The Gluten Bigot: Homemade Macarons!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Homemade Macarons!

This is also known as my happy place.
Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I'm a macaron-aholic. If I am walking down the street, minding my own business, and I see a macaron shop, I am going in. And buying way too many. I have no self control when it comes to these delightful morsels of heaven. When I made gluten free eclairs the other day, I had egg whites left from the pastry recipe. Never wanting to be wasteful I Googled what could be done with them. Bam. Macaron recipes appeared. I had never made them myself before so I thought, why not? After the pretzel fiasco I had nothing to lose.

I used the macaron recipe on YumSugar (with my own spin on it of course). Here's my version:
  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal (I made it myself!)
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 6 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons raw organic cane sugar
First things first, I took sheets of parchment and wanted to tract a guide to where the dough would go. I read on the internet to use a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter. I don't have one of those. So I used a shot glass. Classy, I know, but I've collected them while travelling for years. And it worked excellently. Then I put the parchment paper onto two big cookie sheets (ideally with edges).

With that sorted. I beat the egg whites until soft peaks formed. Then adding the sugar 2 tbsps at a time I continued to beat until firm peaks formed and there was a shiny/glossy appearance to the concoction. I folded in the almond meal and icing sugar (add 1 cup almond meal and 1/2 cups sugar first, once that is nicely folded, fold in the remainder). 

Here I went a bit renegade. I wanted vanilla and chocolate. I split the dough in half, separating half into another bowl. In one I added 2 tsp of carob powder and folded to blend again. In the other I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract and folded. If you are really awesome you may even choose to add some food coloring to make pretty colorful macarons - I kept it tame this time since it was my first.

Once again using ziploc bags, I squirted the dough onto the cookie sheets using the circles to guide me. Some still all ran into each other, I should have added less in some places and probably more in others. I chalk it up to inexperience. Once done, I let it hang out for about 15 minutes so they would dry a bit. Then put in a 380F oven for 16 minutes (swapping racks half way through). Once they were cooked, they were removed from oven and let to cool before removing from the parchment paper. 

The last step is filling. I actually used the left over glaze from my eclairs to fill my chocolate macarons. For my vanilla ones I used dulce de leche I had brought home with me from my trip to Argentina. I have already sampled both and they are delicious. Since I made so many some are going to work and most are in the freezer for future enjoyment.

Chocolate on the left, vanilla caramel on the right.

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