The next dessert I made for my sister’s housewarming/holiday party were eggnog french macarons. I always wanted to try to make macarons, they look so cute and taste so good, but I always heard about how difficult they were. Well, I finally decided why not, and tried my hand at it.
So I would like to correct the myth out there and say that to make delicious tasting french macarons is not that difficult BUT to make delicious, technically correct, and aesthetically pleasing french macarons is very difficult! I think my next attempt may be more successful, but do I really care since they still tasted delicious? Not really…but kind of, because I still like how cute they are.
Hopefully you can learn from my technical mistakes and get beautiful yummy macarons. I had found a tutorial on BraveTart but unfortunately did not “feel” like reading it, and I should have because she’s got some great tips! That’s tip #1, read her tips!
I found this recipe from Foodie Misadventures.
Yield: about 60 small macarons
Recipe from Foodie Misadventures
For the Macarons
- 6 ounces (115g) almond flour or blanched almonds
- 12 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7.5 ounces egg whites (144g)
- 3 3/4 ounce (72g) sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon (2g) salt
- 1.5 teaspoon rum extract or dark rum
For the Eggnog Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
To make French Macarons
- Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two sheet pans lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. Then sift in cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point. Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add in rum extract or dark rum and whip for a final minute on the highest speed. At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue. When you remove the whisk attachment, there will be a big clump of meringue in the center, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.
- Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. This should take about 30-45 turns/folds and should be lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down. Look at BraveTart’s site about under and overmixing. I’m pretty sure I undermixed every time.
- Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. Pipe the batter into circles on the baking sheet. Keep in mind batter will continue to spread just a bit. Refill the piping bag after piping out half of macarons.
- After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter three times, rotating 90 degrees after each tap. Let sit for an hour to dry out the meringues. There should be a skin forming on top.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
To Make Eggnog Buttercream
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Beat in extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
- Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add eggnog. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. If buttercream is too stiff, add some more eggnog.
Match up macarons in pairs based on size and shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
Storage: Macarons are best a day or so after making. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for a few weeks.
The egg whites will be very stiff once they are ready. See photos below of the transformation and tons of whipping…
You can lift the egg white in a clump and it stays in the beater. Then dump the dry ingredients in the egg white. I bought almond flour, but you can also make your own. Don’t over-process though because it could become almond butter! Maybe not a bad thing since almond butter is delicious too. Here’s the hard part, figuring out what is under and over-mixing. I just counted about 50 turns. I thought mine was lava but I under-mixed because when I piped them, there was a little tip at the top of each macaron circle. That tip should really immerse back into the circle and become flat. Some people like to trace circles on the opposite side of the parchment paper so they can pipe consistent circles on the baking pan.
See all of those tips? They should go flat – remember that! I didn’t know it the first time. Now here are some incorrectly made macaron pieces – they crack, bubble, the tip doesn’t go away, and most importantly no foot forms.
What is a foot you ask? It’s that little bit under the smooth cap that looks like it’s lifting the top of the macaron up. These are correctly baked macarons. I let them sit for an hour to dry out a bit before baking.
I had no problem eating them.