Saturday, October 31, 2015

Texas Christmas Macarons!

Here's a twist on the traditional French Macaron. I've crossed it with a bit of Texas seasoning. I decided to call it a Texas Christmas Macaron. There are so many options you could add to this. I would finely dice some Roasted Hatch Chiles and add it to the batter or sprinkle it on the top just prior to baking them. You could also add red coloring to the batter. I add red to half of the batter and green to the other half and put the cookies together with 1 of each of the colors. They're a great addition to the Christmas Cookie presentation when they're red and green.
There's also a variety of fillings that you could make. I have an incredible recipe for Jalapeño Jelly and I pipe the Chocolate Ganache around the perimeter of the bottom cookie with some Jalapeño Jelly piped in the center.
You can be creative and add a variety of combinations. Once you get past the fear of making Macarons, the variations are endless.
I've tried to write the recipe so anyone trying these for the first time, can make them!
The more you make them, the more you'll be familiar with the technique and bake some really delicious Macarons.

Texas Christmas Macarons

Here's what you'll need:
Sheet Pans with Parchment Paper Macaron templates drawn on them. If you're familiar with the process then you know that you put the template on the Sheet Pan. The circles should be 1 1/4" in diameter. Cover it with a plain piece of Parchment. Pipe the batter and then slide the template paper out.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

3/4 C Almond Flour ( I use King Arthur)
1 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Large Egg Whites, room temperature.
1/4 C Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
A Pinch of Cream of Tartar

Sift the Almond Flour and the Confectioner's Sugar together 4 times on to a large piece of Parchment Paper and set aside. Discard any pieces left in the Sieve or Sifter.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment:
Egg Whites
Whisk on medium speed to Soft Peak.
1/4 of the Granulated Sugar
Whisk for 10 seconds.
Repeat with the remaining Granulated Sugar, adding it gradually.
Cream of Tartar, scrape down the sides of the bowl. (At this time you would add Food Coloring if you choose to add color to the Macarons.)
Increase speed to High.
Whisk until Stiff, Firm, Glossy Peaks form.

Sift the Flour mixture over the Meringue.
Fold it in with a large Silicone Spatula until completely combined, smooth and shiny.

The Batter should be fairly firm, glossy and drop slow from the Spatula when held over the bowl.

Spoon the batter into a Pastry Bag that's been fitted with a #12 tip. I place it in a drinking glass and fold the top over the glass.

Pipe the Macaron Batter onto the templates.
Slam the Sheet Pan onto a flat work surface to release any trapped air.
Allow the pans to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
They should form a thin crust and should not stick to your fingers when lightly touched.

Bake the Macarons 1 Sheet Pan at a time.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Depending on your oven, you may have to rotate the pans half way through baking. If you have new ovens that won't be necessary.
Remove the Pan and slide the Paper with the Macarons onto a flat surface to cool.
When they are completely cooled, begin pulling the paper away from the cookies and don't try to pull the cookie away from the paper.

Prepare the Chocolate Ganache Filling.

4.5 oz. Chocolate, chopped
1/2 C Heavy Cream

Place Chocolate in a small mixing bowl.

In a Saucepan on medium high heat:
Heavy Cream
Heat until just before boiling. Do not allow to boil.
Pour over the Chocolate and whisk until creamy smooth.
Refrigerate just to reach a consistency to easily spread.
Transfer to a piping bag with a #12 tip and pipe one half of the cookies with the Ganache, top with another half.
See the beginning of the post for options with Jalapeño Jelly.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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