Today I bring you a little treat for Valentines Day...homemade French Macarons!!!! I've been really excited for this post and to help me in the kitchen I have my mom! My mom is a professional chef, I definitely am not, so she will be helping me today. We've made these a few times before for different occasions but I thought "how cute would conversation heart Macarons be for Valentines?!" Unfortunately I forgot about the "heart" part..hello!? after the fact so we ended up making the classic circle shape and adding the conversation sayings. So with out further adieu...
3 egg whites- room temperature
6 tablespoons superfine (castor) sugar
1 cup almonds meal
1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Dash of vanilla extract- or flavoring of your choice (optional)
**You'll need a kitchen aide mixer, measuring cups, rubber spatula, sifter
Some extra tips from Chef Valerie herself: Measure accurately. Even though your putting your ingredients in the form of cups its more accurate to use weight measurements in this recipe. These may take some practice, its a little touchy and not necessarily the easiest recipe but fun to make and a yummy outcome!
First: Preheat the oven to 285° and set your rack to a lower center position.
You'll need 3 egg whites. This part was really cool! My mom had an exciting trick up her sleeve on how to remove the yoke from the bowl. Start by cracking all your eggs into a bowl together.
This is the exciting part I was talking about!.... take an empty water bottle, squeeze the center of the bottle while its upside down and touching the egg. The suction will lift the yoke up into the bottle, thus removing the yoke from the bowl. Physics...EXCITING RIGHT!?!?
Measure out your dry ingredients.
Whisk the superfine sugar into the egg whites with your kitchen aide mixer for about 5-8 minutes.
Take your powered sugar measurement and your almond meal and sift them into a bowl so they are very fine. Then, mix into your egg white mixture.
Mix to ensure the mixture is thick and is stiff so it holds a peak. This is the part where we added vanilla extract into the mix to add some more flavor!
Next, you'll "fold" your powered sugar/ almond meal mix into the whipped egg whites.
Add food coloring. Originally we had planned to make all different colors like actual conversation hearts but with the amount of batter we had, we decided to make only one color. We chose pink!..
We used a gallon size zip-lock bag as a piping bag. Just simply pour your mixture into the bag and cut the corner just a little bit. This will make the perfect piping to make our circles for our cookies.
You can use either parchment paper or a silicon mat on your baking sheet (ps, it's not dirty, it's just been loved!). Start by placing the tip of the bag on the paper or mat slowly making a circle and moving up slightly. Make them about an inch or so apart so they don't morph into each other.
Tap the pan on your counter top a few times to remove any air bubbles that may have formed. Let your cookies sit on their pans in room temperature for about 30-45 minutes so they get a thicker skin.
Typically we make a chocolate ganache for our filling but because of the holiday we decided to go with a cherry filling so they would be pink and red! Also, for the sake of time so just use a sparkle red frosting and added he cherry flavoring to that.
Into the oven they go for about 15 minutes! They will from a little "foot" crust on the bottom (that's good!). Then let them cool completely before taking them off the sheet.
For the center cream we used the same zip-lock bag and "circle" method for the inner filling.
This is where it gets really fun! And the total optional part.. The "conversation"!
The rest is up to your creative mind! On some of them we dipped the sides in crystal sprinkles for a little extra Valentines flair. And..ta da!!
Have fun with them! And then enjoy them afterwards or give them to your Valentine! I hope you enjoyed!!!