It started a few months back. My daughter informed me that she had tried macarons and loved them. Where she got such a decadent dessert I don’t know. What I do know is that I am cheap – and these are probably the most expensive little cookie on the planet. I blame the French! So we hunted for them. We found you could buy a box at Trader Joe’s for something like $6 or you can buy the cookies at $2.50 a piece at Whole Paycheck (er…Whole Foods). Yikes. So I suggested we make them. Little did I know that they need almond flour which is like $15 a pound. My mom is a great cook – so I emailed her and asked her to learn how to make them. She said she had tried before – and had no success. So..we were stuck. Until my mom got an email from Sur la Table about a Spring Macaron Workshop!
So we signed up for the class – both me and my mom. There is a class space at the back of the Sur La Table store. (We had taken a class there once before). This time there were 12 people in the class. We split into teams of four. Chef Brett Dolce (seriously? His last name means sweet? It’s no wonder he’s teaching this!!), did a great job of walking us through each step and explained things that we may not have known just by reading a recipe. Things like…don’t get your hopes up that these will turn out good – they don’t do well in cold or rainy days (which it was as a freak April day in Denver where it was SNOWING).
The cookies don’t require much when it comes to ingredients so they should be simple right? Just Almond Flour (which he taught us how to make with almonds and powdered sugar), powdered sugar, egg whites and then any flavorings if we want them. The measurements are weighed rather than volume.
- 7 oz powdered sugar
- 4 oz almond flour (or mix almonds in with powdered sugar in cuisinart)
- 4 large egg whites (room temp)
- Pinch of cream of tartar or lemon juice
- 3 1/2 oz granulated sugar
Sift together the powdered sugar and almonds. In another bowl make meringue by beating the egg whites, lemon juice and granulated sugar to medium peaks. Mix the powdered sugar mix with the meringue. Stir until it falls off the spatula in runny chunks (like a heavy drip). Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. Pipe on to parchment lined baking sheets.
Let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. bake 10-15 minutes at 300 degree oven. Let macarons cool. Make into sandwiches with a buttercream frosting or ganash (ganash is chocolate chips and heavy cream).
I usually say I am not a good cook. But if this class is any indication – I may have hope to make a few things that are edible. Can we have cookies for dinner?