Tuesday, October 27, 2009


When I quickly glanced earlier this month and saw that Macaroons were on the agenda..... I said 'Yum...nothing wrong with that' . Some time after, I purchased a big bag of coconut in anticipation of the challenge. A little after that, I sat down to read through the instructions and discovered that the recipe this month was actually for French Macaroons which contain no coconut, but instead contain powdered almonds. After looking at the photos as well, it dawned on me that I had just seen these pretty little cookies on someones blog just a few weeks ago in beautiful tinted shades filled with delicious looking filling. Now I wish I could just find that blog again. Oh well, I'm sure in a few days I'll find it again. Well, now I am really intrigued to try these cookies which according to the ingredients seem to be a version of an Italian wedding cookie or Ameretti cookie a little more leaning towards the meringue though. Since I love almond flavours and especially Ameretti cookies (it's the best part of an Italian wedding in my books) I was very much looking forward to this challenge, I was not disappointed......not at all:)
Without more delay......The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe. Have a look here to view other challenge results......and yes that is a new cup and saucer.....I realize I have a problem:(
My attempts yielded some experimental mishaps and unintentional snacks as I figured out the proper size and spacing required for the given baking times. The time required until beginning to become golden was a little more difficult to judge as I had added cocoa and vanilla bean sugar to the batter. A quick filling with some milk chocolate ganache and they were complete. In the end it was not as time consuming as I has thought it would be, but for the next go around, will definitely get the proper size piping tip and go with parchment over silpat. After several batches....some of which had a bit of sticking issues, I discovered that it was the undercooked batch that stuck, and that the silpat offered no real advantage over the parchment in this application. I eventually did learn to identify the slight browning called for as a signal that they were done....and at this point in baking....no sticking issues. After all that trial and error...and eating my mistakes....I can say that I enjoyed each and every degree of doneness.....whether over or under baked....and with all the limitless flavouring options....I will most certainly be trying these again. Next time I may look for the almond flour rather than processing my own as it might just give them more height. The recipe that follows is quite simple and really worth giving a try!


Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t over fold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.


marilu perez said...

¡lovely macarons! I love your teapot and the cup...

Denysem said...

Hi Debbie
I loved my Annie, thank you for caring.
I want to send an email to you, but I could not find.

LittleRed said...

Thanks Marilu! I am looking forward to trying them again and doing a better job with it.
Denyse, I'm happy your package arrived safely.....and I hope you like what I chose to send to you:) Happy Halloween!

noreen said...

The Seattle times Sunday magazine had a article and picture of these in the pretty pastels last Sunday. I was thinking of making them


Olga said...

You did such a great job: the tops of your macaroons are shiny and smooth!

Adorable tea set.
let me know if you make my coconut soup how it turns out.

LittleRed said...

I looked at the pictures from the link you mentioned and they look really delicious! You should try them. They can be finicky I'm told and mine sure were not perfect....but I want to try them again:)
Hey Olga,
I will definitely let you know when I try the soup.