Tuesday, November 20, 2012

cinnamon biscoff macarons

I bought a kitchen scale over a year ago with all intentions of making macarons. I'd read how long and hard the process of making them could be and kept putting it off because I was so nervous I wouldn't get it right. But with help from my pro macaron-maker mom (through facetime) I made perfectly crispy, soft, chewy macarons on the first try! I couldn't be happier with how these macarons turned out and once you get the hang of the process, I don't think they would take nearly as long the second time around. These cookies have a light crispy shell, with a soft chewy center that is unlike any other cookie. Then you add the biscoff filling and they are irresistible, one of my favorite cookies I've ever baked!

Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you get leggy, crispy, soft, chewy macarons: 

1. Use older eggs, like let your eggs sit in the fridge for a week or two

2. Always weigh everything before starting, it's so much easier

3. I would recommend using a mesh strainer to sift the dry ingredients

4. Let your macarons have time to 'mature' before eating. Meaning, after you bake and fill them, don't eat them for at least 24 hours. Let them sit in the fridge for at least a day. They are good when they come out of the oven but they are 10000x better after you let them sit for a day or two, trust me

Cinnamon Macarons
makes 35 sandwich cookies

for the cookies:
7 ounces powdered sugar
4  onces almond meal/flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of cream of tarter
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

large pastry bag
1/2 inch round pastry tip (I used #12 Wilton tip)

for the biscoff filling:
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 c. marshmallow fluff
1/2 c. creamy biscoff
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2-4 tbsp whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Print the macaron template here and slide this under the parchment paper (don't forget to remove it before you slide the macarons in the oven!). 

Pulse 1/3 of the powdered sugar, cinnamon and all of the almond meal together in a food processor until it forms a fine powder. Pour this mixture into a mixing bowl along with the remaining powdered sugar and sift 3 times. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment, whisk whites and cream of tarter on medium speed until foamy and slightly bubbly. Gradually add granulated sugar until incorporated and scrape down sides of bowl and increase mixer speed to high, whisking until very stiff and glossy. Note: when you pull the beater out of the egg whites, my egg whites stuck to the beater and created a crater in the bowl. This is how stiff you want your egg whites to be. 

Fold in 1/2 of the sifted dry mixture to the egg white mixture and continue until it has all been added and the mixture is smooth. 

Transfer batter to a large pastry bag fitted with small round pastry tip and pipe rounds onto parchment paper using your macaron template. Hold the pastry bag straight up and squeeze straight down and let the batter form a circle on it's on. If you want to smooth the small peaks in the center of the cookies, wet your finger with water and lightly push down on the peaks to ensure smooth, flat macarons. 

Once you have piped all the macarons, light bang the cookie sheets on the counter to release any air bubbles in the cookies. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet for 45 minutes or until they no longer stick to your finger when lightly touched. 

Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway though. Let macarons cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let them cool before filling them.

To make the filling:

Cream the butter, biscoff and marshmallow fluff together. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and scrape down sides of the bowl after each addition. Lastly add milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Pipe filling onto a cooled macaron shell and sandwich with another shell and repeat until all shells are used. 

Macaron recipe from Sur la table

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