French Macarons

I attempted French Macarons… again. The first time I did them, like how many years ago, they were okay. At that time I wasn’t sure what they were supposed to taste like. The recipe turned out okay I would say. I didn’t feel like filling them because I didn’t want to make a filling so we used some strawberry jam I had in the fridge. Other than that… meh. These are kind of time-consuming cookies really.

So a couple months ago I decided to try again, but this time I planned on making them Coffee French Macarons. Holy cow, they didn’t work. They didn’t bake. They were awful. I threw them all away. It was sad. Also, I didn’t have any heavy whipping cream so I tried to thicken half and half to make the ganache. My Friend Google told me I could. He lied. It was just a nightmare.

At that point, I thought I had given up… But then I ran across a blog called Bigger Bolder Baking. Gemma is Irish. She does/has a YouTube channel and listening to her accent is fun. So I decided to see if she’d made French Macarons. By golly, she had. I watched both videos she made and then I got the urge again.

Now, I was ahead of the game a little. One thing you need to do is have egg whites at room temperature and aged 24-48 hours. Over the weekend I made Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie. After we went to the Merchantile, everyone was raving about it. I had a bite but really don’t remember it. We had a family game night over the weekend and I made dessert. You guessed it… Chocolate Pie. It uses egg yolks so I had egg whites sitting in a bowl. I guess you could say I was already preparing to try French Macarons again before I came across Gemma’s recipe. Guilty.

French Macarons

Gemma said that these are temperamental cookies. She’s not lying. And truthfully it is not difficult, you just have to be precise. This is where the scale I got for Christmas comes in handy. Especially because she said you had to measure in metric measurements. Hello Grams. Thank goodness my scale measures in those…. whew! Saved by the scale.

She also recommended using a hand mixer, so I dug it out and did. So you want to whisk your egg whites, 55grams to be exact, until soft peaks form. Then you add sugar, turn the mixer to high and let it form stiff peaks.

Next, you have to sift in your almond flour (meal, grounds, whatever) with powdered sugar. If something doesn’t go through the fine mesh sift, leave it… it’ll be too big for these fine cookies. And ignore my poor sifter… it looks dirty but it isn’t.

Then you hand fold this all together… but don’t over mix. Like 30-40 stirs. Yup, that’s how it goes. No big mixer… just a spatula.

Then you put that into a piping bag, put out into circles on a baking tray and let them “dry” and get crusty. Ewww… crusty? Anyway…. moving on… They have to sit out for 40 minutes-1 hour before baking. Then in a cooler oven, you bake them.

And if you did it correctly they are smooth on top with feet. BAM! Score, I did it!

Now she made hers like donuts, so that’s what I did too.  I made a buttercream from her recipe. I halved it but I would suggest only a quarter because I had a lot of icing left over. Then I filled the middle of the icing with grape jelly. Oh, I added that to my buttercream too!

And the final picture… the Grape Jelly French Macaron. Yum!

Oh and I didn’t top mine like she did. Oh well!

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