So there I was with a bunch on cookbooks, a couple of magazine recipes and this picture of a macaroons jumped at me! Why not??
It is actually not so difficult, nor does it take so much time. And they came out fabulous!!!
I kept it simple with a basic almond macaroon and a chocolate ganache.
Next time I will try different flavors for the filling. Lemon, raspberry, coffee...Anything goes!!
Makes 25 to 30
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cup almond flour *
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Chocolate ganache filling:
3/4 cup light cream
7 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
3 Tbs Kahlua liquor
Prepare the macaroons:
Line two large sheet pans (half sheet) with either parchment paper or Silpat liners.
Sift together the confectioners' sugar and the almond flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time and continue whisking until peaks are stiff and hold firm (the peaks should not curl at the tip when holding the whisk straight up).
With a rubber spatula, fold in the whites about 1/3 of the confectioners' sugar and almond mixture until mostly incorporated. Fold in the remaining dry mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the batter will deflate.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a #806 tip, pipe the batter onto the prepared sheet pans in circles of about 1 inch in diameter.
When all the batter is used, tap the sheet pans on the counter top to help get rid of extra air bubbles.
Let sit 20 to 30 minutes until the meringues are no longer sticky to the touch.
While the cookies are resting, preheat the oven to 325F.
Place the 2 pans in the oven and reduce heat to 300F. After 8 minutes, rotate the pans and swap their position to allow for even baking. Bake for another 7 minutes, until very lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on racks.
Once cool, remove from liners and pair by size.
Prepare the filling:
Bring the cream to a boil in a medium sauce pan, and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips and swirl the pan to cover all the chips. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
With a hand whisk, mix the cream mixture. It will thicken as you do so. Add the liquor and whisk again.
Let the ganache cool completely before using, whisking regularly. It will become thicker as it cools.
Turn one of each pair of meringue cookie over, flat side up. With a pastry bag fitted with the same tip, pipe the ganache onto the cookie. Place the other half, flat side on the filling, atop the filling and ...voila!!!
* As usual, I find the almond flour, or almond meal at Trader Joe's! Job Lot has it too!
It is very important that the amount of almond flour and confectioner's sugar are the same.