Day two of being home with a summer cold. I'm feeling much better, and I think I'll be 100% by tomorrow. So instead of napping all afternoon, I decided to try something I've been wanting to take a stab at for a while - macarons. My roommate had pointed out a bowl of leftover egg whites last night, so I figured it was the perfect time to make an attempt.
The recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Baking book looked easy enough. I subbed almonds for hazelnuts, since that's what I had around. The result? Not so hot. Is my apartment too humid? Were the eggs too old? Did I have too heavy a hand with the folding? Did I pipe them too big? Um, yes to all, probably. Leave it to me to make something with whipped egg whites on one of the hottest days of the year. I didn't even bother making the ganache filling... none of the cookies were the same shape or size, so making sandwiches out of them would have been futile. But as I say, at least they still tasted good.
Anyone have a good macaron recipe, or tips to help in my next try?
Macarons, my variations on a Williams-Sonoma recipe
4 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted, skinned and ground almonds
2 cups confectioners' sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. With the whip attachment, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly and continue to beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Beat in the vanilla until blended. With a rubber spatula, fold in the almonds and confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Using a ziplock bag, pipe the batter onto a parchment sheet-lined baking sheet about an inch apart. Let the cookies sit, uncovered, at room temp for 30-40 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the center of the oven. Place an empty cookie sheet on the rack to insulate the baking cookies. Bake each sheet of cookies for about 10-13 minutes or until golden and firm.