Cherry Almond Macarons

Materials needed

silicone spatula

parchment paper or silpat 

electric mixer (or strong arms!)

a food scale

a piping tip and piping bag (I like the tip ateco #806)

Food coloring (gel or dry powder works best, not the liquid grocery store stuff)

a macaron template 


Laduree Macarons Recipe -

275g ground almonds  

250g powdered sugar   

210g egg whites          

210g granulated sugar 


1.  Mix almond meal and the powdered sugar in a food processor. Be careful not to grind too long, otherwise it will form a paste.


2. Sift the almonds and powdered sugar. Set aside.


3. Weigh out granulated sugar.


4. Weigh the egg whites.  Beat them slowly on a low speed until foamy. SLOWLY add the granulated sugar to the egg whites as you beat.  Once all mixed, increase speed to medium and beat until a firm meringue forms.  You want a firm meringue with glossy peaks but not stiff peaks.  They should defy gravity and remain in the bowl if you turn it upside down.  If you tilt your bowl to the side and they are sliding out, keep beating.


5. Add the food coloring gel and mix.


6. Then fold in 1/3rd of the almond/sugar mixture into the meringue with a silicone spatula.  Once combined, add another third of the almond mixture. Add last bit.  This batter requires more deflation during this step since it creates such a poofy meringue.


7. Add the batter to a piping bag.  Pipe in rows using your template onto parchment paper.


8. Pick up the pan and beat until the counter.  The cookies need to rest on the counter between 30-60 minutes.  They are ready to go in the oven when they are dry to touch (the shell shouldn’t stick to your finger)


9.  Set the oven to 300F.


10. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, one sheet at a time. They are done when they look kind of matte and seem firm when you lightly tap on them.  You can always rescue a slightly overcooked one with the maturation process that comes later, but you cannot rescue an undercooked one!!   


11. Remove from paper once completely cool. If they stick to the paper, they aren’t cool yet. Or you undercooked them.


Cherry-Almond Filling Recipe:

Makes enough for 40 small sandwiched macarons.

4 ounces of almond paste***

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature

1/2 pint of cherry preserves or cherry pie filling (I used cherry preserves from Trader Joe's)

a pinch of salt

cinnamon 

nutmeg

1 In a food processor, place the contents of the cherry preserves and start to grind until the large chunks of cherries are gone.  

2 Add a little bit of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg to taste.  Add more if you want it to be spicier tasting.  Set mixture aside.

3 Now, in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on low speed to break it up.

4 Slowly incorporate the butter while the mixture is running.  When the butter is completely incorporated the mixture will be smooth.

5 Add the ground cherries in and a pinch of salt.  Mix until it appears well-mixed.

6 You may store this cream if it is covered and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Assembling the cookies:

1 Add the filling to the macarons. I used a piping bag to pipe the filling in.

2 Store the filled cookies in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours for the best results.

***If you don't have any almond paste, here's my recipe for almond paste:


Almond paste recipe:

4 ounces of almonds (blanched. I used the pre-ground almonds from Trader Joe's)

4 ounces powdered sugar

1/2 an egg white

1. Grind the almonds in a food processor.

2. Add the sugar and grind again.

3. Add the egg white and continue grinding. Keep grinding until it looks like a paste.


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