Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2007 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variations: Bluebird French Macarons or Macaron Pops; Candy Cane Macarons; Cheeseburger Macs or Macarons; Fourth of July Macarons; French Macaron Woodland Topiary; Nut-Free French Macarons; Pumpkin Spice Macaron Pops; Raspberry Lemonade Macarons; Savory French Macaron Hors d'Oeuvres
The pink/brown macarons are bittersweet chocolate raspberry flavor / The pink/yellow ones are pink lemonade / The yellow/brown ones are lemon and dark chocolate / I also filled some with dulce de leche...can't go wrong with that!
Fresh Meyer Lemon and Blackberry Macarons: The purple ones have chocolate ganache with seedless blackberry preserves, and a blackberry right in the center. The yellow ones have white chocolate/Meyer lemon ganache filling.
Made with ground almonds or almond flour, egg whites and sugar, but now with added coloring to make green, ivory, chocolate, yellow, flecked or marbled, macarons are little fragile and crispy light cookies that sandwich a creamy filling. They used to be made in just a few flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate, coffee and raspberry, filled with either with ganache or a butter cream. But, today you can find them in Hermé's shop in every flavor choice possible. He has also substituted the ganache or a butter cream fillings with lighter, flavor-packed ones flavored with fruit.
Macarons take a lot of practice to make because everything has to be just right! I think the whole making of a macaron is an exercise in food architecture and engineering!
The Parisian macaron should have a smooth shiny outer skin rather than a cracked one that we see in other recipes. They should have flat tops, not puffy ones. The secret to their perfection is a delicate balance between creating the feet - the little ruffled skirt on the macaron that touches the filling, which should not poke out from the cookie, but rather stay within the borders of the baked shell - and having flat topped cookie - all controlled by how much you beat the whites and how long you let the piped macaron batter sit before baking - it does make a difference. The egg whites should be beaten until they just reach the perfect "firm peak stage." Biting through the crust should be effortless, like an egg shell, to unveil the cookie's texture beneath it, which should be light, just a little chewy, and soft.
COOKIE RECIPE HELP
KELLY SAYS: "The French, or Parisian Macaron is fast becoming the latest trend in baking.
These lovely little almond sandwich cookies are notoriously difficult to make, but Sarah's fool-proof recipe makes them a real breeze.
Really people, these are SO delish. No wonder these little gems are replacing cupcakes as the hot new "in" dessert!
...they are all the rage right now and I have read so many articles about how hard they are to make. They all talked about praying for the elusive "feet" that are supposed to form on the bottom of the cookie, and how tricky it was to get it just right.
I have to admit that I was prepared to fail, at least the first time I tried these. This is a testament to Sarah's recipe.
In my opinion, she has skillfully stripped the recipe down, to only the very important elements for success.
I felt like a giggly little girl when I saw that the feet had formed! Yeah, I'm weird that way.
Added bonus, they taste SO DANG GOOD!!
I fear that I may become addicted to trying to come up with new flavor combinations for these...yeah, I'm weird that way too."