Daughters of Promise November/December 2014 - Page 40

The macaron as we know it today consists of two meringue-based cookies that are neither cloyingly sweet nor bland; between which are sandwiched a creambased, gonache, or jam filling. Macarons come in a rainbow of flavors and colors, from lemon to chocolate to bacon. The crust of a macaron cookie is delicate, like an eggshell. It should be smooth, crisp and not chewy; and should shatter on the tongue upon biting into it. Past the smooth egg-shell-fragile top is a moist, soft cookie that, during baking, spreads into what is known as the “feet”: a crisp, slightly porous edge that develops around the base of the cookie. Macarons are not common fare in the average US bakery. But why wait until you make a trip to the Big City to try these lovely treats? Brittany and I had marvelous success and we’ve officially been bitten by the macaron bug. Our latest favorite recipe is for maple-cinnamon macarons - a perfect Autumn treat that pairs wonderfully with some piping hot espresso. We’ve included the recipe, along with some tips we have found helpful in achieving macaron success. Give them a try! You’re sure to fall in love. Maple & Cinnamon Macarons 3 Egg Whites (room temperature) ¼ cup white sugar (super fine) (50 g) 2 cups confectioners sugar (200 g) 1 cup almond flour (120 g) pinch of salt ¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml) maple extract cinnamon PREP: Preheat oven to 300*F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. STEP 1: Blast mix the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor (if no processor, triple sift the almond flour and discard lumps). Double sift the mixture, discarding any lumps. STEP 2: Place egg whites in mixing bowl and beat to a soft peak. Add cream of tartar. Slowly add granulated sugar 1 teaspoon at a time. Beat egg white to very stiff peaks. STEP 3: Add maple flavor to taste. If you wish to color your macarons, add food coloring now. STEP 4: Fold together the egg whites and flour mixture. This step is crucial - see Tip #4 for helpful advice on the mixing process. STEP 5: Fill a pastry bag with batter and pipe into 1”-1 1/2” dollops on the cookie sheet. STEP 6: Pound each pan 2-3 times on the counter to release air bubbles. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon over the tops. Let rest for at least 30 minutes. STEP 7: Bake one sheet at a time in a fully heated oven, for about 20 minutes. To test for doneness, place a finger on one of the shells and gently move from side to side. If the cookie wiggles, it is not done yet. When done, the cookies will be firm and their tops will shatter easily under slight pressure. STEP 8: Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from rack. Pipe shells with buttercream frosting and let cookies age in refrigerator for a day or two to allow for maximum flavor absorption. YIELD: 24 completed sandwich cookies MAPLE CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM FILLING 5 tablespoons salted butter 5 tablespoons shortening maple extract, to taste 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons milk Beat together butter and shortening til smooth. Add maple flavor, stopping to taste occasionally until you achieve the right level of flavor. Mix in sugar, and lastly, milk. Beat til smooth. Pipe onto macaron shells. ENJOY! -40-