French Macarons

Macaron Recipe Adapted from Cannelle and Vanille

A digital scale works best to measure the ingredients.  I purchased mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond for well under the $30 price, using a store coupon. 

225 grams powdered sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)
125 grams almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal but you can also grind your own from blanched almonds)
110 grams egg whites (left in a jar at room temperature for 1 to 2 days before using)
30 grams granulated sugar (I used super fine baker’s sugar)
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.  You may need a third sheet.

Using a digital scale, measure the powdered sugar and almond meal and put into a bowl. Sift the powdered sugar and almond meal with a sieve to remove any large or coarse bits and return to the bowl.  

Measure the egg whites with the digital scale and place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment.  Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium high speed until they form soft peaks.  Gradually, in small additions, add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. This process will take about 5 minutes. 

When the egg whites are glossy, add food color, if desired, until combined.

Add about one-third the almond/powdered sugar mixture to the egg whites and fold in.  Add another third and fold and finally the last third.  Keep folding until the mixture falls in a slow ribbon from the spatula.  

Using a pastry bag with a large round tip, pipe the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet  into approximately 1 1/2-inch discs.  If you are bad at piping as I am, you can draw the circles on the other side of the parchment as a guide.  

After piping, tap the baking sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles then allow the macarons to set at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before baking.  You should be able to touch the top and not have it stick to your finger.  

Bake for 12 minutes at 300˚F, turn off the oven, and open the oven door.  Leave the meringues inside the cooling oven for 2 hours. Note - I baked each sheet pan one-at-a-time and then after the last pan was finished, I put them all in the turned-off oven with the door half open.

<span style="font-weight:bold;">Chocolate Ganache Filling</span>
Ganache Recipe Adapted from Joy of Baking

4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons liqueur or brandy (I used Bailey’s Irish Crème) 

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add the liqueur, if desired