orange + almond macarons

March 26, 2012
I had such a lovely, sunny weekend & fit in lots of time for catching-up and relaxing.   Actually, no.  Very little relaxing, but definitely lots of the catch-up.  One particular weekend highlight was the moment my sweet little love muffin came out of hibernation.  I took her for a nice spin, injured toes and all.

Also?  I baked a lot.  
Now it's time that I geek out over macarons.  Care to join? The last time I made macarons, I used an entirely different method.  While this version is a little more finicky, with its temperature-changing-mid-bake and all, I found it a teensy bit more successful.  While they both worked well, this version more consistently produced prettier mac shells than the other

This time around, I added orange zest and almond flavor to the batter and filled it with a orange-fig jam.  Had my pantry been stocked with some citrus curd, (or if I had the time to make my own) I would have loved that filling, too.  Whichever floats thy boat.  

Cheers to a happy Monday and a sweet week! 



Orange + Almond Macarons

(gluten-free) 

2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature
zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

filling
orange jam, marmalade (or citrus curd)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Combine the confectioners’ 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. Add zest and almond extract to the batter.  Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip. 
  5. Pipe one-inch-sized mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
  6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F. 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.
  7. Cool on a rack before filling.
Macaron basic shell method, Adapted from Claudia Flemming' The Last Course: The Desserts Of Gramercy Tavern.