Pretty In Pink French Macarons

My funky pretty in pink continues with more pink recipes honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today is raspberry macarons.

I’ve been macaron obsessed for a while now. I have made them several times and they are very persnickity. You cannot make macarons when the weather is foggy or humid. Well, you can but it is very difficult for them to turn out right. This makes me sad as I love to make them but I live in the fog belt of San Francisco and most of the time I cannot get my macs to turn out right. I am so jazzed that we’ve been having awesome hot and sunny weather here in The City this week and I took the opportunity to make macarons the other day.

Raspberry Macarons

1  3/4 Cups Confectioners sugar

1 Cup almond meal*

* A word on almond meal: (I buy almond meal from Trader Joes and sift it like three times to get all the brown flecks out so the almond meal is more blond color) You can also take about 1 heaping cup of blanched sliced almonds and put in the food processor to grind to a fine powder. Sift it through a strainer to get out the big lumps of almond that just don’t grind well. If you choose to make your own almond meal know that you need to add a couple of Tablespoons of confectioners sugar so that the meal does not turn into paste.

1 Tbsp. raspberry powder (from dried raspberries)* [If you don’t have it; don’t stress-just omit it]

*A word about raspberry powder: You can find sources online that has raspberry powder. (To make your own: spread fresh raspberries out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dry in a warming oven (set to the lowest temp possible) until bone dry, then grind to a powder in a blender). Here is a source for raspberry powder:

3 egg whites from large eggs

pinch of cream of tartar

4 drops of red food coloring (or powdered red food coloring)

1/4 Cup super fine sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.

2. Mix together the confectioners sugar, almond meal, (and raspberry powder if you have it). Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer along with the pinch of cream of tartar until you have a thick foam, then add the red coloring and superfine sugar and beat for about 1 minute until you have firm peaks.

3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the almond meal/sugar mixture until it is incorporated. the mixture should be thick but runny at the same time. Put the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2 inch tip.

4. Pipe the macarons into about a quarter size shape on the sheets leaving at least 2 inches of space in between cookies. After piping; take the tray and rap it heavily on the counter to help release any air bubbles in the piped cookie and  leave the sheets out on the counter for one hour to let the macs form a skin on them and this helps them dry out slightly and helps add to the success of creating what is known as the “foot” on the macaron which is the curly looking ruffle along the edge of the cookie. After the cookies have rested for an hour. Place an empty sheet pan underneath the pan so you have a double panned cookie sheet.

5. Bake the macs at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes.

6. Slide the macs off the sheet pan and lett cool on a wire rack. When cold, lift them off the paper and sandwich them with about 1 tsp. of raspberry buttercream (recipe below) or raspberry seedless jam.

Raspberry Buttercream

3 large egg whites

1 cup sugar

2 sticks butter

1/2 Cup raspberry jam/preserves

1. Place the egg whites and sugar inthe bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a baine marie (simmering water bath) and whisk the mixture and cook on low heat until the egg white and sugar are warm and the sugar is dissolved when you touch it with your fingers you should feel no sugar particles. The mixture should be around 160 degrees.

2. Place the bowl on the stand mixer and with the whisk attachment whisk until you have stiff and glossy peaks and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm or when you feel the meringue it is not warm to the touch. Gradually add the butter one tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together and becomes smooth. Add in the raspberry jam and whip until smooth.

Pistachio version:

Omit the raspberry powder and red food coloring. Add 2 drops of green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. Fill with pistachio buttercream: Make the buttercream as above but replace 1 Tablespoon pistachio paste for the raspberry jam.

Happy Baking!


Printable Recipe:

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