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Mastering Macarons


Almond macarons filled with raspberry cream

Every wonder how to make French macarons? A simple recipe that calls for just four ingredients, plus almond flour. These French sandwich cookies have a crisp exterior and a slightly chewy center, and can be filled with your favorite filling. At first they may seem like a lot of work, but with a few simple tricks, you'll be an expert in no time.


INGREDIENTS


2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds (71 grams)

1 cup confectioners' sugar (117 grams)

2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)

Jam or other filling



DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lower third. Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute.


Pass almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer solids in sieve to food processor; grind and sift again, pressing down on clumps. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains in sieve.


Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed (4 on a Kitchen Aid) 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high (6) and beat 2 minutes. Then beat on high (8) 2 minutes more.

The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add flavoring and food coloring, if desired, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds.

Add dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. Repeat just until batter flows like lava, 35 to 40 complete strokes.

Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip inside a glass. Transfer batter to bag; secure top. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets; line with parchment.

With piping tip 1/2 inch above sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. Allow piped unbaked macarons to sit for 15 minutes to an hour depending on humidity in your kitchen. The surface should feel dry and not sticky before baking. ( do not skip this step )

Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, 13 minutes. Let cool. Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies; top with remaining half. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

ENJOY!

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