Friday, May 25, 2012

Chocolate Macaroons

The macaroon marathon continues... This time I am talking about Chocolate Macaroon! So far they are one of my families favorites, I've made them twice so far! The chocolate macaroon recipe is very similar to the vanilla one, with the variations of adding cocoa power to the dry mix and a chocolate filling instead of vanilla butter cream. One of my favorite parts about making macaroons is the piping! It didnt take long before I got the hang of it. I choose to use a large plastic bag with the tip cut off instead of a fancier pastry bag because I think it works just as well and has minimal clean up, because you just throw the bag away afterwards! The tricky part is that you dont want the batter to ooze out unless you are piping so you have to be ready and pipe them all at once. I have both of my baking dishes prepped with parchment paper and then I squeeze and swirl out the batter to make the macaroon. I generally use two hands.  The batter is really sticky and unforgiving so its important to get it right the first time and while you practice your piping skills if they come out a little messy dont worry they will still taste good. Also make sure you have an even number since because the cookies are getting sandwiched together.

The filling for these guys is pretty easy I diverted from the recipe a bit and boiled cream and then added the chocolate in until I got a nice chocolate sauce. Once chilled a bit it spread nicely on the cookies!

The recipe for the vanilla macaroons and chocolate ones are below!

Adapted from Macaroons - The Ideal Bite-sized Treat book.

Vanilla Macaroon
3/4 cup ground almond flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 extra large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar sifted

Sift almond flour- which tends to be a bit clumpy with confectioners sugar- I have tried both sifting and not sifting both are fine

Seperate 2 egg whites and beat with electric mixer until it holds soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar and vanilla.

Using a spatula fold in the try mixture of almond flour and sugar into wet egg whites 1/3 at a time.
The batter should be shiny thick and ribbon like.

Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

To fill the pasty bag or large baggie I recommend propping it up in a bowl and then scooping it in with a spatula. Cut a small corner off of the baggie and work the batter down. Place your index finger and thumb together to form a circle and pipe out the batter in circles that size.

Bang the cookie sheets on the table or workspace a few time and let sit for 25-30 mins.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Bake cookies for 10 minutes.

Remove from parchment paper and let cool

For the filling
Make sure the butter is soft and beat until creamy, add in the vanilla and beat some more. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar until smooth and creamy.

Sandwich the cookies together once the cookies have cooled and enjoy!

For chocolate macaroons

Add 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa to the dry mix

all instructions are the same

3 1/2 oz of semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream

Heat the cream until it boils then pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Chill for 10-15 mins in the fridge before filling the cookies

Sandwich the cookies together once the cookies have cooled and enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Macaroon Adventure

I started baking macaroons with my brother about a month ago. My brother had bought a recipe book for macaroons, and then my mom got one for me too! We started at the beginning of the recipe book and have been baking our way through it! Macaroons are surprisingly easy! And once you get the knack of making the basic recipe they are really easy to modify. The main things you need are almond flour, confectioners sugar, eggs, granulated sugar, and food coloring and parchment paper. The fillings vary from jam to chocolate to butter cream - which is also really easy -as long as you follow the steps! Almond flour can be found at health food store and some grocery stores, or you can make your own, but I've been using the ready ground almond flour and its works really nicely. The most time consuming part of making macaroons are that they have to sit once you have placed them on the baking sheets for 30 minutes so they can form a dry skin which makes them smooth when you bake them. Also you can't forget to bang the cookie sheets on the counter to work out the air bubbles because you don't want them bursting and cracking the cookies. I've forgot a few times! So please enjoy the photos from Vanilla macaroons- the recipe and additional macaroon posts to come! The photo isnt the best and the cookies kinda blend into the plate but this was our first shot and the photos get better- just as the cookies have!

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm home

Its been a whirlwind of a time coming back home, I need to get back to keeping you all updated. I am thinking of starting a blog with ty about macaroons since we have been making them practically every weekend. I just need to think of a good name for the new blog- I'm thinking of calling the food truck I'd like to eventually have called the "June Duck Truck" since names like the macarooner were already taken, and June Duck is my alias for this blog. I will post some photos and baking tale tomorrow. But for now time to sleep and dream of sweets as sugar plums dance in my head!