Sunday, January 2, 2011

French Macaroons

One of my favorite things about learning to cook gluten free is finding recipes that are gluten free, but not meant to be gluten free. This little treasure was found in a cooking magazine I picked up at a local thrift store. I cannot believe how simple they were and how few ingredients you will need. The most expensive item was the Almond Meal/Flour, but even then, it wasn't THAT costly and you don't use a whole lot of it (so you can plop that bag in the freezer for longer keeping).

Line two baking sheets with wax paper (lightly grease if you feel the desire to. It WILL making peeling the little guys off a bit easier). So to start off with these tasty nibble worthy cookies, beat 1/2 cup (3 egg whites) and 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a beater until stiff peaks begin to form.
Not sure why I took the picture at this stage of the beating of the eggs....there are most definitely no stiff peaks hehe.

Next, sift together 1 cup nut meal flour (almond or hazlenut), 2 cups powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until thoroughly blended.
Next fold in the stiffly peaked eggs.
Now here is where the picture tutorial stops for a moment. The hands got a wee bit sticky and goopy during the next step in the cookie making process. Spoon half of the batter in a pastry bag with a round 1/4" pastry tip. The batter will be runny and is going to drip from the tip. On the wax lined baking sheets, pipe out little piles of goo measuring about 1 1/2" in diameter.
Spoon the remainder of the batter into the pastry bag and repeat. Set cookie sheets aside and let the cookies rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 at about 15 minutes.

Bake your cookies one cookie sheet at a time at 375 for 5 minutes on the middle rack. Then lower the heat to 325 and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until the tops start to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully pull the wax paper off the hot sheet and onto the kitchen counter to cool. Repeat the process with baking sheet #2.

While the cookies are cooling prepare the burnt caramel filling by warming in a saucepan 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, raise the temperature to high and allow to boil (swirling the pan occasionally).
Allow mixture to continue boiling until it starts turning a golden brown. At that point, remove from heat momentarily and stir in 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Stir vigorously until the cream and butter are nicely blended in. Place back on medium heat and simmer until mixture gets nice and carmeley ;)
Set aside and allow to cool partially. Peel cookies off the wax paper (if you haven't done already) then spoon roughly a teaspoon or less worth of caramel in the center of the cookie then lightly press another cookie onto the caramel creating a nice little sandwich. Repeat until you have a lovely assortment of fun little macaroons. 
The cookies had a GREAT flavor and are very crunchy and crispy. Another filling that was quite tasty was a bit of cream cheese and a dollop of jelly of your choice. I think a bitter dark chocolate ganache would also be so divine. Mmmmmmm.

Recipe:

French Macaroon

1 cup nut meal flour (almond or hazlenut)
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup egg whites (3 egg whites)

Beat egg whites with the 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until stiff peaks form. Meanwhile sift together nut meal flour, powdered sugar, and pinch of salt. Carefully fold in egg whites to flour mixture. Spoon half of the batter into a pastry bag with a 1/4" tip. Pipe small cookie rounds measuring 1 1/2" in diameter on lightly greased wax paper. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Set cookies aside and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. At about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 375. At 20 minutes, place first baking sheet in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 325 and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until tops of the macaroons turn golden brown. Repeat the process with the second baking sheet. Carefully remove the wax paper with cookies from the hot sheets and onto the kitchen counter to cool.

Caramel filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon butter

In medium saucepan warm up the sugar, water, honey, and pinch of salt on medium heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Increase burner temp to high and allow to rapidly boil until the mixture turns golden brown (picking up pan and swirling periodically). Once mixture is golden brown, briefly remove from heat and stir in butter and cream. Stir rapidly to completely blend ingredients. Place back on medium heat and simmer until mixture becomes thick and caramel-like.

7 comments:

  1. This looks fabulous. I am glad you stopped by, at my blog so I could find yours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those look so good....

    Thanks for stopping by and linking up to the Gluten Free linky

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mmmm...these look really good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yum. I made macaroons with a swiss meringue cream, but will have to try them with the burnt caramel.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! These look wonderful. Thanks for sharing it at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you everyone! They were a fun and tasty treat to make :)

    I BET a swiss meringue cream would be fabulous! YUM!

    ReplyDelete
  7. These are just beautiful!! I LOVE finding other blogs similar to mine.. and I'm excited to spend some time looking through.
    xo, Brittany (Real Sustenance)

    ReplyDelete