Macarons and Macaroons

22 Oct

In the midst of dreaming up all of the halloween/fall related gluten free treats I could make, I realized the best ones already exist – and are naturally gluten free.

Both French macarons and the more American Jewish coconut macaroons are some of my favorite treats.  I usually only make the latter during passover – when, obviously, I can’t use flour.

So this week you’ll get both – the beautiful array of Parisian macarons and some of Smitten Kitchen’s raspberry macaroons. And to make appropriate for halloween, you can just use some orange coloring!

Ingredients:

1 bag (14 ounces) sweetened, flaked coconut
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
3 large egg whites (90 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put coconut in food processor and pulse 20-30 times.  Add sugar and pulse another 20-30 times.  Add egg whites, salt, and vanilla and pulse until mixed evenly.  Add raspberries and pulse 10-15 times until the raspberries are mostly broken down (it won’t be completely even).  Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto baking sheet evenly spaced apart, and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating once, until lightly golden.

Enjoy!

~~~~

Makes ~80-100 macarons (feel free to cut in half or more)

Ingredients:

20 egg whites (600 grams)
18 ounces granulated sugar
24 ounces almond flour
32 ounces confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare several sheet pans with parchment paper.

Put almond flour and powdered sugar into a food processor and blend together.  Sift into a bowl large enough for mixing.

On high speed, beat egg whites using whisk (the stand mixer is best for this). When the egg whites reach soft peak stage, turn to low and add sugar. Turn mixer to medium speed and whip until egg whites are shiny and sugar is dissolved – you can tell by rubbing a bit between your fingers and it should feel silky – roughly 10 mins.   DO NOT over whip.  This is the key to a good macaron, the egg whites need to be stiff but if you go too long, it will become runny.

Fold egg whites into the almond flour mixture using a rubber spatula, folding about 10-15 times.  The mixture should be quite stiff or it won’t pipe right. This is where you will add color to the shell. You can split the mixture into different bowls to create assorted macarons.

Using a size 12 round tip (or larger), pipe small mounds approximately 1 inch apart.  (Some people think that letting them rest for about 30 mins helps them, but verdict is mixed on this.) Bake for approximately  12 minutes, or until the tops of the macarons are crusty.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Pair by size in order to sandwich with filling.

Filling Ingredients: 

Each of these is enough to fill all of the macarons. Adjust amount of filling to the number of macarons you want to make. These are also only a sampling of what you can do.  Replace lemon or raspberry with other pureed fruit. If you want fruit color to show through, use white chocolate.

Raspberry Ganache

4  ounces heavy cream
2 1/4 ounces sugar
8 ounces frozen raspberries, pureed
1 lb bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or use chips)
2 3/4 ounces butter, creamed
raspberry extract

Lemon Ganache

8 1/2 ounces heavy cream
1 oz sugar
2 3/4 lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 lb white chocolate, finely chopped
4 1/2 ounces butter, creamed

Pistachio Ganache

8 ounces heavy cream
3 ounces pistachio paste
tsp cinnamon
1 oz sugar
1 lb dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 oz butter, creamed

Coffee Ganache

8 3/4 ounces heavy cream
4 1/2 ounces sugar
3/4 ounces coffee extract
1 lb milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 1/2 oz butter, creamed

Filling Directions:

Bring all ingredients above chocolate to boil.  Strain mixture over the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl and whisk to combine.  Add creamed butter and mix to combine.  Let cool a bit and pipe a generous amount onto macarons. Gently press together to sandwich.

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