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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Making Martha's Macrons

Martha Stewart's March magazine cover boasted beautifully fresh pastel macarons, luring me in with the sweet delicate cookie. The magazine ended up in my cart and I realized that the older I get, the more I love Martha.  There is always a little extra care ("Mom, just use the food coloring...Martha probably made hers from crystallized unicorn hair. She's an overachiever.") required to bring yourself to Martha's craft level. When the rest of us cut corners to get it done, Martha goes the extra step. So when I read the easy to make macaron recipe, I decided to direct my mom to the recipe. She has been trying to perfect the macaron. I have not even attempted it, so I basically stood idly by pretending to move kitchen utensils around and look busy while she carefully mixed and followed the instructions. So, this week's Tasty Tuesday really goes to her perseverance in thoroughly mixing the macaron dough while talking to two different guests that came over. She, like Martha, was determined to make the macarons be the best. We did cut a little corner by using Nutella as the filling...but really, is using Nutella cutting a corner? In Martha's world, probably. In mine, heavens no. 
PS-We made the vanilla cookie with pink food coloring from the recipe. 

Martha Stewart's Macaron Recipe-May 2014 issue
2/3 cup almond flour (Martha made her own of course: food-process until fine, add 1 cup confectioner's sugar, process until combined)
2 large egg whites, room temp
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Food coloring 

-Sift dry ingredients in a sieve until about 2 Tbs are left.
-Whip egg whites & granulated sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed (4 on Kitchen Aid) for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high (6) for 2 minutes, then on high (8) 2 minutes longer. The beaten egg whites will have stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk. Add flavoring (1 tsp vanilla or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean; food coloring of choice)
-Fold in almond flour mixture all at once. Fold with a spatula from bottom up, pressing flat side firmly through the middle of the mixture. Repeat until batter flows, about 35-40 complete strokes.
-Put a pastry bag fitted with a round tip inside a glass. Transfer batter into bag, twist to secure top. 
-Form batter by piping a circle into a 3/4 inch round, swirling the tip off. Make all cookies as close to the same size as possible to match up. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2-3 times to release air bubbles. 
-Bake at 350, rotating halfway through, for 13 minutes until risen and set. Let cool. Pipe or spread in filling on flat sides of half of cookies, top with the remaining half. Refrigerate. Enjoy. Pretend you have it all together like Martha.

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