Saturday, December 27, 2014

Texas Pecan and Fig Macarons with Raspberry Cream Cheese / Fig Filling

Here's a Texas take on the iconic French Macaron.
This is definitely a Texas Macaron Y'all!

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
1 - Sheet Pan lined with 2 sheets of Parchment Paper. The bottom one will have the Macaron template, it will be removed just prior to baking. The circles should be 1 1/4" in diameter.

This recipe will make 4 dozen cookies. (serving size is 2 cookies) The final yield is 2 dozen sandwiched Macarons.

Macaron Batter:

1 C Chopped Pecans
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp finely grated Orange Zest
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
A dash of Salt
2 large Egg Whites
1 3/4 C of twice sifted Confectioner's Sugar, divided.
3/4 C Finely chopped Dried Mission Figs (about 8 Figs), stems removed and discarded.

In a Food Processor:
Process until finely ground.
Sift well onto a large piece of Parchment Paper through a sieve, discard the residue, don't press the remaining mixture through the sieve.
Place back into the Food Processor, add the Zest and pulse just until incorporated.
Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment:
Egg Whites
Cream of Tartar
On Medium speed, whisk just until foamy.
Increase speed to High, continue beating until stiff peak meringue.

Reserve 2 TBS of the Confectioner's Sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Add remaining Sugar to the Meringue and beat on Low just until incorporated.

Fold in the Pecan Mixture by hand.

Add Figs to the reserved Sugar and toss to coat well.
Fold Figs into the batter by hand with a large Silicone Spatula.
Mix well until it slowly drips from the spatula.

Place a #12 Piping Tip into a Piping Bag and fill it with the batter.
Squeeze the batter down into the bag, eliminating any air pockets.
Cut the tip and pipe the batter onto the template lined parchment paper.
Firmly tap the bottom of the sheet pan onto a work surface to release any trapped air.
Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Check for a light crust to form, they should not stick to your finger when lightly touched,

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. If the top of the cookie begins to crack, then the temperature is too high.
You'll get to know your oven for baking Macarons.

Remove the pan and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cooling the cookies is an important process.
Refrigerate the pan of cookies to oil completely before filling.

When you're ready to fill the cookies, peel the paper away from the cookie, don't pull the cookie away  from the paper. You can also use a small, metal offset spatula to gently loosen the cookies.

Prepare the Filling :

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature.
8 TBS Seedless Raspberry Jam.
A jar of really good Fig Jam.

In a bowl with a hand mixer.
Cream Cheese
Beat until creamy smooth.
Refrigerate until completely cooled.

With an offset spatula, spread an equal amount of Raspberry filling onto half of the cookies.
Spread the other half of the cookies with equal amounts of Fig Jam.
Gently sandwich the two cookies together.

When piping the batter, keep the Macarons consistent in size, using a Parchment Paper template or a Silicone Mat template.
Keep the tip of the Pastry Bag about 1/2" away from the paper with the bag straight up, not angled.
Don't use a circular motion to pipe the batter.
Squeeze just until the template circle is filled to the edge. Pop the tip away to release it from the cookie.

Paix dans la Cuisine!

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