The Persnickety French Macaron

Coconut French Macarons

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Welcome to one of the most finicky cookies you can ever attempt! I first made French Macarons last Christmas with great success. I made a traditional vanilla macaron with a chocolate buttercream filling. They turned out awesome with the classical feet markings and a delicate egg like shell. However, I was dreadfully disappointed when my second attempt yielded macarons that were flat and bumpy with no feet in sight.

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I had planned on making fabulous lemon French macarons as a “Happy New Baby” gift for a friend. I ended up giving her fabulous yellow flowers instead. So here I am again on my third stab at cracking this fussy cookie. The ingredients are simple. These cookies are all about technique, the trick is in the mixing.

Ingredients:    

3 egg whites

¼ sugar

1 cup almond flour

2 cups confectioners sugar

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ teaspoon coconut extract

Pinch of salt

Coconut Cream Cheese Filling

4oz cream cheese at room temperature

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature

½ teaspoon coconut extract

½ cup confectioners sugar

¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Pre heat the oven to 300° F. Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar together and set aside.

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Next beat the egg whites till frothy.

Add the sugar, cream of tartar and coconut extract. Then beat till stiff peaks form.

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The next step is to fold the flour and confectioners sugar into the egg whites. This is where you have to be extremely careful take your time, over mix and your macarons will look like pancakes under mix and you’ll have a cracked top! The batter should look smooth but still have some air in it.

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Next, spoon your batter into a pastry bag and pipe the batter in about 1 inch rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You really need the parchment paper! I’ve tried with foil, a greased pan and wax paper all resulted in the macarons sticking like cement! Next, take your tray and rap it 3 or 4 times on the counter to get any air bubbles out. Then you need to let them sit out for at least 20 minutes before baking, the batter should no longer feel tacky. Bake 20 minutes, no more no less. Once out of the oven let them cool.

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While the macarons are baking start on the filling, in a bowl mix the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Once smooth add the shredded coconut and coconut extract and blend together. Next spoon the filling into a pastry bag.

Now all you have left is to fill your macaron shells. Pipe the filling on the cookie and top with another. Fin!

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This time I succeeded in making these little beauties just right feet and all! I also added a little shredded coconut to the top of some of the macarons just after I piped them before they dried. If you decided to do this make sure you only put a tiny bit or they end up cracked.

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I know they can be time consuming but they are definitely worth the work. I plan to make a few of these for my wedding. I’m thinking lemon, pistachio with nutella filling and coconut. What say you?

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