Chocolate/ Cookies

Chocolate Macarons

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Before I begin I’d like to clarify something: If you came to this page looking for a coconut macaroon recipe– that is, the cookies that are made of sweetened shredded coconut and are occasionally dipped in chocolate– I’m sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you came here searching for a recipe for macarons, the delicious french sandwich cookie made with almond flour, you’re in luck! This chocolate macaron recipe from chow.com was recommended to me by a friend who is also a food-blogger (check her out at bklynfoodie.me). Some people find the thought of baking macarons daunting (or so I’ve heard), but my batch came out nearly perfect in taste and appearance, aside from a few cracks on the tops of the cookies (which might have developed because I left the batter sitting for a bit too long… But more on that later). To top off the chewy chocolate goodness of the cookie itself, each macaron has a layer of rich chocolate ganache in the middle. Let’s get started, shall we?

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Well, I kind of lied. Sorry. Before you start anything, you’ll have to take out 3 eggs (or just their whites) and allow them to reach room temperature. Just take ’em out in the morning when you get up, and they should be ready in a few hours.

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Once your eggs are room temp, it’s time to start on the cookies, for real this time! Grab your food processor and throw in some almond flour (also called almond meal)…

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Along with the confectioner’s sugar.

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Now just add in the cocoa powder and salt, and pulse a few times to aerate the mixture before processing until everything is combined and fine.

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Just like that!

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Sift this into a large bowl. Now, you can either be like me and not have a flour sifter, and therefore spend a good fifteen minutes trying to sift through a fine sieve, or be a sensible person and just use a flour sifter. It’s completely up to you.

But I’d choose the latter.

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Now it’s time to make a meringue. Separate 3 room temp egg yolks into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl if you’re using hand beaters).

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Beat on medium speed until the whites are foamy– no stiff peaks yet!

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Add in the cream of tartar and beat on medium high until the eggs are white and the whisk leaves lines behind it.

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Keep on beating and gradually add in some sugar, beating until the whites hold stiff peaks and are shiny.

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In four additions, carefully fold the dry cocoa mixture into the egg whites until everything is just combined.

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Now just get yourself a baking sheet and some parchment.

About that parchment: I realized when I pulled out the drawer in my kitchen that we did not, in fact, have any parchment or wax paper. Had I come to this realization before I had made my batter, I would have taken a drive down the street to get some and then made the cookies, no problem. But even when my mom volunteered to retrieve some parchment from the corner store, I still worried about what would happen to my dear cookies if the batter sat out for an extra 20 minutes. When my mom returned, she told me that the store did not carry parchment paper, but that one of the employees had kindly given her a few sheets from their kitchen. Hooray!

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Thank you, store employee.

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Using a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round tip, pipe 1 1/4 inch (or a bit smaller, as they with spread as they sit) rounds onto your sheets, about an inch apart. Lift up the sheet and bang it against the counter, to help create the base of the macaron. Leave the unbaked cookies to sit at room temp for 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, rotate the sheet, and bake for another 7 minutes.

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While the cookies are sitting/baking, you can go ahead and make the ganache! Grab a cutting board, a knife, and some bittersweet chocolate…

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And chop the chocolate up into fine shards. You’ll want it even finer than this, otherwise you might get some chunks in your ganache.

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Transfer that chocolate into a bowl.

(I may or may not have eaten quite a few pieces of this.)

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In a small saucepan, warm up some cream until it just begins to boil.

DSC_0090Pour this right over the chocolate and stir it in carefully. Let this sit for a minute before stirring in some butter until everything is smooth. Chill this in the fridge until it thickens but is still pipe-able.

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Meanwhile, the macarons are done baking! Yes, I specifically chose the one uncracked one to star in this photo. But at least they all got the little “feet” characteristic of macarons.

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When the ganache is ready, give it a little stir and load it into a piping bag.

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To assemble, pipe the ganache onto a macaron half and top it with a cookie of similar size. Now I’m going to be super annoying: These have to chill for 24 hours before you can eat them. Or more like 16 hours if you’re like me.

That’s about it! I kept these on plates wrapped with saran wrap in the fridge. Enjoy! Here’s a condensed recipe of you want to copy and paste it/print it:

Chocolate Macarons

from crumbsandnibbles.com, originally from chow.com

Makes about 20-25 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups of powdered sugar

1 cup of almond flour/meal (they’re the same thing!)

3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 egg whites, at room temp

A pinch of cream of tartar

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the ganache:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup of heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp

Directions:

1. Put powdered sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to aerate the mixture before processing until everything is fine and combined. Sift into a large bowl.

2. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you’re using hand beaters) and beat on medium speed until the whites are foamy. Add in cream of tartar and beat on medium high until the eggs are white and the whisk leaves lines behind. While still beating, gradually add in the sugar and beat until you get stiff peaks and the whites are shiny.

3. Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold the dry cocoa mixture into the eggs in 4 batches until everything is just combined.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Spoon the batter into a pastry bag (fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip) and pipe 1 1/4 inch (or a bit smaller, as they with spread as they sit) rounds onto your sheets. Lift up the sheet and bang it against the counter, to help create the base of the macaron.

6. Leave the unbaked cookies to sit at room temp for 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, rotate the sheet, and bake for another 7 minutes.

To make the ganache:

1. Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a bowl.

2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it barely starts to boil, then pour it over the chocolate and gently stir it in. Let this mixture sit for a minute.

3. Stir in the butter until everything is smooth.

4. Refrigerate until thicker but still pipe-able.

To assemble:

Pipe or spoon ganache onto a macaron half and top with a cookie of similar size. Chill for 24 hours before eating.

I hope you all give this recipe a go! Happy nibbling.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Chocolate, PB & Banana Macarons – Crumbs and Nibbles
    July 15, 2016 at 2:40 am

    […] I first made chocolate macarons two summers ago, and I thought I’d done a pretty great job. Sure, my cookies had giant cracks all over them… But I decided to focus on the fact that they tasted yummy and pretty darn macaron-like. So, with that history of (semi) success behind me, I decided to try my hand at making some regular macarons, sans cocoa. I’d heard these could be more finicky, but I dove in with confidence. I used the French method of making meringue, and added a bit of coffee powder in the hopes of creating some coffee macs with chocolate ganache. […]

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