Look at this fanciness! Sometimes it’s fun to be French and fancy. And then add sprinkles.
I first made macarons in pastry school, and I remember being surprised and actually a little bit disappointed at just how simple they are to make. I mean, these are macarons. French ones! These dainty little pretties line the windows of the best French bakeries, taunting us Americans, we with our thick crusted pies and face-sized cookies, looking all sloppy and oafish in comparison. Stupide, they say, look at how delicate we are! Look how elegant, how sophisticated! Out of your league, girl.
Five ingredients! All you need. Just some almond flour, some egg whites, some sugar, some cocoa. Yes, there’s some finessing with a pastry bag to conquer, but you’ll do it. You’ll conquer. You’ll carpe the diem. Your friends will ooh and ahh, and you’ll speak some broken french — merci! Oh, les macarons? De rien! — and only you will be the wiser. You and me, I mean. But don’t worry — c’est notre secret.
David Lebovitz’s Chocolate French Macarons
From David Lebovitz
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- non-pareil sprinkles, for decorating
- raspberry jam and Nutella, for filling
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
Use a blender or food processor to finely grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch apart. If using sprinkles, add a few now, so they stick to the wet batter.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
Spread or pipe a dollop of jam or Nutella on the flat side of half of the macarons; use the other half to complete the little sandwiches. Enjoy the macarons as soon as possible. They will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 15 cookies.