Paris, the city of light. It is such a beautiful city that I hope to get back to one day. I haven’t been there in almost seventeen years since I was in my early twenties. I have such wonderful memories of visiting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame. I also remember the best cup of coffee I ever had and enjoying walks down little streets and passing quaint bakeries.
Macarons, a French confection is made simply with egg whites, confectioners sugar, almond meal or almond flour and sugar. Sounds simple, right? Macarons are simple however they can be a little difficult if you are not patient with them. If you get the wrong consistency, the cookies may crack or you may not get the proper feet on the cookies. Feet on a macaron is referred to that little crackly area on the bottom of the cookie that gives it that distinct macaron look. I never thought I’d be so into feet, especially on a cookie until I started making these. After practice and several dozen cookies, you will finally get the hang of it. And once you do, if you are like me you may just stare at them the rest of the day.
I made these Candy Cane Macarons for the 2nd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I participated in this event last year and it was so much fun I was thrilled to do it again this year. It is the ultimate cookie exchange for food bloggers. I received three food bloggers, Katie from Katies Cucina, Jessica from Kettler Cuisine, and Dea from The Baking Robot. I sent them each a dozen of these macarons. In return I received a dozen cookies from three different food bloggers. Best part it is a total surprise, so you don’t know who has you until a package arrives at your doorstep filled with delicious cookies.
A big thank you to Annakate from La Aguacate, Crystal from Eat, Drink, Cleveland, and Christine from Cook the Story for the wonderful cookies they sent me. They were fabulous and great treats to enjoy these last few days.
These Candy Cane Macarons are perfect for the holidays, and even better for little confections to wrap and gift. People pay a premium price for these little goodies, so imagine making these yourself and gifting these this holiday. They are cookies that will certainly be enjoyed.
Here are some of my tips on creating the perfect macaron
~ Measure everything in grams with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a scale I have included volume measurements but those numbers can vary. For precise measurements and for best results use a scale.
~ Gradually sprinkle in almond meal and confectioners sugar on egg whites in thirds. In a circular motion around the bowl and then into the egg whites. Continue that motion until combined and then continue to add more mixture.
~ Overmixing and undermixing. I realized that in my trial and error that I undermixed because I was scared to overmix. This resulted in the macarons cracking. You want to gently fold until the mixture becomes ribbon like and is glossy.
What you will need to make macarons
~ Ingredients indicated on the recipe
~ Kitchen scale
~ Electric mixer
~ Baking sheets lined with parchment paper
~ Pastry tip (I like to use Wilton tip 12) and pastry bags. If you don’t have pastry bags use a freezer bag and cut a tip from there.
Ingredients for the shell include almond meal, confectioners sugar, egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and food coloring if desired.
Whisk egg whites until foamy.
Add in sugar, vanilla and food coloring if desired and whip on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
Gently fold in almond and confectioner sugar until incorporated and batter is glossy and can flow off a spatula like a ribbon.
Pipe 1 inch circles spacing about 1 inch apart on parchment lined paper. Let sit for until the tops have set and you can touch them without getting any batter on your fingers, about 30 minutes to an hour.
- 150 grams (about 1¼ cup) confectioners sugar
- 110 grams (about 1 cup) ground almond meal
- 100 grams (about 3 large eggs) egg whites, room temperature
- 50 grams (about ¼ cup) sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops food coloring or food gel (optional)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 4 oz. Wilton Candy Cane Colorburst Candy Melts, melted and slightly cooled
- Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl sift confectioners sugar and almond meal and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer whisk egg whites until foamy on medium speed. Sprinkle in sugar, vanilla and food coloring and whip on medium high speed until soft peaks form.
- Gradually fold in almond mixture into egg whites a third a time until mixture becomes glossy and has a ribbon like consistency.
- Place batter into pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe about 48 1-inch circles on prepared baking sheets. Tap side of baking sheet to remove any air bubbles. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour until top can be touched without any batter coming up.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake in preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, rotating half way through. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- Using an electric mixer beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add in confectioners sugar until combined. Blend in melted chocolate until creamy. Place filling in pastry bag fitted with round tip.
- Pair up same size macarons. Swirl a small amount of filling on macaron and gently sandwich paired macarons together.
- Store in an airtight container.
If you can't find Wilton Candy Cane Colorburst Candy Melts, use white chocolate or vanilla candy melts. Add a drop or two of peppermint extract and stir in a few tablespoons of finely crushed candy canes or peppermints. Macarons should remove from parchment paper with ease once baked using an off set spatula.
To keep parchment paper down on baking sheets without shifting, spray baking sheet first with cooking spray then place parchment paper down.
Bob's Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Meal/Flour was used in this recipe. It can be found at many local grocery stores, often in the organic section.