Saturday, March 15, 2014

Baileys Irish Cream Macarons

Macarons seem to have become very popular lately. Once only found in specialty bakeshops, you can now buy them at most local grocery stores. More people are eating gluten free and this is one little baked treat that fits into a gluten free diet. Macarons are made with ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. With such a simple list of ingredients how can the task of making them be so daunting most people won't even try?
After searching through many recipe books, magazine clippings and of course the internet, I came up with the recipe to try from a most trusted source Martha Stewart. Her recipe seemed to be the least complicated as it didn't required making a simple sugar or aging egg whites.
I bought ready ground almond meal, but you can grind your own almond meal. This in itself requires a bit of skill as you want the almonds ground to the right consistency. Too much grinding and you have almond butter, too little and you have lumpy macarons. One important step is to sift the almond meal through a sieve to remove any large pieces. Also sift the powdered sugar.
I like to have all my ingredients measured and ready to go before starting. In the past I have been know to turn the kitchen into a complete disaster when baking. So now I get all my ingredients ready, baking sheets lined with parchment paper, clean up the countertops, have the dishwasher empty and the sink full of soapy water. It is amazing how stress free baking can be by having everything ready to go and a clean kitchen. With my favorite tunes playing on the Bose sound system I'm ready to start making these finicky little cookies.
French Macarons
by Laureen King from ArtandtheKitchen
recipe adapted from MarthaStewart
Prep Time: 30 mins Bake Time: 12-13 mins Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients:
  • 71 grams almond meal (2/3 cup)
  • 117 grams confectioners' sugar (1 cup)
  • 53 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • Baileys Buttercream filling
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sift together almond meal and confectioners' sugar (remove any large pieces of almond meal)
  3. Using mixer whisk together egg whites and granulated sugar on low speed for 1 minute to combine.
  4. Increase speed to high and beat until egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
  5. Add dry ingredients all at once.  Gently fold together with a spatula until combined, about 40 strokes and batter flows like lava.
  6. Fill batter into piping bag fitted with round tip.
  7. On parchment lined baking sheet pipe batter into 3/4 inch rounds about 1 inch apart.
  8. Tap baking sheet firmly on top of counter 3-4 times to release air bubbles.
  9. Let macarons sit out for 20-30 minutes until tops harden slightly.
  10. Bake 350 for about 12 minutes.
  11. Cool completely, then fill with Baileys Irish Cream buttercream frosting.
  12. Store in airtight container and refrigerate.
Baileys Irish Cream Filling
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream
Directions:
Beat together butter and confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Add Baileys Irish Cream 1 tbsp at a time until spreadable consistency. I like to mine more firm so it doesn't spread when piped onto  cookie.

I am pleased with my first attempt at these delicate cookies. A few things I would tweak would 
be - make sure no large pieces of almond meal. (I tried to press the larger pieces through the sieve. I should have discarded them and just sifted a bit more. Also when piping batter onto cookie sheets, use end of knife flatten if have a little peak on them. A smooth top would have looked nicer!




6 comments:

  1. You obviously have a passion for baking and have mastered it with these beautiful Cookies.

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  2. They look delicious!!! I would love on right now!!

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  3. I'm very impressed with you macarons Laureen and I LOVE the flavor!

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  4. Yes doesn't everything with a bit of Baileys in it taste great Chris :)

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