You know these sweet, delectable bites of heaven, don't you? They melt in your mouth or sometimes have a supple crunch. They come in an array of eye-pleasing colors and exotic flavors. Don't keep yourself from these gorgeously appetizing French sweets, take a look at these out-of-the-baker's box ideas and notice your taste buds jump for joy!
If you're feeling inspired enough (which you must be) after perusing this delicious photo gallery, try out this macaron recipe and give your tastebuds what they deserve.
Basic macaron recipe
Makes about 24 complete macarons
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature (best if aged for a few days)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 285 degrees F. Draw your macaron shapes on the backs of two sheets of parchment paper, spacing the shapes at least one-half inch apart. Line baking sheets with the parchment paper.
- Place egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. Add a pinch of cream of tartar. Continue beating on high until mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form.
- In a food processor, blend together the almond flour and the powdered sugar. Add half of the blended mixture to the meringue mixture and gently fold it, using a spatula. Add the second half and repeat folding until incorporated. Try not to overmix. The batter should have the consistency of molten lava — not too runny, but not too stiff.
- Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4- or 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe out the shapes onto your parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Tap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times to help smooth out the tops of the piped batter. (Some also think this helps form the foot on the bottoms of the macarons.) Allow the piped macarons to dry for 15-30 minutes.
- Place the first baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-23 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even baking. When finished baking, let them cool for five minutes. They should have a hard outer shell and peel off your parchment paper easily. If they stick, they are probably under-baked.
- When cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling — buttercream, ganache, Nutella, jams, jellies, etc. Assembled macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. I find that macarons are usually better on the second or third day, after the shells have had some time to meld with their fillings.