Vanilla Macarons

Vanilla Macarons // Flour and Fancy


Macarons remain on my mind and in my oven.

After making my Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons, I went on a macaron making spree.  Macarons here.  Macarons there.  Macarons everywhere.  When I overcome a baking challenge and produce a perfect recipe, I find myself baking it over and over in sweet celebration.  And I’m continuing the celebration here with another macaron recipe: Vanilla Macarons.

Everyone needs a recipe for both chocolate and vanilla macarons in their kitchen arsenal.

Vanilla Macarons // Flour and Fancy

These vanilla macarons taste like a light, fluffy vanilla cookie.  Their texture is utter perfection.  Like a vanilla cloud in your mouth.

One other technique I’ve learned in my macaron baking journey: Refrigeration yields amazing results.  After baking a batch, placing them in the refrigerator for three or four days is the perfect time frame for a well textured macaron.  I discovered this because I made a batch but didn’t devour them for a few days afterword.  (Hard to believe, I know.)  And when I did finally get around to devouring them, I found that extended refrigeration really improved them significantly.

Vanilla Macarons // Flour and Fancy

The filling used here is a simple vanilla buttercream.  Everything about this macaron is a celebration of simplicity.  The taste notes are not highly dynamic, but their flare comes from the familiar flavors, that transportation to childhood when you were nibbling on a Vienna Finger with a glass of milk.  This is the adult version of that afternoon snack.

If you’d like to add a bolder flavor to your macarons, I recommend filling with raspberry jam or chocolate hazelnut spread instead of the vanilla buttercream I used.  Both options are delicious choices when paired with the vanilla cookie.

Vanilla Macarons // Flour and Fancy

Vanilla Macarons
Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 drop copper gel-based food coloring
  • 1/2 vanilla bean – seeds only

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using your food processor, combine almond meal and sugar.  Pulse several times to aerate.  Process until very fine and combined.  Once complete, pour through a flour sifter in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using your standing mixer, place the egg whites in a bowl and begin your meringue.  Using your whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until the egg whites are foamy and fairly clear.  This should take 30 to 45 seconds.  Add vanilla bean seeds and food coloring and beat on a higher setting for one minute.  Continue to beat at the same setting while adding the granulated sugar slowly.  The whites will become shiny, and the mixture will stiffen and form soft peaks.  This should take around one minute.  Do not overheat.
  4. Fold the almond meal and sugar mixture into the meringue.  Mix until just combined.  Do not over mix.  This will cause the merge to deflate.  The mix should look like cake batter.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag.  (If you don’t have a pastry bag, no problem!  Simply pour the mixture into a gallon-size plastic storage bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners.  Now you have your own improvised pastry bag!)
  6. On your lined baking sheet, pipe out one inch rounds no less than one inch apart.  Should have about 24 rounds.  Allow the baking sheets to sit on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature.  Tap the baking sheet on the counter three times before baking to release air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating after seven minutes.  Then, transfer the sheet to a cooking rack and allow to cool completely, approximately 25 minutes.
  8. Once the macarons have cooked, begin pairing them together based on appearance.  Pick cookies that compliment each other in size and shape.  Use any filling that you enjoy.  Place a dime-sized portion of the filling on one cookie and press together.  (You can use a pastry bag for this or a small spoon.  I recommend a pastry bag for the best presentation.)  Be gentle.  Don’t allow the filling to ooze out of the sides.
  9. Place you completed macarons in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 to 36 hours before serving for further cooking and to allow them to “settle.”  I recommend allowing them to remain the refrigerator for three or four days before serving, but the 24 to 36 hour rule is essential.  After refrigeration, devour and savor!

Note: For the filling, I used a simple vanilla buttercream.  Other delicious options include whipped chocolate hazelnut spread or peanut butter or your favorite jam.  I found these to be delightful with a raspberry jam filling.

 

 

 

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