Raspberry Almond Macaroons

29 Dec

Macaroons are finicky little things. It can’t be too humid, they have to sit for half an hour before baking, and they like to watch Pride and Prejudice while being made (ok, maybe not the macaroons). “Oh, my goodness, everybody behave naturally.”

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But really, macaroons are tough. My first batch came out with too much air in the middle and the tops shattered like glass when I bit into them. The second batch, thankfully, were much softer and less dense. Blame it on the December humidity…

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I also tried a couple of different fillings. The first was a cream cheese frosting that didn’t go as well as I hoped with the raspberry jam, so I used the heavy cream filling recipe in Macaroons, which is where the macaroon recipe itself comes from.

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I still say there’s nothing to make you feel more like an accomplished adult than making meringue (a delicate combo of egg whites and sugar, and a pit stop on the way to full-fledged macaroons). Stiff, glossy peaks are always a win.

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In the end, my softer batch of macaroons came together, and the heavy cream filling balanced well with the sweetness of the jam. And (spoiler!), Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy end up together. Win, indeed.

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Raspberry Almond Macaroons

Makes 16 sandwiches, or 8 in my case

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ground almonds (I used almond meal)

1 cup powdered sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 cup fine sugar (I took regular sugar and ground it in the food processor)

several drops red food coloring

1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

filling:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons raspberry jam

Directions:

Grind almond meal and powdered sugar for 15 seconds in food processor, then sift into bowl.

Put your room temperature egg whites in a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or use hand mixer) and whisk on high until soft white peaks form. Slowly add your fine sugar until a glossy meringue forms. Add food color until desired pink is achieved.

Using a spatula, fold sifted ingredients into the meringue a third at a time. Once mixed, continue to fold in until the batter has a thick, shiny consistency.

Pour batter into pastry bag with 1/2 inch tip, or sandwich bag and cut a similar size hole.  Pipe small circles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then tap the sheets on your work surface to remove any bubbles. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bake for 12 minutes, then let them rest for 10 minutes on the pan before removing from the parchment paper.

For the filling, use your whisk attachment to blend the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form, then spread the mixture along with your jelly between your macaroons.

Time

1.5 hours

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