Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day Baking: French Macaroons

Sooo apparently most of the US is under a ton of snow and enduring blizzard conditions, freezing cold and lots of ice. Wichita included. Which means I got my wish of a snow day today when we were sent home at noon. I was definitely not thrilled...nope not at all...not even a little...wink wink : )

What's a girl to do when stranded in her house with her mama all day? Wedding plan and bake, of course! We started by ordering a lot of items online we'd been needing to purchase, and going over lots of details. And once that was over, we decided to spend the afternoon attempting the most dreaded but gorgeous of baking feats...French Macaroons!

Let me tell you, it's a looong process, but well-worth it in the end. We used this recipe from Martha Stewart. I thought I'd share some of our wintery baking adventures. Enjoy!

Snow Day Bake-Fest
French Macaroons

Ingredients
- 1-3/4 cup confectioner
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour, for dipping
- 1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
- 3 large eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar


Instructions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Sift confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside.


Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats (such as Silpats), and mark circles using a 1-1/2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour.

{we used the bottom of a cup to make the circles as we didn't have a cookie cutter. the circles were a little big, so we'd recommend sticking with the size the recipe calls for.}

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar 1 teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl.


Sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg-white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula fold until just incorporated. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-almond mixture, folding until just incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.

{I think Martha would approve of using cute baking utensils like my favorite measuring cups from World Market. Very French Patisserie, oui?}

Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as an Ateco #806). Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheet.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small offset spatula, carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on the flat sides of the half of macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. {note: we used this buttercream recipe for the filling}

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So how did they turn out? Well, not totally perfect. But still pretty. I dyed them in shades of pink and purple and am freezing them to take to the Valentine's party I'm throwing this weekend. But even though they don't look exactly like perfection... they sure do taste like it!













Stay warm, ladies!

{live beautifully}
Courtney

I'm linking to Good Life Wednesdays at A Beach Cottage...hopefully Sarah doesn't get too mad at me for having two links in one party : ) And also to White Wednesday at Faded Charm.

5 comments:

  1. They look delicious. (Especially to someone who is completely off all sugar). I love those baking utensils. I think some of my things need replacing.

    Cheers,
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Lisa! I'm actually off sugar too for the wedding, but I did allow myself a few licks of the batter. I was a good girl and saved all the cookies for the party : )
    Thanks for coming by!
    Courtney

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Courtney! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Those macaroons look absolutely delicious! I wish I could have a bite. I'll just have to try the recipe!

    I'm excited to keep reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG.... can we please do this over bestie birthday weekend????

    Way to go!!

    ReplyDelete

Well hello there! You just made my day!

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