Today I want to introduce you to my friend Christie. We have been friends since high school; which seems like forever ago. Her passion for Christ is mad clear in all that she does. She runs, cooks, blogs, and is a big supporter of anything beef. I actually think I still have a “Got Beef” sticker on my car window that she gave me shortly after we graduated! lol … Enough with the introduction; lets dive into this cookie recipe!
Take it away Christie:
I wanted to break out of my cookie rut and try something different today. The French Macaron has always intrigued me and while I’ve never tried one, I wanted to take a stab at making some. Macarons in general are essentially made of almond, egg white, sugar and whatever you choose to fill them with. They’re tiny little cookies with a crispy crust on the outside and a slightly chewy inside. The creamy rich filling (whether that be a Swiss Meringue, ganache or jam) perfectly complements the pair of cookies.
I decided to make the Classic French Macaron with Chocolate Ganache. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s French Macaron Recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/355759/french-almond-macaroons
The first step is to mix your dry ingredients. Mix 1 ¼ cups of 10 x sugar with 1 ½ cups of almond flour together. Both were rather clumpy so I put them through my flour sifter to not only get rid of the clumps but to also evenly blend them.
You can see here that it was pretty beneficial to sift the two ingredients. The Almond flour had quite a bit of extra ‘chaff’ and I removed it from the blend to ensure a smooth texture for the cookies.
Much better! The 10 x sugar and almond flour happily blended together in perfect harmony!
In a separate bowl, I used my electric mixer to whip three egg whites. I beat them together until they formed a fairly white foam. I threw in a pinch of salt as well. While still beating the egg whites, gradually add in ¼ cup of granulated sugar, about 1 teaspoon at a time. When all the sugar has been added and you thoroughly beat the mixture, your egg whites should form soft peaks and hang off of the beaters like so.
The final step on the cookies is to slowly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites. Add half of the dry ingredients and slowly fold it in until the dry is fully incorporated with the wet. Do this again for the second half of the almond mixture and when you do, add in ½ teaspoon of vanilla.Grab a disposable piping bag and fill it half full with the cookie batter. In order to make perfectly circular and fairly even cookies, you’ll definitely want to use a piping bag. Line your cookie sheets with either parchment paper or a thin film of olive oil. Carefully pipe your cookie sheet with the cookie batter and place in a 350 degree oven.
My cookies took 9 minutes to bake, I pulled them just as the edges were starting to brown. Leave the cookies on the tray until they have cooled (about 5 minutes) and then carefully remove them from the tray. Let them continue to cool on wax paper
This batch made about 60 small cookies (30 filled macarons total), not counting the 4 or 5 I ate along the way.
The chocolate ganache is very simple. Start by boiling ½ cup of heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan. In a separate heat-proof mixing bowl, add ¾ cups of dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips) and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the cream starts to boil, remove it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate and butter. Let the cream rest on the chocolate for 2 minutes before mixing.
Once all your cute little macarons have cooled completely and the ganache is still fairly warm, cookie assembly can begin. I just put a small dollop of ganache in the center of one cookie and carefully smashed the second on top until the ganache came to the edges.
Success! French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache! The family is gathering for dinner tonight and these will be a perfect treat after the meal.
French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Cookies:
1 ¼ cup 10 x sugar
1 ½ cup almond flour
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup 60% cacao chips
1 tablespoon butter