We all love them…cupcakes, lollipops, chandeliers and damask prints are the talk of the town. But, what’s next? Everyone is after the new “it” item to be the center of a wedding theme, a baby shower, nursery decor which then trickles down into stationary, charms, and blogging where it goes viral. Macaroons may be an old French tradition yet have always been adored through time by many at Pierre Herme and Laduree. As soon as they hit places like The Party Dress, Bakerella, Martha Stewart and McDonald’s…yes the McDonald‘s in Paris near the Louvre are selling this perfect little treats, you know they are going to hang around–for a little bit, at least.
What’s not to love about anything tiny, cute and colorful. Macaroons are usually a cookielike biscuit with a shiney exterior made of coconut and egg white or coarse almond meal, with soft, delicious insides. Put them on a stick, box them up with pretty details and stack them amongst other amazing desserts. Stay on top of the latest trends with Parisian Macaroons of all flavors and colors.
Makes about 16 filled macaroons
- 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Macaroon Filling
- To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
- Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
- To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Variations: To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.