As we wrap up our holiday cookie recipe roundups this week (not to worry, we promise more to come after the New Year, as cookie diets are all the rage), we wanted something to really impress your Christmas Eve guests: French-style macarons. So for this week's Name That Pastry Chef, we've chosen Kristy Choo of Jin Patisserie in Venice.
Making macarons is really quite easy once you get the hang of piping the whipped egg white and almond flour batter onto the baking sheets. But do resist the urge over bake, or you'll wind up with a crumbly mess in your lap. Choo fills her macarons with various flavored buttercream icings, but feel free to experiment with your favorite lemon curd, pastry cream, or should you feel particularly married to the red and green lights of the holiday season, try the Heinz and cornichon version of Pierre Hermé's Ketchup Macarons.
Jin Patisserie's Macarons
Note: You can find almond flour, pastry bags and Silpat rubber baking mats at Surfas in Culver City.
Makes: 60 cookies
1 ½ cups ground almond flour, sifted
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
½ cup egg whites (approximately 6 eggs)
2/3 cup sugar
Food coloring, if desired
Buttercream icing, for filling
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1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and powdered sugar. Mix well.
2. In a stand mixture, whip egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks. Add a frew drops of food coloring (if desired). Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating and continue to beat to stiff peaks. Add the almond flour mixture and mix until just combined.
3. After egg whites peak mix into almond flour mixture. Pour the batter into a pastry bag and pipe a small quarter-sized dot onto a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets before filling.
4. Pipe your favorite buttercream icing onto half the macarons, being careful not to break them. Gently top with a second macaron.