French Macarons + A #Giveaway!

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Best.Birthday.Ever.  

Seriously.  This years birthday rocked! If this is what 31 looks like, bring it on! I’m ready for the rest of the year.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t end today.  :-?

To sum it up: early Hobbit screening, new camera lens, snuggly puppy time (the dude just knows), all around awesomeness from hubs and this

Don’t feel like clicking the link?  Okay I’ll just tell you. 

I won. I WON. IWONIWONIWONIWONIWON. Alright, now that is out of my system.  I will resume acting like an adult.  

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Yes folks, I did it again, yours truly won this years Brooklyn Cookie Takedown!!!  Mayhaps you remember this post from last year, with my duck fat caramel, triple chocolate chip cookies that brought me the people’s choice prize. 

Well this year, I felt I need to class the joint up a bit.  I mean, how else was I going to come back from the monstrosity that I made last year? The only reasonable thing to do was to make the most difficult cookie out there.  French Macarons. 

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Of course, I can’t make things easy on myself either, in my opinion what makes a French Macaron so alluring is all their pretty colors and flavors.  Seeing as the only rule to the competition is that your item must be baked, I went ahead and did 4 flavors. 

Today, I’m just giving you the recipe.  Soon – I promise, soon you WILL have a step by step photographic guide of how to make these pretty little gems.  One of my awesome prizes is that Leske’s Bakery in Brooklyn will be selling my cookies! If you are local, you too can go try them out!  I’ll be showing the bakers how to make the macarons and that will be my opportunity to take photos to show to you.  Because in all honesty, when you have to make 300 complete (i.e 600 shells), taking photos of the process is not your first priority! 

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I know this post is getting long, but I also need to credit a two sites that helped me along in my recipe process.  When researching exactly how I wanted my base recipe to go, I decided I needed to go the ratio route.  There are so many differing opinions on how to make a French Macaron.  In the end baking is a science, you can’t go wrong with math.   I finally discovered the best ratio on Not So Humble Pie.  She has an entire Macaron series and they look stunning.   BraveTart also has an excellent guide on making Macarons, will helped in my overall process of making them. 

Between those 2 sites, plus a lot of practice and some failures I finally ended up with perfect little Macarons with feet, no cracks and no hallow shells!

5.0 from 3 reviews
French Macarons + A #Giveaway!
 
The recipe below is just for the macaron shell. In my notes I will include the types of fillings that I used. Filling options are endless when it comes to macarons. Also when it comes to coloring your shells, make sure to purchase gel food coloring. Liquid food coloring will throw off the amount of moisture in your recipe. A few other things to keep in mind: 1)Try to age your egg whites, at least by 1 day 2) Use parchment paper over a silpat, I found the Marcarons baked better and removed easier on parchment 3) Weigh everything, that's why my measurements are in grams. These are finicky cookies and we need to be precise on the measurements.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Ingredients
  • 150 grams egg whites - aged at least 1 day
  • 45 grams white sugar
  • 300 grams powdered sugar
  • 180 grams almond meal
  • optional: 4 and ½ tablespoons cocoa powder for chocolate Macarons
  • optional: gel food coloring of your choice, the exact amount depends on the color you want. Start small and increase.
Instructions
  1. Using your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the egg whites and white sugar on low (#2 setting) for 2 minutes or until the egg whites start to foam.
  2. After 2 minutes increase the speed to the #4 setting and whip for another 2-3 minutes. At this point more air will incorporate into the egg whites.
  3. Finally, increase the speed to #6-7 and whip until a stiff peak forms about 5-6 minutes more. This is also the best time to add your gel food coloring if you are using any.
  4. You know your eggs are at the perfect consistency if you can take the mixing bowl and turn it upside down and nothing falls out.
  5. Using a food processor, place the powdered sugar and almond meal in the bowl (cocoa powder too if using) and pulse for 30 seconds, until it is a fine meal.
  6. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the egg whites. This is one of those times we are not concerned with deflating your whites. Fold in the whites, mixing well - about 50-60 times until everything is fully incorporated. The batter should look like lava at the end.
  7. Transfer to a prepared piping bag and have 3 baking sheets lined with parchment paper nearby.
  8. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet. The best way to pipe is to pipe straight down and then do a little swish with the tip. Move on to the next one. It takes time to get this movement right but that's what practice is about.
  9. Once everything is piped. Tap the baking sheet hard against your counter to get any air bubbles out and let it sit in a cool space (not any place humid) for at least an hour. You are looking for a shell to form over the Macaron.
  10. After sitting, pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.
  11. Bake one tray at a time for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through (I like to bake for 8 minutes, rotate and then finish baking for another 7).
  12. Opening the oven halfway, lets steam escape and helps your Macarons puff and achieve "the foot"
  13. Let cool completely, and fill with one of the options below or one of your choice.
Notes

These are the 4 flavors that I used:
Meyer Lemon Curd (I did an adaption of this recipe)
Homemade Nutella
Mint Chocolate Ganache - very simple heat ⅓ cup heavy cream and pour over ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate. Melt until smooth and then add 1-2 teaspoons of pure mint extract. Set up in the fridge and pipe.
Peanut Butter and Jelly

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My cheering section!

So as I said above I won.  Actually I swept the entire competition by winning 1st place on the people’s and judge’s side.  Lucky me took home some awesome prizes and because the holidays are amongst us, I want to share one of them with YOU! My awesome readers. 

I am giving away a Cuisinart 5-speed hand mixer for your baking needs! Woo-hoo!

There are 4 possible ways to win, with the first one being the only mandatory entry. 

Giveaway details: One (1) Cuisinart 5-speed hand mixer.  It is open to U.S. Residents Only and will run from Friday, December 20, 2012 to Thursday, December 27, 2012  I will announce one (1) random winner on Friday, December 28th.  Please be sure to include a way for me to contact you via email when entering. 

How to Enter:

  • Required Entry: Leave a comment with your favorite type of French Macaron!

Additional Entries (not required, but will give you more chances to win) please leave a comment after completing each task. 

  • Like The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Facebook
  • Follow The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Pinterest
  • Subscribe to The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen by entering your email in the sidebar to the left. 

Good luck to everyone who enters!

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39 Comments

  1. Wow, congrats! They look amazing and I’m sure they taste amazing as well. It’s cool that they’ll be sold. I love macarons but have never tried making them myself. Might as well wait for your awesome tutorial and learn from the award winning master. :)

    Reply
  2. I am so incredibly proud of you!! You’re the BEST!!
    I love anything salted caramel, I had a funfetti salted milk chocolate macaron at the Union Sq. Holiday market that blew my mind. Probably not as good as yours though!!!

    Reply
  3. My friends just made pumpkin spice macarons for a pumpkin-themed baby shower that we hosted. They were amazing! Yours look fantstic, by the way.

    Reply
  4. I love simple vanilla bean macarons the best – those are beautiful!

    Reply
  5. I liked you on Facebook.

    Reply
  6. I subscribed via e-mail

    Reply
  7. I followed on pinterest

    Reply
  8. I love pistachio macarons. Yum!

    Reply
  9. I have never had a bakery macaron. I did try my hand at making them earlier this year- I made chocolate macarons filled with strawberry preserves. Mine didn’t “feet” as well as they should have, but I enjoyed making them. They are still on my baking to-do list, so I have bookmarked your recipe!

    Reply
  10. vanilla are my favorite

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  11. I receive your emails

    Reply
  12. I like you on facebook

    Reply
  13. Your Macarons look so yummy, can’t wait to make some. I like the peanut butter and jelly the most. I need a new mixer, mine just croaked.
    cjbrick@ymail.com

    Reply
  14. I Like The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Facebook

    Reply
  15. I Follow The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Pinterest

    Reply
  16. I Subscribe to The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

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  17. Chocolate with a raspberry ganache!

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  18. CONGRATULATIONS!!! that is so awesome and so deserved – these look absolutely gorgeous and sound wonderful! i’m totally wishing i could try each and every one of these macarons!

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  19. Congrats. I have never had a Macaron. But I would certainly try one, if only my mixer hadn’t died.

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  20. I’ve never had a macaron, but I can’t imagine not loving a chocolate one!

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  21. WOW! Those cookies are BEAUTIFUL!! BEAUTIFUL! Big congrats to you, what an accomplishment!! I’ve never had a macaron but I have saved your recipe and plan on tackling it, soon! :)

    Reply
  22. I am following you on facebook as Rust Hawk.

    Reply
  23. I’m also following you on pinterest now …..[no, I musn't, I musn't!!!] …..one peek at your pinterest and I know I would lose at least an hour in your pictures and recipes ……oh my! Let me scoot over a couple of browser tabs and create a permanent open home for your pinterest boards ….. :)

    Reply
  24. I subscribed to your emails too [as if I could resist!]

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  25. Congrats, Susan! Your macaroons are gorgeous. Macaroons are on my list of things to bake next year. I can’t wait. If I have questions, I’ll be sure to email the pro (you). Happy Birthday!

    Reply
  26. I like pistachio macarons.

    Reply
  27. I liked you on facebook. Look forward to see what else you cook up.

    Reply
  28. EEEEEEE CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY-BELATED-BIRTHDAY!!!!

    You’re so awesome. That’s why you’re always winnin’ stuffs.

    These macarons look TASTILICIOUS!

    Reply
  29. My favorite kind of french macaron is chocolate of course

    Reply
  30. I already like Girl in the Little Red Kitchen on Facebook.

    Reply
  31. I just subscribed to your newsletter.

    Reply
  32. You know, I honestly haven’t had too many macarons in my day so I can’t really say I have a favourite. All of yours look gorgeous, though.

    Reply
  33. I like you on Facebook. Deb Christie

    Reply
  34. love coconut macaroons!

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  35. like you on fb

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  36. follow you on pinerest (name: kad5243)

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

    Reply
  37. great macarons! one of the cookies that I am afraid to make it as I see many people fail making those. Yours truly look wonderful. also nice of food styling! great inspiration.

    Reply

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