Mcarons Espresso Blackberry Macarons For macarons: 3 ounces almond flour (2/3 cup) or blanched sliced almonds (3/4 cup) or slivered

almonds (2/3 cup) 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon instant-espresso powder 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 3 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons granulated sugar For filling: About 1/2 cup blackberry jelly Equipment: a food processor with a sharp blade or an electric coffee/spice grinder a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip or a quart-size sealable bag with a corner snipped off an offset spatula. Make macarons batter: Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Grind almond flour or almonds owdery, 30 seconds for almond der, grind in small batches.) ot fine enough for almost all into a large bowl. with confectioners sugar in food processor until p flour, about 2 minutes for almonds. (If using grin Sift through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl (if n of nuts to go through sieve, regrind). Sift again

Stir together espresso powder and vanilla in a cup until powder has dissolved. Beat egg whites with salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Beat in granulated sugar, a little at a time. Increa se speed to high and beat until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks, about 1 minu te. Add espresso mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated. Fold meringue into almond mixture with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. (Mering ue will deflate and batter will be loose.) Pipe and bake macarons: Put small dabs of batter under corners of parchment to secure to baking sheets. Spoon half of batter into pastry bag. Holding bag vertically just above baking s heet, pipe 1 1/2-inch-wide mounds of batter about 1 inch apart, stopping pressur e and flicking tip sideways to avoid peaks (tamp down any peaks with a wet finge r). Refill pastry bag and repeat. Let macarons stand, uncovered, at room tempera ture until a light crust forms, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Bake macarons, switching position of sheets halfway through, until crisp and int erior does not give easily when gently pressed, 22 to 28 minutes total. Cool com pletely on baking sheets (to harden bottoms) on racks, about 30 minutes. Loosen macarons from parchment with offset spatula (they will be fragile). Assemble cookies: Sandwich flat sides of macarons together with a thin layer of jelly.

Layer macarons between sheets of parchment in an airtight container and let stan d at room temperature at least 2 hours to soften before eating. Variations: Chocolate earl grey macarons: •Add 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona) to almond flou r or almonds when grinding. •Omit instant-espresso powder and vanilla. •Grind 1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea (from 1 tea bag) to a fine powder in an electric c offee/spice grinder. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon (reserve remainder) on macarons before baking. •Fill with chocolate Earl Grey ganache: Bring 1/2 cup cream and remaining 3/4 teas poon tea powder to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in 3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (60% to 64% cacao if marked) a nd 1 tablespoon unsalted butter until smooth. Chill, whisking occasionally, unti l thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a sealable bag. Snip off a corner and pipe to fill macarons. (There will be ganache left over.) Grapefruit macarons: •Add 2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest to almond flour or almonds when grinding. •Omit instant-espresso powder and vanilla. •Beat 6 drops red food coloring into meringue. • Fill with grapefruit marmalade. Coconut passion-fruit macarons: •Add 1 cup unsweetened grated dried coconut (3 ounces) to almond flour or almonds when grinding. •Omit instant-espresso powder and vanilla. •Beat 6 drops yellow food coloring into meringue. •Fill with passion-fruit curd: Whi sk together 1/3 cup thawed passion-fruit purée, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 large egg yolks, and a pinch of salt in a small heavy saucepan. Add 1/2 stick butter (cut into pi eces). Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking, then simmer, whisking c onstantly, until curd is thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool completely. Transfer to a s ealable bag. Snip off a corner and pipe to fill macarons. (There will be curd le ft over.) Pistachio-cardamom macarons: •Substitute 1/3 cup unsalted shelled pistachios plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom for half of the almond flour or almonds when grinding. •Omit instant-espresso powder and vanilla. •Beat 4 drops green and 3 drops yellow food coloring into meringue. •Fill with apricot jam. These cookies should set for a while before serving. The fillings help soften th e meringue—and your patience will be rewarded with a wonderfully chewy texture. Jasmine Tea Macaron - Filled with a white chocolate (Valrhona Ivoire) ganache de licately perfumed with jasmine tea.

Ingredients 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar 1 1/3 cups almond flour (see Note)

2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 5 large egg whites, at room temperature 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped Directions Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large, wide bowl, using a large rubber spatula or a handheld electric mixer , mix the confectioners' sugar with the almond flour and cocoa powder. Add 2 of the egg whites and mix until evenly moistened. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and bring to a boil; using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of th e pan. Boil over high heat until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer. In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat the remaining 3 egg whites unti l soft peaks form. With the mixer at high speed, carefully drizzle the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites and beat until the meringue is firm and glossy. Stir one-fourth of the meringue into the almond-cocoa mixture. Using a rubber sp atula, fold in the remaining meringue. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fit ted with a plain 1/2-inch tip; pipe onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2-inc h mounds, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Tap the sheets and let dry at room te mperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the meringues to the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Bake the m eringues for 5 minutes. Turn the oven on to 400° again and bake the meringues for 8 minutes, until the meringues are puffed and the tops are firm and glossy. Tran sfer the baking sheets to racks and let the meringues cool completely. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cream with the corn syrup and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand until melted, a bout 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally; it will become very thick. Carefully peel the meringues off a small pastry bag fitted with a turdy plastic bag and snip off a half of the meringues. Top with of the parchment paper. Spoon the ganache into 1/4-inch tip. Alternatively, use a resealable s corner. Pipe the ganache onto the flat sides of the remaining meringues and serve.

Notes Almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds) is available at supermarkets.

Ingredients 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1 cup almond flour (see Note) 3 large egg whites, at room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water 2 or 3 drops red food coloring 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Directions Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large, wide bowl, using a large rubber spatula or a handheld electric mixer , mix the confectioners' sugar and the almond flour with 1 of the egg whites unt il evenly moistened. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and bring to a boil; using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Cook over high heat until the syrup reaches 240° on a candy thermometer. In another large bowl, using clean, dry beaters, beat the remaining 2 egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer at high speed, caref ully drizzle the hot sugar syrup over the whites and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the food coloring until the meringue is bright pink. Stir one-fourth of the meringue into the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining meringue. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted wi th a plain 1/2-inch tip; pipe onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2-inch moun ds, 1 inch apart. Tap the sheets and let dry for 15 minutes. Transfer the meringues to the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Bake the m eringues for 5 minutes. Turn the oven on to 400° again and bake the meringues for 8 minutes, until they are puffed and the tops are firm and glossy. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let cool completely. Peel the meringues off of the pa rchment paper. Spoon the jam into a small pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Alternatively, use a resealable sturdy plastic bag and snip off a corner. Pipe the preserves o nto the flat sides of half of the meringues. Top with the remaining meringues an d serve. Notes Almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds) is available at supermarkets.

The French Macaron is different from the dense cookie called macaroons. Macarons are sandwich-like pastries made with two thin cookies made from egg whites, alm ond powder, confectioner's sugar and granulated sugar and a cream or ganache bet ween the cookies. They come in a variety of colors and flavors. Tips: Use aged egg whites (about 2 days at room temperature), sometimes microwaving th e eggs for 30 seconds instead can work as well Make sure you sift all of your ingredients thoroughly! No Lumps! If you can help it, try to cook in a an area with low humidity, or with the air conditioner running Don't over mix the eggs! This can lead to a watery meringe. Mix about 8 minutes after all of the sugar has been added. Don't over mix dry ingredients! Mix quickly, by folding the ingredients in.

Play with temperatures and times, everyone's oven is different. When the cookies come out of the oven, spray water underneath the parchment pape r while they are cooling, this way they come off the paper easier. These cookies are fragile! Handle with care! Over mixing when adding dry ingredients can also cause a watery batter Some find that letting macarons sit for 15 minutes before baking will help preve nt cracking, however I have not noticed a significant difference Pinch of cream of tartar

1 cup confectioners' sugar ¾ cup almond flour ( you can make this with almond slices in a food processor) 2 large egg whites, room temperature Pinch of cream of tartar ¼ cup sugar powdered food coloring Mix confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Si ft mixture until no lumps are left. Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk whites with cream of tartar with a mixer on medium s peed until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes after you added the s ugar. Mix in food coloring and flavoring. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fo ld until mixture is smooth and shiny. Transfer batter to a pastry bag or a zip lock bag with a hole cut in one end. Do this by fitting the bag into a cup, then spoon in the batter. Pipe 3/4-inch rou nds 1 inch apart on 2 doubled up baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Tap b ottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Reduce oven temperat ure to 330F. Bake 1 batch at a time about 10 -15 minutes. After each batch, incr ease oven temperature to 375F, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 330F. Let macaroons cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If m acaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. This will release macarons.) Sandwich 2 macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Let macarons sit one day (if you ca n) to let the flavors intensify. You can also freeze macarons for 3 months. For filling see Ganache or Buttercream Recipes by Martha Stewart.

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