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The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
How did I feel about making macarons? Intimidated was the first feeling I got. I thought to myself “I can’t do this! I always hear how much of a pain in the ass they are to make!” Was I wrong? Yes! They were a lot of fun to make and not as hard as I originally thought they would be. I worked on them one lazy morning and by the afternoon I was rewarded with cute little cookies with adorable little feet. I decided to do a vanilla bean flavor because I just bought a half pound of beans and needed a good excuse to start using them 🙂 To fill my macarons I used Nutella. I know I should have made a ganache but I was lazy and saw my jar of Nutella being neglected so I went with it 🙂
One of the best things about making these macarons is that Tartelette even said they looked great….hooray! If you don’t know who Tartelette is then you need to head on over to her site immediately! That women can make one mean macaron 🙂
Yield: 10 dozen
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites (room temperature)
1 vanilla bean - scraped
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Combine the powdered sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. We will be adding the beans from one vanilla bean. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
Cool on a rack before filling.
Once cooled gently spread nutella on top of cookie and top with other macaron.