French Chocolate Macaroons

February 7, 2016
french chocolate macaroons, macaroons, french, French baking, sweet treats, baked goods, bake, baking, Williams-Sonoma

French macaroons, the delightful yet over-the-top expensive little sweet treats to make all of your woes fade away with each bite. I am obsessed with macaroons but not so much with their price tag. At $3.00 a pop at Whole Foods it is something I indulge in, but not as often as I’d like for reasons obvious. So being the so full blown pregnant woman that I am right now I figured I’d set out to learn how to make them. My first attempt was using a supposed ‘tried and true’ recipe from Pinterest…it yielded some sad looking macaroons as they were cracked and spread way too wide. This second French Chocolate Macaroons recipe is one I came across on Williams-Sonoma’s website, since that is after all where I purchased the handy dandy Macaroon Mat and the Piping Bag Set. This batch came out a lot truer in texture and flavor compared to legitimate French macaroons that I have had the pleasure of devouring. They could’ve been smoother on the tops, however, my new sifter that I bought wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be so I skimmed through that process quickly and only half-sifted the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar. These are easy to make but I found that moving a bit slower will yield a good batter consistency and pipping slowly and carefully will give you the perfect small round circles. The key to the size is to pipe just outside of the innermost circle on the macaroon mat. Can you ditch the macaroon mat and use a regular silpat? Sure, but they may be a bit more inconsistent. Can you use parchment paper or pipe the macaroons straight onto a baking sheet? No unless you want to waste your time as they will not come up and off as easily and risk breaking. If the consistency of the batter is too watery and runny add a little more of the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar until it is a little more pasty as opposed to runny. Don’t be intimidated by these small and delicious cookies. This recipe is a fail safe way to enjoy them by yourself or with others if you’re not feeling so selfish. Ha! Ha!

french chocolate macaroons, macaroons, french, French baking, sweet treats, baked goods, bake, baking, Williams-Sonoma

French Chocolate Macaroons

Ingredients

For the macarons:
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. granulated sugar
For the filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,
finely chopped
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at
room temperature

Prepare

1. Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. To make the macarons, in a food processor, combine the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and pulse until well blended.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.

4. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macarons are still slightly soft to the touch, 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macarons, transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. (The macarons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container.)

6. To make the filling, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread, at least 30 minutes.

7. If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macarons. Top with the remaining macarons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The cookies can be stored in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

french chocolate macaroons, macaroons, french, French baking, sweet treats, baked goods, bake, baking, Williams-Sonoma

French Chocolate Macaroons
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For the macarons
  1. 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  2. 1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  3. 3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 3 egg whites
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 2 tsp. granulated sugar
For the filling
  1. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  2. 2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate,
  4. finely chopped
  5. 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at
  6. room temperature
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. To make the macarons, in a food processor, combine the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar and pulse until well blended.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.
  4. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macarons are still slightly soft to the touch, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macarons, transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. (The macarons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container.)
  6. To make the filling, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread, at least 30 minutes.
  7. If desired, transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macarons. Top with the remaining macarons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The cookies can be stored in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Florida Girl Cooks http://floridagirlcooks.com/

author: Teresa Gonzalez

<p>Teresa is a South Florida native who is a photographer that also has a passion for food. She’s a seeker of sunshine, lazy days at the beach, and exquisite food.</p>

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