|Chef Annie welcomes the class.|
|The ingredients already prepped and ready for us.|
|Left: sifting the dry ingredients; Right: checking the peaks of the meringue.|
Next, sift the dry ingredients over a piece of parchment paper. Repeat for a minimum of four times - again, Chef Annie stressed you cannot over sift. Make sure the holes of your sifter are not too large or it will result in lumpy macaron tops!
Place the cream of tartar (can substitute with lemon juice or white vinegar) and aged egg whites in the bowl of your electric mixer. Whisk on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Increase speed to high, whisking until glossy stiff peaks form (about 8-11 minutes). If you are adding food coloring or liquid flavoring, make sure to add right before the glossy peaks form. Be careful not to deflate the peaks. A good test to check if your meringue is ready, is to hold the whisk upside-down. It should look like a Dairy Queen curly cone tip. You can also tell your meringue is ready when the whisk leaves deep tracks in the bowl when rotating.
|The macaronnage stage.|
Pipe the macarons 1½ inches apart on a silicon baking sheet. Keep the tip directly straight up and pull back 90 degrees to release - this helps ensure a flat top when baking. Slam the baking sheet onto a flat and stable surface to remove the excess air. If you like, you can dip your finger in water and smooth the tops even more. Then set the tray aside for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the skin forms. This helps form the feet.
Once your skin has formed, place macarons in the oven for 10 minutes. (You may need to add a minute or two depending on how large you piped your shells.) To test if the macaron is done, carefully try and lift one macaron off the baking sheet. If it just lifts, but sticks a little, your macaron is ready to go.
|Our pretty cookies cooling fresh out of the oven.|
Then fill them, and enjoy. We made several variations in our class: mandarin orange with orange buttercream filling (orange); mint with dark chocolate ganache (green); vanilla with peppermint candy cane buttercream (blue); and spiced with candied ginger buttercream (pink).
|I mixed and matched my cookie flavors!|
Left: vanilla with peppermint candy cane; Middle: mandarin with orange; Right: mint with candied ginger
Check out my French Macaron recipe.
Also, here are tools that are highly recommended for making your own macarons at home: