French Macaroons

Now that you have made the blackberry lime curd, you are wondering what to do with all the egg whites not used in the recipe.  Do you throw them away?  Do you freeze them thinking you will find a use for them only to end up throwing them away in the future?  Do you make an egg white omelet?  (yuck!!)  Or just continue to look at them sitting on your counter thinking the perfect use will show itself to you in just a minute?  Why not use them to make French Macaroons?  These are a wonderful French delicacy that are available in almost all patisseries in France as well as other countries in Europe.  They only take moments to make and your friends will be so impressed with your skills.  The recipe is easy to double or triple.

French Macaroons  approximately 24

1.5 c powdered sugar

1.5 c finely ground almonds (process almonds in the Vita-Mix or food processor until very fine)

1 t vanilla paste

pinch of salt

food coloring of your choice

1/2 t cream of tartar

3 large egg whites or 3 oz egg whites

1/4 c granulated sugar

Before you begin mixing the ingredients – trace 1.5 inch circles onto a piece of parchment paper  (you will need approximately 24 per recipe.  Turn the parchment paper upside down and lay on a baking sheet.

Grind your almonds  and whisk the powdered sugar with the almonds making sure to break up any almond clumps.  Set aside.

Ground Almonds

In a mixing with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar, salt, and food coloring until soft peaks form.  Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue to whisk until medium to medium hard peaks form.

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Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the ground almonds/powdered sugar mixture until just blended then add the rest of the almond/powdered sugar mixture.  Do not overmix or the egg whites will collapse.

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Transfer to a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip or cut off the end use without a tip for a smooth “cookie”.  Pipe into the center of each circle holding the pastry bag straight up and down.

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When finished filling each circle, wet a finger and tap down the little bump left from piping the macaroon.  Bake for 12 minutes at 300 degrees F then turn the baking sheet around and bake another 12 minutes.  The macaroons are done when they are firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment paper.  Allow to cool and then fill with buttercream frosting, chocolate ganache or fruit curd and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich cookie.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze.

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Variation:  Chocolate Macaroons – add 2 T cocoa to the ground almonds and powdered sugar and fill with chocolate ganache.


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