Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and sandwiched together with a decadent filling makes the macaron one of our favorite desserts. Since macarons are made with almond flour and egg whites, they’re naturally gluten free. These French treats come in all colors of the rainbow, but we decided to keep the color simple and instead focus on the flavors, cardamom and vanilla being two of our favorites. These remind us of a hot cup of enchanting Turkish coffee.
A few notes: It’s important to measure the flour and sugars in weight, not volume, to get an accurate measurement. Think about it – Not everyone’s cup of flour is the same. You can find an inexpensive kitchen scale on Amazon. Be sure to sift the almond flour; use good quality ingredients; do not over mix the batter; make sure to let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes before popping them in the oven; and lastly, you’ll have better luck with achieving a perfect round shape if you use a piping bag and tip. No piping bag? Use a Ziploc bag!
For the Macaron Shells:
4 ounces extra-fine almond flour (approximately 1 cup)
6 ounces confectioner’s sugar (slightly more than ¾ cup)
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 egg whites Pinch of fine sea salt
3 ounces ultra-fine cane sugar (slightly more than 1/3 cup)
For the filling:
2 ounces heavy cream
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (or very finely ground coffee)
½ vanilla bean, scraped
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 cup of white chocolate morsels)
Make the filling:
In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Whisk in the espresso powder and vanilla bean until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour over white chocolate in a medium bowl. Allow mixture to stand for 1 minute to soften the chocolate and then gently stir with a spatula until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool completely before using.
Make the macaron shells:
Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line two large sheet trays with parchment paper.
Sift together the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and cardamom. Set the dry ingredients aside.
Pour the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Turn the speed to low and gradually add in the cane sugar a little at a time, waiting 5-10 seconds between in addition. Turn the speed up to high and whisk to stiff peaks.Remove the bowl from the mixer’s base and using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, rotating the bowl one quarter of a turn each time you stir, until thoroughly combined. The batter should look somewhat shiny.
Pour the batter into a large piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe the batter into 1-inch rounds on the parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each cookie.Drop the sheet trays against the counter a few times to get any air bubbles out of the cookies and then let the cookies rest at room temperature for 15 minutes – The tops should be dry to the touch. Bake until the macarons are dry but not browned, 13-15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Apply 1 teaspoon of the white chocolate filling between two macaron shells and gently press together. Macarons will be good for about 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and allow the cookies to return to room temperature (15-20 minutes) before eating.