October 2009 Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Macarons

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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 🙂


Also please remember that on the 28th Faith will be collecting submissions for our All Through the Year Holiday Cheer event.  There will be an awesome prize rewarded to the winner 🙂

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Yield: 10 dozen


For macarons:

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites (room temperature)

1 vanilla bean - scraped

For filling:


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.

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43 Responses to “October 2009 Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Macarons”

  1. #
    jenn — October 26, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I’m still intimidated about making my own macaroons. I’ll eventually get to it, but for now I’ll just take a few made by others. Hey, you made some. Pass them over my way. ;-D

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

      Sure I will send you some! Although we ate them all so you will have to wait until I make some more…haha 🙂

  2. #
    Mimi — October 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Your macaroons look lovely. Nutella was a great choice for the filling. I really enjoyed your blog, Ill be back soon.
    Thanks for visiting Mimi’s Kitchen.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked my blog:)

  3. #
    Natasha - 5 Star Foodie — October 26, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Macaroons look and sound terrific!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

      Awww you are so nice:) They were quite tasty.

  4. #
    Little Miss Cupcake — October 27, 2009 at 1:00 am

    These look great! I love Nutella!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:02 pm


  5. #
    Blond Duck — October 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Those are so cute! I could never make something that elegant!

    There are always happy endings at the Pond!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

      Gotta love happy endings! And I totally think you could make a macaron…you are an awesome cook:)

  6. #
    Tartelette — October 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Yes!! They are great and from the last picture I can tell you that you achieved the right consistency: crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside!
    And you used Nutella! Love that!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

      Hooray Tartelette approves 🙂 The Nutella was great and really delicious with the vanilla bean macarons…yum!

  7. #
    Casey — October 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Your macarons look great! It’s fascinating to me how different they can all look and still be “right.” (As long as they have feet, right?) I was lazy on my filling as well and went with a cream cheese buttercream that I already had on hand. It wasn’t half bad. I will definitely be making them again. Nice work!


    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

      Mmmmm cream cheese buttercream sounds delicious! Thanks for visiting my site:) I have put a few of my pictures on your site….darn Foodgawker just does not love me:)

  8. #
    Faith — October 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a proper macaroon. The only macaroons I’ve ever made are the coconut kind, and I know they’re worlds away from these little beauties! I’ll have to make them, they look perfect for a Christmas cookie tray!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

      I love the coconut kind but these are definitely different. They were not that hard either. The hardest part was picking out flavors and fillings…haha 🙂

  9. #
    alice — October 27, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Beautiful macs.. and beautiful photo. Well done!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 27th, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

      Thanks! It was my first time so I’m just happy I got some feet 🙂

  10. #
    nora@ffr — October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    nanyy!! they look soo pretty!! you did a great job!! keep it up!!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:52 am


  11. #
    Lauren — October 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Adorable! Love the nutella centre – it sounds like the perfect compliment =D.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:52 am

      Nutella makes everything more delicious!

  12. #
    zoe — October 27, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Fantastic job!

  13. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — October 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Yours look beautiful! I need to give them another try… I love the idea to fill them with Nutella… Delish!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:53 am

      Thank you so much! I say give them another try. There are a lot of times recipes don’t turn out and then I try again and they do.

  14. #
    Simon — October 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Nutella filling. Few off-the-shelf products would make for such a nice thing to sandwich between two macaron shells.

    Nice work with the post 🙂

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:53 am

      Thanks 🙂 I have to agree…Nutella is the best! Also thanks for visiting my blog:)

  15. #
    Reeni — October 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I love your choice of Nutella! MMMM with vanilla bean! These look perfect! Such cute little things!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:54 am

      Aww thanks! They are sorta cute aren’t they 🙂 It must be the feet 🙂

  16. #
    donna — October 27, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Gorgeous macaroons and applause to your idea of using nutella, nice twist.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 12:55 am

      Thanks! I never realized how much people love Nutella. I think a Nutella recipe needs to appear on the site 🙂

  17. #
    junglefrog — October 28, 2009 at 2:17 am

    They do look fabulous!! And …. they have feet.. 🙂 Great choice of the nutella filliing too! Sounds delicious!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 6:30 am

      You have no idea how happy I was to see feet…I felt like such a nerd in the kitchen trying to explain to my boyfriend why the feet were very important…hahaha.

  18. #
    Debbie — October 28, 2009 at 6:15 am

    They look delicious…one day I will work up the courage to try and make these…..

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 6:31 am

      Give them a whirl! I was scared too. I want to make them again but secretly I’m scared they might not turn out again. Beginners luck maybe…?

  19. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — October 28, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I think filling them with Nutella is genius! 🙂

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 28th, 2009 @ 6:32 am

      Thanks:) I love that I can pull Nutella right out of my cabinet and use it. I wanna hug the person that invented that delicious treat 🙂

  20. #
    Barbara — October 28, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Great job! I especially love the last picture with a bite. I just want to finish it off!

  21. #
    Sue — October 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    GOOD JOB! I, too, was intimidated, but it wasn’t so bad! I love your little tower of macarons:)

  22. #
    Heavenly Housewife — October 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Hey, good job, these are notoriously difficult to master. I am still working to perfect mine. Dont they taste just divine though? They are so worth it.

  23. #
    Annie — October 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Your macarons came out very well. You’ve inspired me to make my next assignment a vanilla flavored macaron…:)

  24. #
    Molly Jean — October 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Those look delicious. GREAT photos too!!!

  25. #
    Cakelaw — November 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Sweet! Your macarons turned out really well.

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