These are a few of my favorite things (Macarons, Take #3)

Slowly but surely, I’m on my way to perfecting my Macaron making technique. Make no mistake, I still have a ways to go&amp&#!51we’ll say nothing of the tray of cookies that shattered, or meringue that never quite stiffened enough as to do so would be impolite. I will mention that I’ve had no kitchen fires, yet. Or rather not because due to a tray of Macarons (good enough in my book).

And, each mishap has led me a little closer to the ideal and to some interesting discoveries, as reflected in the updated recipe below.

As with most things, it turns out that little things do make a big difference, like microwaving the egg whites for a short time before beating them and grounding the nut/confectioner’s sugar mixture in a food processor before incorporating it into the ggs. Not necessary steps by any means, but worth it, I’d say.

Anyway, I’m not quite there yet. But I’m close enough to getting the technique that I’m ready to experiment with flavors.

For me, could only mean one thing. It was time to try out another one of my favorite flavor combinations: pistachio, cardamom, and rosewater.

At the outset, I found myself a bit stymied. Not from the technique or original recipe, but rather because of an ingredient.

I first learned of Dumante, a pistachio liqueur, a little over a year ago, when I had been gifted a bottle.

Sadly, that bottle came and went as bottles of liqueur frequently do. When I went to replace it, I discovered that not a single liquor store in Manhattan sold it. Or, at least not a single store that I visited had it. And I visited plenty. (Don’t cry for me quite yet—I was able to stock up on another favorite thing so all wasn’t lost.)

I’m sure that almond extract would make a fine substitution. But, I’m a purist, and, I have high hopes that it will warm up soon so that I can make this ice cream again.

Ultimately, I resorted to the internet. Worth it, I think. But, if that’s not your thing, as noted above, almond extract should do the trick.

That said, mine were delicious, if a little imperfect.

Pistachio Cardamom Macarons with Rosewater Icing

Before you get started, note that this variation of Macarons, even more than most, tastes much better the next day. The rosewater icing blends with the cookies, losing a little of its perfume-like punch, and instead providing a delicate floral note at the end of your bite.

To make the macarons:
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 finely ground pistachios
3 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 TBS Dumante
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Food coloring (optional)
Rosewater frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a food processor, blend the ground pistachio and confectioners’ sugar together, about 2 minutes, until the mixture is well blended and well combined. Sift it, adding in the ground cardamom and set aside.

Heat your egg whites in a microwave for 15 seconds. Then, using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, still whisking, until the whites reach medium soft peaks. Add the food coloring, if you’re using it, and whisk until well incorporated. Also whisk in the Dumante.

Sprinkle half of the pistachio mixture over the beaten egg whites and fold until just incorporated. Then add the rest, folding until everything is combined. Tap the bottom of your mixing bowl against the counter to eliminate any air bubbles.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag and pipe the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Each cookie should be 1.5″ in diameter and at least 1/2″ apart.

Allow the cookies to rest for at least 30 minutes, until they are no longer tacky when touched.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until macarons are slightly firm to the touch and can be lifted from the parchment, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the baking sheets and allow to cool completely.

To make the Rosewater icing:
1 egg white
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 drop red food coloring (optional)

In a heatproof bowl set over simmer water, combine the egg whites, rosewater, red food coloring, if you’re using it, and the granulated sugar. Cook, whisking constantly with a handheld electric mixer, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.

Remove the egg-white mixture from the heat and beat it on high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Then, continue beating until the mixture has cooled and is fluffy, about 6 minutes.

At this point, add in the confectioners’ sugar, mixing to combine.

To assemble to macarons:
Once the cookies have cooled, spread approximately 2 teaspoons of icing on the flatsides of half of the cookies. Sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down.

Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies



Filed under Cookies, Dessert

4 responses to “These are a few of my favorite things (Macarons, Take #3)

  1. Ben

    A suggestion: if you’re using other nuts, you need to ratio them with some ground almond to balance out the fat/oil content of the nuts since they vary, and the texture of the ground almond actually holds the macaron together, and with the meringue, makes them rise perfectly for sandwiching. Also, if you’re making batches of them now, you might experiment with leaving the eggwhites out for a day or two as the water evaporation is more even than nuking them in the micro-onde…

    • I had tried nuking, which seemed to help—but had no idea that the different oils made such an impact. I’m wondering whether the extra oil in the cocoa powder that I used for the following batch was what resulted in my baking disaster.

      I’ll get back to the baking and report back. (Also: thanks)

  2. Jess

    These are gorgeous! I so admire your macaron undertaking. I got to taste the famous Laduree macarons this weekend. They live up to their reputation. And as with Bouchon, my favorite flavor is caramel. One of these days, will you come over and teach me how to make them?

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