Monday, July 16, 2012

Peachy Macarons

Saturday was Bastille Day. Mostly celebrated in France, and by those Americans that either are of French descent or are willing to use any excuse possible to indulge in French treats. 

I fall in the latter category. 

I'd never made a macaron before, and quite honestly was scared out of my mind to attempt it. 

Have you ever examined this cookie of perfection? Eggshell thin top, with a chewy secondary layer, creamy frosting center, chewy layer, and eggshell thin bottom. 

And it's got a cult following. People travel for miles to partake in this sweet goodness. Line up and pay big bucks for these little delights. 

You can understand my trepidation. 

In fact, one of my favorite bloggers - Ez of Creature Comforts - recently tried and missed at the peachy aspect of macarons. But that actually inspired me all the more. If she missed, and then blogged about it, the least I could do is miss and blog about it........

So here we go!

Almonds, ground super fine. 

Add in powdered sugar and pulse until mixed.

In another bowl, add some cream of tartar to the egg whites. 

Beat until stiff and then sprinkle in the sugar as you beat to firm peaks.

Fold the almond/powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites in 2 additions. 

Blitz up 1 peach in the food processor. 

Add a tablespoon to the egg white mixture, along with a drop of pink food coloring. 

Pipe the egg white mixture into 1 inch rounds, about 1 inch apart (they spread in the first 30 seconds) on parchment paper. 

Let them sit for an hour. Then pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. 
(racks in the center, switch lower and upper pans about halfway through)

Let the cookies cool completely before attempting to remove them from the paper. 

In another bowl (or the same one if you've already done the dishes), cream butter and the rest of the peach dice. 

Add about 2 cups of powdered sugar and a 1/4 tsp of vanilla. 

Pipe the filling onto one of the cookies and sandwich with another. 

Keep in the fridge until serving. 

Peachy Macarons
Makes 30-35
Adapted from this recipe

For Cookies:
6 oz slivered almonds
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tbsp blitzed peach

For Icing:
6 tbsp butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
the rest of 1 peach blitzed

In a food processor, blitz almonds until as small as possible. Add the 1 3/4 c. powdered sugar. Pulse a few times until combined. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the 1/4 white sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the almond mix in 2 increments. Also fold in the 1 tbsp peach pulp and a drop of pink food coloring (if desired). 

Put into a piping bag, or ziploc freezer bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe 1 inch rounds, about an inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to sit on the counter for 1 hour. This is so that the tops harden and stay smooth. They'll puff once they get into the oven.

Bake at 300 degrees, one pan at a time, for 20 minutes a pan. 

Allow them to cool completely before peeling from the parchment. 

While they are cooling, assemble the icing. Beat the butter with the rest of the blitzed peach pulp. Then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add a tbsp of milk if necessary, or another 1/2 of a peach, blitzed of course.

Pipe a bit of icing on half of the cookies. Top with the other half. Keep in the fridge until serving.

Smile smugly. 

You did it!!

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