Sunday, October 11, 2009

The elusive macaron.

No, I don't mean macaroon, the sweet haystacks full of coconutty love, though I adore those. Nor do I mean the other macaron, Parisian style sandwich cookies, as beautiful as they are tasty. Nope, worrying about whether or not my cookies have "feet" is just something I'm not prepared for. I'm talking about the OTHER macaron, it's almondy, chewy and not too sweet. They come from a village in France, St. Emillion, where they are famous for these little guys and their wine....

Though I admit, mine are not nearly as crackly and pretty as the originals (next time time!). Not to mention I'm not looking at the gorgeous scene above while I stuff my face. It was a wonderful moment. They're traditonally sold right on the paper it's baked on! Isn't that great!?! Place a few sheets in a fancy box, and you've got a gift you can be proud of! This recipe is dead easy, it comes together so quickly, and it only has three ingredients. Yep, that's right, THREE.

2 egg whites
1/3C sugar
1 7oz tube almond paste - make sure you don't get marzipan, it's a whole different animal

If you have any egg whites on hand (which you should if you made that tasty soup from the ast post) get those out of the fridge to come to room temp (about 30mn). I bought my almond paste, but I'm sure you could make it as well, but the ease of the tubed stuff is what makes this so great! Move your oven racks to the lower portion of your oven, and preheat it to 300F.

Add the tube of almond paste to your food processor, along with the sugar. It should look like this:

Then add your egg whites, and process until you have a smooth paste. This batter then goes into a pastry bag to be piped out onto the baking paper. I don't have one of those, so I just used a thicker plastic bag with the batter scooped in, then you cut off a bit of the corner!

You'll need two cookie sheets, and two sheets of baking parchment. Pipe the cookies a bit bigger than a quarter, and about as 1/3in thick, leaving a little more than an inch in between each cookie. You can use a wet finger to tap down the little peaks, but I honestly saw no difference either way. Bake on lower racks for about 8 minutes, then switch the sheets, and bake for about 8-10mn more. You want them to be slightly browned on top, with a little more color on the bottom. Leave them on the paper to cool. Then just peel and eat. Mmmmm...chewy almondy goodness! I imagine these with some cherry jam sandwiched between them would be amazing!


  1. I HAVE to comment this one, right?
    sweet memories... It's amazing that you should bake St Emilion macaron. I wanna taste one.

    Actually, in St Jean de Luz (Basque Country), this one bakery, Maison Adam, is famous for its almond macarons too. We should go to both places, buy some and have a comparative tasting session....

  2. that's something I could do!!! me too me too!!

  3. Whoa, their macarons look so different than the others! If we are able to, I'd love to do a macaron tasting!

  4. Pix, right here in dear ol' P-Funk, has many varieties of the humble macaroons (tha's how they spell it), including fleur de sel and pistachio.

    However, now that I have the keys to the kingdom, I may just have to try my hand at baking again.