I had never seen a Stand Mixer until a few years ago. Always wanted to buy one since I saw it but could not justify the investment …until today, I bought my first KitchenAid..
Growing up in India I did not know much about baking. For one, we did not have any oven or any stand mixer at home. Mom made cakes on the stove top in this contraption and creamed the butter & sugar patiently with just her hands. I always love the cakes she makes but now I appreciate even more knowing how much effort went into it. When I came to the US I tasted so many yummy baked good and I started baking as well. The first time I tasted Macaroons, I did not care much more it. I personally don’t like coconut & chocolate together. Every time my daughter asked me to make Macroons, I kind of made excuses since I thought she was referring to Coconut Macaroon.
Then last year, Whole Foods opened near where we live and I got to see and taste French Macron for the first time, and let me tell you I fell in love with it. Every time we go grocery shopping to Whole Foods, we coem back with a pack of macrons. They are yummy but expensive and I never felt like I ate to my hearts content.
So I decide to try and make Macrons at home. Usually I am good at following instructions and recipes, so I figured I can make macarons as long as I have the recipe and ingredients. Boy was I wrong, I failed miserably…not one, two, more like 6 times. I had almost given up…but then I remembered that I had a set a birthday goal for my self. Yeah, like people set New Years resolutions, I make Birthday resolutions. On every birthday I set a few goals and try to complete them before the next birthday. So going back to Macrons, making them is one such goal I made last year and just could not give up.
I tried the seventh time… and very proud to say it worked. And that is how that KitchenAid came into my life..
French Macarons- a delicate temperamental cookie..but worth every min spent on it.
Macrons have very simple ingredients and looks very deceivingly easy looking, but the trick is in following all the steps and tips. I watched many you tube videos, read many recipes and then finally settled on this one..
A. For cookies:
- Sift the almond flour and the confectioner sugar at least 4-5 times. This makes the batter light and also ensures that there are no lumps in the batter.
- Making meringue- Take the egg whites and start beating them on a low-medium speed until it foams
- Add granulated sugar slowly. Once all the sugar is added, add the cream of tartar.
- Kepp checking in between and make sure you stir in between so make ensure that there is no liquid egg white remaining at the bottom of the bowl.
- Scrape down the sides, add the food color
- Beat on high till you get a soft peak.
- It is not done if you get a beak, when you left the whisk out of the egg mixture.
- Mix 1/3 of the almond flour mixture in the egg mixture.
- Using the folding action mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
- When the dry flour is sort of mixed, add the next 1/3 and continue
- THIS IS IMPORTANT- DO NOT UNDER MIX OR OVER MIX. THIS PICTURE SHOWS YOU EXAMPLES.
- When you can see a ribbon falling from your spoon, your batter is ready
- Draw circle on the paper. These will act as a template for piping your cookies.
- Out that template on the baking sheet.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper, on top of the template
- Fill the mixture in a pastry bag and using a #2 round tip, pipe the cookies on the parchment paper
- Make sure you keep the tip almost buried in the mixture so you don’t get a point on the cookie- if you get a point it will look funny and the point will burn during baking
- Heat the oven to 325 F.
- Take the tray with the piped cookies and tap really firmly on the counter. This will ensure that the air trapped is released
- Let the tray sit on the counter until the cookies have a skin on top and are dry to touch. Depending on the weather it could take from 20-30 mins
- I write the time on it so I know when I can check.
- Now your cookies are ready to go in.
- Make sure that the oven temperature is right.
- Bake th cookies for 10-15 min
- Turn half way to ensure even baking
- Check if the cookies are done- when you gently try to move the top and it kind of wiggles and slides, the cookies are not done.
- Watch carefully though since they go from not done to done very quickly
- I know it is tempting to eat them right away
- Wait for 3-4 minutes to take the cookies off the baking tray
- Let them cool completely before you fill them up.
B. For Filling
- Beat the butter until creamy
- Add the powdered sugar a little at a time.
- Add the color, lemon juice and zest and beat the mixture until light and fluffy.
- Measure your ingredient- I recommend weighing them instead of measuring in a cup
- Sieve the almond meal & Suagr
- Beat your egg white just till soft peak stage
- Don’t over or under mix the Egg & Almond mixture
- Make sure the air is tapped out before you bake the macrons
- Make sure they dry out before you bake
- Make sure the oven temp is right