Macarons have become so trendy that you see them in every bakery, specialty food store, and blog post. They are the new cupcake, and with good reason. They are a perfect French cookie, light and rich at the same time with so many flavor choices. My only objection is the price per cookie at all these places. You can make them at home so easily, I urge you to try it once. I love the macarons at Miette in San Francisco, and the recipe is in their cookbook.
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
3 egg whites, room temperature
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Grind the nuts by pulsing in a food processor or spice grinder with the powdered sugar until they have reached a fine sand consistency, but not so long that they start getting paste-like. Remove to a bowl.
Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they reach stiff peaks. Fold the dry ingredients in thirds into the egg whites with a spatula.
Pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets in 1 inch circles spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. Let the sit at room temperature for 2 hours to develop the shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, until set. Allow to cool on the baking sheets completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 3/4 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and heat to 238 degrees. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until they are light and fluffy. Add the sugar syrup a couple tablespoons at a time until it is all incorporated. Allow to cool while continuing to whip. Once the combination has reached room temperature, add the vanilla and the butter in pieces.
Add 1/4 cup raspberry jam to half the recipe of vanilla buttercream above. You can use more and strain out the seeds if you wish. Just add a little water and strain. If it’s too runny, you can cook it down.
To Make Chocolate Macarons
Add 1/2 cup cocoa with the sugar and leave out the cream of tartar. Use chocolate buttercream.