French macaroons have a reputation for being a finicky, difficult, and insurmountable dessert for the home cook. But the truth is, with a few important tips and tricks, you can turn out incredibly, fancy macaroons in your own kitchen. The two most important steps here are whipping the egg whites–they need to be stiff and dry–and incorporating the dry ingredients into the whites (you need to evaluate the mixture after each stroke, to achieve just the right consistency).
More to love: Since these desserts are gluten-free, they’ll be great for Passover, coming up this spring. I gave weights for the ingredients in the recipe below, because this is one place where it is important to be exact. If you don’t have a scale, I also provided cup measurements, but I can’t guarantee success.
Final tip: If you grind your own almonds, put them in the food processor along with the confectioners sugar to ensure that they don’t form a paste.
For more gluten-free and Passover desserts, check out my blog, bakingandmistaking.com.
- 4 egg whites
- 2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (~1/3 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons raspberry extract
- food coloring4 ounces ground almonds or almond flour (~1 cup)
- 8 ounces confectioners sugar (~2 cups)
- chocolate ganache (equal parts cream and chocolate)
On a piece of parchment paper (about 3 for this recipe), trace 1 1/2″ circles with a pen or pencil, then flip over, and fit to a cookie sheet.
Beat the egg whites, granulated sugar and salt together on medium speed for 3 minutes. Then beat on high for about 6 minutes. It should be very stiff at this point. Add in any flavorings and colorings you want, then beat on high for another minute to ensure everything is incorporated.
Add in the confectioners sugar and ground nuts and begin folding. You should be gently incorporating the ingredients together but also gently deflating the egg whites. Continue folding, slowly, until the mixture is uniform. Then keep folding, one stroke at a time, until the mixture holds its shape for just one moment before spreading.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip with half the mixture. Pipe rounds on to your parchment paper, stopping just before the lines you traced.
Bake, one sheet at a time, on 300 F for 18 minutes. Let cool and remove from parchment paper.
When cool, fill with chocolate ganache and sandwich two together. Store in an airtight container.