Sunday, December 8, 2013

cookie calendar - day 8: chocolate macarons

day 1: double chocolate cookies day 2: chewy chocolate chip cookies day 3: banana date cookies day 4: cranberry orange biscotti day 5: peppermint pinwheel cookies day 6: corn cookies day 7: chocolate-ginger crinkle cookies day 8: chocolate macarons

I originally found Sylvia's blog, A Baked Creation, while I was doing research ahead of attempting to make macarons myself. As regular readers of kitchen frolic can probably tell you - I'm a little obsessed with macarons.

You can imagine how excited I was when Sylvia, one of my four "macaron goddess mentors" (see my macaron blog post here about my attempts and how these lovely ladies saved me), agreed to do a guest post for the Cookie Advent Calendar. I must admit I kept my fingers crossed and was ecstatic when Sylvia sent me a macaron recipe for the Calendar! (I know there's a debate whether macarons are cookies or not, but I don't care. It's my calendar so they count!)

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guest post by Sylvia from A Baked Creation

J'adore macarons! I started with an unhealthy obsession with cupcakes and now I have to add macarons to that list. Macarons are one of my favourite treats because they look adorable and they're so delicious when you create different flavour combinations. Best of all, you can eat more than one without feeling too full. I want to share these chocolate macarons with you which I glammed up for the festival holidays with edible gold stars. Who doesn't love shiny stars?

chocolate macarons

(Makes about 50-60 shells for 25-30 filled macarons)

1 cup of egg whites (from 7-8 eggs)
250 grams of almond flour
25 grams of cocoa powder
350 grams of powdered sugar
A pinch of salt
150 grams of granulated sugar
Edible gold stars

  1. Separate your egg whites and set aside as you complete the next steps. Preheat the oven to 300°F (325°F for non-convection oven). Have your baking trays and parchment paper ready.
  2. Sift the almond flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.
  3. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt. 
  4. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar in three stages. When the egg whites reach stiff peaks, you're done, turn the mixer off.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the sifted almond flour mixture with the egg whites. You want to end up with a smooth batter that creates a ribbon when you lift it up from your spatula.
  6. When the batter is ready, fill your piping bag and pipe even circles on the parchment paper (using a grid underneath the parchment paper is super helpful). Carefully tap your tray against the table or counter to eliminate air bubbles.
  7. Let the macarons rest in room temperature for 15-30 minutes. I know there are many debates as to whether this stage is necessary, but I do it. I'd rather wait longer than to risk losing a batch of macarons!
  8. Bake your first tray of macarons for 14 minutes. After the first five minutes, open the oven doors to let out some of the steam.
When they're done, let them cool for 5 minutes and then carefully peel the macarons off the parchment paper. If you find the macarons are still sticking, they're probably under baked. Pop them back in the oven for 2-4 minute intervals to check and allow it to cool again.

lemon curd icing 

(Makes enough to fill 50-60 macarons)

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/3 cup)
Grated zest from 1 large lemon
1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into slices
1 cup of powdered sugar

  1. Set up a double boiler. Add about 1-inch of water to a saucepan or pot and bring the water to a simmer. In a metal bowl that will fit over the saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.
  2. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined.
  3. Place the metal bowl on top of the saucepan and stir with a rubber spatula. The mixture will begin to thicken in about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sliced butter. Wait for the slice to completely melt before adding the next one.
  5. Pour the lemon curd into a glass jar or container and allow it to cool. Refrigerate over night.
  6. To make the icing, add in a cup of powdered sugar to thicken. Add in more if you need a thicker consistency. Scoop into a piping bag. Pipe onto macaron shell and sandwich it with another. 

Sylvia Chan lives in Toronto, Ontario with more shoes, books, baking supplies, and cookware than available storage space. As Publishing Coordinator for a children's book publisher, she enjoys working with artists and wordsmiths from around the world. In her spare time, she likes testing recipes and traveling to new places. Sylvia has eaten her way through numerous bakeries and restaurants and has attempted many projects that can be viewed on her blog, A Baked Creation. You can also follow her on Twitter, @abakedcreation.

The recipe and all photos used in this blog post belong to Sylvia Chan / A Baked Creation and should not be reprinted without her express permission.

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