Nothing was more exciting to me than the day that I realized I could make these exquisite little beauties in my own kitchen. I mean, why wouldn’t I when a single macaron is like $4 otherwise…it’s ROBBERY I tell you. The wonderful thing about macarons is that basically any flavor combination you can think of- it works! Peanut Butter and Jelly? Heck yeah! Toasted marshmallow? SO good. Or literally any fruit- my favorites tend to be raspberry and passion fruit.
A word of caution, the first time I made macarons, it did NOT go well. Not having any reference to measure my success, I didn’t know what the consistency of the batter should be, how much they would spread, etc. BUT, the more I made them, the easier it became, and now I’m here to make sure you don’t have the same troubles that I did. The key is actually piping out your meringue circles, and then letting them sit for at least 20 minutes until they form a “skin” of sorts on the outside, which allows them to bake properly.
Today’s batch of macarons were filled with maple buttercream; now I know ~technically~ the season for maple treats is over, but is it ever really over? I certainly don’t think so. This filling is rich and buttery, the cookies are crisp on the outside and chewy inside, and together, it’s like eating a stack of pancakes in a single cookie, so really, this is me giving you permission to have cookies for breakfast. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Makes: around 2 dozen macarons
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Total: 50 minutes to 1 hour
2¾ cups ground almonds
2 cups powdered sugar
6 egg whites (+ 1 extra egg white)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1. Sift together the ground almonds and powdered sugar, making sure there are no lumps.
2. Clean a mixing bowl, making sure there is no trace of grease (a greasy bowl will keep your egg whites from whipping), and beat egg whites until they’re frothy, about 2 minutes. Add in a third of the granulated sugar, and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Repeat until all the sugar has been added, and continue to mix until soft peaks form.
3. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sifted flour and powdered sugar into the meringue until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture isn’t thin enough, beat the extra egg white until frothy and add sparingly until the desired consistency is achieved. It should be thick enough that a piped circle retains its shape, but thin enough that you can smooth out the top.
4. Pipe the macarons into 2-inch circles with about an inch in between them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Tap the sheets on the counter several times to pop any air bubbles, and then let the cookies sit on the counter for 20 minutes, or until you can touch the tops and the batter stays put. Preheat your oven to 325ºF while the cookies are sitting.
5. Bake the macarons for 15 minutes, until a crust forms. Allow the cookies to mostly cool on the sheets, and then peel away from the parchment paper gently. *If you pull away a cookie and the bottom remains stuck to the paper, it means they haven’t dried out enough, try putting them back in the oven for a minute and then pull away when they have cooled again.*
6. To make the frosting, cream the softened butter and sugar together until smooth, then add in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, beating until the frosting is thick and spreadable.
7. Match up the cookies so that they are paired with a cookie of the same size. Pipe a small amount of frosting onto one cookie, then sandwich with the second cookie.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee, preferably on a fancy plate because you deserve it! xoxoxD