Cooking

Macaroons Made Easy

May 28, 2013

Macaroons

Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

Let’s talk macaroons. This almond paste base cookie has become all the rage of late in the pastry conversation. Lately they have been seen in magazines, upscale bakeries and as a sweet treat at the end of an elegant meal they are actually a very simple cookie that is NOT just for Passover.

A true macaroon is small cookie classically made of almond paste or ground almonds (or both) mixed with sugar and egg whites said to have originated in Italy (although the French try to claim it as there invention as well). Almond macaroons can be chewy, crunchy or a combined texture with the outside crisp and the inside chewy. Adding nuts and or chocolate and coconut to the recipe just makes them more delicious.

The macaroon is a close cousin to the meringue but the meringues tends to be crisper and the macaroons chewier. If a macaroon is over baked, it tends to become dry and crumbly. Most modern day recipes for macaroons include almond paste to create body in the cookie as well as adding a more intense flavor than ground almonds. Macaroons made without paste tend to be light and airy with a delicate crust. French and Italian macaroons made with almond paste piped into a round shape with frosting holding two macaroons together

There are two key tricks to making macaroons at home. The first is making the egg white foam with tons of volume and the second is to have the consistency of batter so that it doesn’t run or spread too much. If the batter doesn’t cooperate you can always just add more nuts or coconut.

       Getting macaroons to release from the cookie sheet can be a challenge. Most recipes call for baking on parchment and then peeling the cookies from it shortly after they are removed from the oven. This is good advice, use the parchment paper.  You could also use a well greased baking sheet but you’ll have to use a thin metal spatula to remove them immediately upon taking the cookies out of the oven. Be warned, if the macaroons are under cooked the centers will be soft and gooey and tough to unstuck from the parchment paper.

If you don’t want to take the time to make individual macaroons try making a macaroon bar-type-cookie changing up the kind of nuts you use or adding coconut (note if the coconut is sweetened, you may want to cut back on the sugar in the recipe) If you feel like going crazy with the recipes add different extracts and chopped dried fruits.

EZ COCONUT MACAROONS (pareve)

3 large egg whites, room temperature (room temperature is important)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (or more as needed)

Grease a baking sheet very well if you are not using parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350. Place the egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat until the foam forms stiff, glossy peaks. Add the extract if using.  With a spatula, fold in the powdered sugar and nuts at the same time until just combined. Spoon the batter onto the prepared pan in rounded mounds. The batters consistency should be so that a spoonful will stand as a mound 3/4 inch high and about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. If the batter is too thin and runny, add more coconut.  Bake for 15 minutes for small- to medium-sized cookies, 18 minutes for larger cookies, or until the cookies are a light brown. Immediately remove the cookies from the oven and then remove them from the pan. Let cool on a rack. Makes approx. 2 dozen.

My files source unknown

 

APRICOT MACAROON BARS (pareve)

For Crust:

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup coconut

 

For Filling:

1 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1 cup water

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup toasted coconut

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and beat till combined. Beat in eggs and almond extract. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in coconut. Spread the batter into a greased 9X13 pan Bake for 25 minutes.

In a saucepan combine the dried apricots and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 7 to 8 minutes, or till apricots are tender. Stir in brown sugar. Cook and stir till sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Spoon the filling over the hot crust. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes more. Cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Makes 30 to 36.

Submitted by Lois Raston Indianapolis IN

MIXED UP MACAROONS (pareve)

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips, melted, cooled

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 cookie sheets or use parchment paper. In a bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Beat in the sugar, a little at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy. Mixture should stand in peaks. By hand, fold in the almonds, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Drop chocolate macaroons by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 48 chocolate macaroons.

Modified from About.com

CHOCOLATE DIPPED COCONUT MACAROONS (pareve)

4 large eggs whites

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 300. In a heavy saucepan stir together the egg whites, the sugar, the salt, the vanilla, and the coconut, add in the flour, and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, increase the heat to moderately high, and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until it is thickened and begins to pull away from the bottom and side of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, let it cool slightly, and chill it, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until it is just cold. Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough 2 inches apart onto buttered baking sheets and bake the macaroons in batches in the middle of a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are pale golden. Transfer the macaroons to a rack and let them cool.

In a small metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate, stirring until it is smooth, remove the bowl from the heat, and dip the macaroons, 1 at a time, into the chocolate, coating them halfway and letting any excess drip off. Transfer the macaroons as they are dipped to a foil-lined tray and chill them for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chocolate is set. The macaroons keep, chilled and separated by layers of wax paper, in an airtight container for 3 days. (If the macaroons are made in advance, let them stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.) Makes about 30 macaroons.

Gourmet March 1992

MACAROON FUDGE BARS (pareve or dairy)

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, melted

1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon sugar

3 eggs

3/4 cup matzo cake meal

1/4 cup potato starch

1 1/2 cups lightly packed quartered or coarsely chopped macaroons (any brand or flavor. Use store bought macaroons for easier recipe)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 9X13 pan. In a pan melt the chocolate and butter or margarine over low heat. Cool to room temperature. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla sugar, eggs, flour and corn starch. Stir in macaroon pieces. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake about 40-50 minutes, until top seems set and is beginning to take on a crackled appearance. Do not over bake. Brownies should be set and seem dry to touch – but there should not be a dry crust around sides. Makes 24. Leave plain or glaze.

My files source unknown

STRAWBERRY AND MACAROON PARFAITS (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sliced hulled strawberries (about 12 ounces)

1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed

1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed almond macaroons or crushed almond cookies

1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream or pareve ice cream

4 additional strawberries (optional)

Mix sliced strawberries and strawberries in syrup in medium bowl. Divide half of strawberry mixture among four 10- to 12-ounce goblets or wineglasses. Top with half of macaroons and small scoops of frozen yogurt. Repeat layering. Top each with 1 fresh strawberry, if desired. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Modified from epicurious.com

© Eileen Goltz macaroon 13a