i had my first macaron ever this past september at sugar factory in las vegas. they were surprisingly disappointing - the flavors weren't distinguishable and the bottom half of one was completely gone. the very next day, i picked up one, single, perfect pistachio macaron from bouchon bakery and was hooked.
my first attempt a couple weeks ago did not go so well. i didn't mix the batter enough and ended up without feet, cracked tops, and hallow cookies. no good. this time i tried a different recipe, a different method. and ended up with perfect cookies. sure, my piping skills aren't great and they didn't all come out perfectly round, but the texture and flavor are perfect.
and if the pink and blue filling hasn't given it away, baby winn is expected in june.
vanilla buttercream filled vanilla bean macarons
adapted from annie's eats
makes about 30 small sandwich cookies
for the cookies:
110 grams blanched or slivered almonds
200 grams powdered sugar
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
the seeds of one vanilla bean or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams granulated sugar
for the filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 1/4 cup milk
- to make the cookies, pulse the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until the almonds are ground very fine.
- in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites at low speed until foamy. add the vanilla and granulated sugar and beat on medium high until stiff shiny peaks form.
- while the egg whites are beating, prepare a pasty bag with a small round tip. line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- when the egg whites are done, turn off the beater, and add the almond mixture. using a rubber spatula, mix the almonds in with the egg whites until a thin, pourable batter results. when you lift the spatula out of the mixture, the batter should run off smoothly, without any lumps. if it's lumpy, keep mixing. you want to mix out most of the air that was whipped into the egg whites.
- transfer the dough to the piping bag and pipe small circles, about an inch and a half in diameter, about an inch apart on the baking sheet. let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell top.
- preheat your oven to 300F. bake the cookies about 12 to 18 minutes, checking after 12 minutes. try lifting a cookie off the parchment/silicone mat with your fingers or an offset spatula. if it comes off in one piece - nothing stuck to the pan - then they're done baking.
- cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan.
- while cookies are cooling, make the filling. mix the sugar, butter, vanilla, and about two tablespoons (or half) of the milk. check the consistency and if it's too thick, add a bit more milk until it's at spreading consistency. add a couple drops of food coloring if you like. set aside.
- when the cookies are cool, match them up by size and shape. add a small amount of buttercream to the flat side of one cookie and top it with it's match. store in an airtight container.