Monday, March 20, 2006

French Almond Macaroons

French Almond Macaroons
Yesterday I finally made French Almond Macaroons from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (and website) after staring at the recipe for the last few weeks. I LOVE love LOVE almond macaroons and only discovered the French kind over the past few years.

I did my best to follow the recipe exactly and not rush through the process. So, basically, I did everything right according to the recipe but they didn't really turn out. The macaroons stuck to the Silpat and were way too fragile. They were still delicious and I ate them all (don't worry, I gave a couple to my husband) already. The recipe says it makes 30 but I think it only made about 20.

Here's where I think Martha (or whoever actually wrote the recipe) went wrong:

1.) The baking time was a little too short (or the temperature too low). My second batch of macaroons were in for more than 25 minutes and turned out perfect but the first batch that was in for about 25 minutes did not.

2.) It says to whip the egg whites to medium-soft peaks but I think medium-hard peaks would have turned out better.

3.) This may be because of complaint # 2 above, but the batter spread too far outside of the 2-inch circles I had marked out.

Next time I make these they should turn out much better and I will take the time to sandwich them with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.


Rorie said...

I could use one of those right about now. They sound yummy, despite the recipe adjustments.

Anonymous said...

Hi there:
I recently made the Martha Stewart recipe for French Almond Macaroons as well.
I came out with the same results as you did, except for one. I found the baking time far too long and had to pull it out sooner rather than later.
But the other comments you made about the fact that the egg whites should be beaten till it reaches medium/stiff peaks is dead on. It should not be soft/medium peaks because it starts running over when you try to pipe it onto the silpat.
The other issue you made was that it ran over the two-inch circles. This too, I found to be the case. What I ended up doing was piping the batter into smaller sizes.
As for it sticking onto the silpat, I simply let it cool completely before carefully peeling it off. I had to be very careful about not overbaking it because it would otherwise crack.
The recipe is great starter, but needs to be modified in order to perfect the look of the macaroon. Otherwise, it tastes lovely, light and delicious. I got rave reviews from every single person who tried it.

Anonymous said...

I just made this recipe yesterday too. With medium soft peaks, the cookies were flatter but with medium hard peaks, the cookies were more round.
Did you find the recipe made the cookies too sweet? I felt that all I could taste is the sugar. But I also had trouble making the ground almond into a finer powder. I used a food processor and the almond pieces did not come out as small as flour.

Anonymous said...

yes - i just finished making it. I'm all sugared up and totally wired. i cant sleep now:(

moonglowgardens said...

Awesome blog!

I had pretty good results with MS's recipe. In lieu of almonds, I used cashew nuts and ground then with the confectioner's sugar.

Humidity affects meringues...perhaps that's why we're getting different results.

300F for 20 minutes was too hot.

280F for 20 minutes was perfect the second time.

280F for 15 minutes today had good results.

I think I did over beat the egg whites and experienced some cracking...