I did it! I made macarons! After tasting some for the first time a couple years ago and falling in love, I’d had them on my list of things to learn to make. Not sure why it took me so long and I can’t wait to make them again. Even Kevin liked them! I used a recipe from Joanne Chang found online at the Fine Cooking website. She does a great, short video how-to for the cookies. There are many variations available, but I chose to do Cocoa Macarons with a dark chocolate ganache inside. (Surprise.)
I followed Joanne’s recipe and techniques pretty exactly. Especially her plea to measure the ingredients with a scale. She made her cookies with just the traditional almond flour base, but also gave measurements for adding a little cocoa to the batter.
I think my cookies are a little small, but they are not small on flavor at all, making it easy to pop more than one in your mouth at any given cookie-eating sitting! The simple batter is just made with whipped egg whites, a little sugar, almond flour and in this case some cocoa. The batter then goes into a piping bag and little round mounds are piped onto a cookie sheet.
I sure mine are small because the largest piping tip I have isn’t the suggested 1/2 to 3/4-inch tip, it’s more like 1/4 inch. I need to go piping tip shopping! ;)
I don’t know if my macarons have a little too much “feet” (the bottom of the cookie that sticks out a little), but I don’t really care because they turned out so yummy and petite and perfectly chocolaty.
I’ll keep playing around and trying some different recipes an techniques and decide what works best.
The ganache is perfectly dark chocolaty and so simple to make. Joanne’s recipe is just dark chocolate and cream. I added a little vanilla extract and almond extract and loved it!
Look at this little army of macarons! The recipe made 32 of the smaller ones for me.
My friend Bonnie was visitng with her sister and they ate a few of these cookies and liked them, too. Macarons are almost better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, at least we thought so. Some recipes will tell you they are best the day they are made (Joanne’s does), but after chilling with that ganache in between (then brought to room temperature), we loved the chew it gave them. They were just a little on the crispy side fresh. Either way though, they are light and crispy an airy and chocolaty goodness.
Sealing the deal here, you know you want to try these! Can’t wait to try them with other flavors and fillings!
Here’s a few websites with lots of great instruction—but don’t let all that info scare you. Read a few things and then have at it—it’s pretty simple!
Helene’s blog, Tartelette is swimming in macaron goodness and expertise.
Food Nouveau has a great post about macaron making.
The list goes on and on—just Google “how to make macarons”—endless information and countless varieties!