French Macarons

Today’s French Macaroons are going to be…(insert drumroll): Mexican Chocolate! What is Mexican Chocolate? Well, besides delicious it chocolate with cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 280°F | COOK TIME 15-18 MINS | PREP-TIME 45mins-3 hours

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Making almond, or brazil nut, meal directions will be listed at the bottom (requires a food processor)

*if you have an almond allergy, you can use brazil nuts instead (they have a similar taste and texture).

Chocolate Gauche

  • 1 cup semisweet or bitter chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • dash of salt

Powder Topping

  • 4 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup coco powder
  • 2 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

NOTE: Granulated sugar goes in the egg whites, while the powdered sugar goes with the almond meal.

French Macaroons

Cookie Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  3. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder, cocoa, and cinnamon so there are no lumps; use a blender or food processor since almond meal that you buy isn’t quite fine enough.
  4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag—if you don’t have a pastry back you can use a Ziploc cut the tip to pipe (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced 1-inch apart.
  7. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

Gauche Directions

  1. Place chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl with a dash of salt; set aside.
  2. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly before using.

The gauche may need to sit for a while until it becomes firm. Since the macaroons are so delicate, make sure the mixture is at room temperature (I get impatience and put it in the fridge to firm faster). I find it is best to spread gauche on both cookies and then twist together.

Powder Topping Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, sift coco powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  2. Stir until evenly mixed. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sift powdered sugar to remove lumps.
  4. Add water to sugar.
  5. Mix until it forms a smooth liquid
  6. Dip top of iced cookies in sugar-water and place cookies on a sheet where they can dry
  7. Before they sugar dries sprinkle tops of cookies with coco mixture
  8. Let dry
  9. Enjoy!

Congratulations! You did it!

These are very temperamental cookies and it make take a few tries to get it right. They turn out the best if you are in a warm, dry environment.

Making Meal

  • Measure 2/3 cups of nuts (plus some) and place in food processor.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.
  • Blend on pulse until the mixture is flour-y.
  • Shift into a bowl. If there chunks, add to the food processor and blend until flour-y.

This should yield 1 1/6 cups meal (2/3 cup for the nuts, 1/2 cup for the powdered sugar). When adding to the macarons mixture, remember that you added some of the powdered sugar already.


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