Thursday, August 9, 2012

Second Time's a Charm?

I have finally successfully made macarons!!! I know, I know, it sounds a little silly but for bakers like me, it is such an accomplishment! I have attempted to make them a few months ago but didn't turn out.  It didn't rise well and didn't create those frilly "feet". And quite frankly, it didn't taste that good either.  I finally had the courage to try it again a couple of days ago. This time it turned out great.  It looked good and tasted good!  Who would have thought these little things were hard to make?  It required so much patience and a really watchful eye.  Those darn French, why do they always make beautiful and yummy desserts and make it look so easy to make?!

The first time I made macarons, the recipe came from a fancy, expensive cookbook.  Yeah, well you already know what happened.  Then a few weeks ago, while shopping at AC Moore, I ran into a $5 macaron cookbook. I bought it and decided to try it.  This time it's a success!  You know what they say, "Never judge a book by it's cover"!

This is where the successful recipe came from.  It didn't say who the author/writer is.  Just says its a 2012 edition published by Parragon Books

I didn't get to take a lot of pictures during the process because I didn't actually think that it would be a success this time.  Next time I make it, I'll snap pictures of each step.

This was taken during "sitting time",
about an hour before baking.  The recipe calls to let it sit for 30 minutes but I let mine sit a little longer to make sure I get the "crust"
After baking.  Mine took 15 minutes in my oven.  See those frilly "feet" (bottom)?  I got so excited as soon as I took it out of the oven!

I'm calling out big names here, I should get paid! Hahahaha! The recipe calls for a chocolate ganache filling but I didn't want to make some and a couple of days ago while shopping at Wegman's, I found these new products from Jif.  I love trying new products!  I know there are a lot of Nutella fans out there but I'm telling you, these Chocolate hazelnut spread is up to par!  And for those who like coffee, the mocha cappuccino is really, really good! You should try it. They cost about $3.24 a jar.

My oh so yummy chocolate macarons! Hard on the outside, soft and chewy and gooey in the center! Next time I'll try to make other flavors!

For those who want to try making these yummy goodies, here's the recipe:

Chocolate Macarons

3/4 cup ground almonds
scant 1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 extra large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine sugar

For the filling:
Jif Chocolate hazelnut spread and/or Jif Mocha Cappuccino hazelnut spread

Place ground almonds, confectioner's sugar, and cocoa in a food processor and process for 15 seconds.  Sift mixture into a bowl. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place egg whites in a large bowl and whip until soft peaks forms.  Gradually beat in the superfine sugar to make firm, glossy meringue.

Using spatula, fold the almond mixture into the meringue 1/3 at a time.  When all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, continue to cut and fold the mixture until it forms a shiny batter with a thick, ribbonlike consistency.

Put batter in pastry bags with a 1/2 inch diameter tip.  Pipe 32 small circles into prepared sheets.  Gently tap bottom of baking sheets to remove air  bubbles.  Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Bake at preheated 325 F oven for 10-15 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully peel the macarons off the parchment paper and let cool completely.

Sandwich pairs of macarons together with desired filling.  Makes 16 cookies. Unfilled cookies will keep for 3-4 days in airtight container at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.  Filled macarons will keep in fridge for 2-3 days.

Happy Baking!

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