I swoon for a good macaron

So yesterday, as I was coming down with a terrible cold, I set out to make quite possibly the MOST difficult thing you could make. A french macaron. Our friends had invited us to dinner, and I wanted to make something with limoncello and blueberries. So I started googling ways to make a macaron, and there are zillions of recipes ranging from rose flavored to earl grey tea but NOTHING for limoncello and blueberry. I should have known this was going to be trouble just from that clue alone. SO I went a little rogue and found a recipe and tweaked it. I have learned a lot, and I promise you that they did not come out perfect, but it was a valiant effort and a good start I think. So here it goes:

Photo Apr 07, 5 09 09 PM

Blueberry-Limoncello Macarons

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Blue food coloring

Filling

  • 1 small container of blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 1 stick of butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

Cookies:

  1. Combine powdered sugar and almond meal then sift twice. You need a very fluffy powdery mixture. There will be little seed looking things on the bottom of the sifter, discard them.
  2. In a stand mixer or separate bowl whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they are frothy (about 1.5 minutes)
  3. As you are whipping the eggs, mix the cream of tartar and granulated sugar together. Add the mixture one tablespoon at a time and whip until there are stiff peaks in the meringue. About 2 minutes
  4. Add the lemon zest and 3 drops blue food coloring to the meringue mixture and whip a few times until it is mixed.
  5. Gently fold half of the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture into the meringue with a spatula. When it is blended, add the second half and fold until it is a smooth and creamy mixture.
  6. Put the batter into a piping bag (if you don’t have one, just put it in a ziplock bag and cut a little hole in the bottom corner) and pipe one inch rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet (do not use a greased baking sheet there MUST be parchment paper)
  7. Preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Rap the pan a few times on the counter to release air bubbles and to even out the topes and then let the raw cookies sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, this will make them tacky and more firm.
  8. Put them in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the top is hard. Do not let them brown too much.

FIlling:

  1. Whip the stick of butter until smooth and then slowly add the sugar.
  2. Combine limoncello and blueberries in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth
  3. Add the blueberry mixture to the buttercream mixture. Mix until well blended

Use the filling as glue to stick the two cookies together. Then Voila!

I am telling you that this is really not easy to do. My fist AND second batches were FAR from perfect. However, I found an awesome YouTube video with great tips. Because of the temperamental nature of macarons, you should watch this video before you start baking.

Entertaining with Beth: Fool-proof French Macarons

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