on medium, sprinkle the sifted granulated  sugar 1 level teaspoon at a time. Food coloring and flavoring can be added in this step. Mix until stiff and glossy peaks are seen.
5. Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar to ensure the 2 ingredients are mixed and free of any lumps.
6. Add 1/3 of the almond flour and powdered sugar mix at a time with minimal folding with the spatula between additions.
7. Add the mix to a piping bag with the medium circle tip. Ready your parchment paper lined cookie sheet. The mix will be piped into 1 1/2 inch diameter circles., about 3/4 inch apart.  Use a  template if desired (I do every time).
8. Now let the piped cookies sit out in the open air until they can be touched without leaving a print on the cookie or feeling sticky. This step is to create a skin so that when they bake they have feet. This can take between 15 and 45 minutes, test on the ugly ones.
9. Bake at 300F for 14 minutes. Let them cool before removing from the parchment paper. Twist the cookies when removing to peel them cleanly from the paper.
10. Add filling between the bottoms of 2 cookies and enjoy!

Thanks for reading! See below for the links for the recipe and piping template.

Click here to download the Recipe and Template via Google Docs

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