French Pastry Week // Triple Berry Macarons

These are Springtime in cookie form.  The most fabulous fruit trio shows up and shows off in what I'm declaring the cookie of the season.  Maybe the year.  Decade?  Lifetime?

Macarons have a reputation for being difficult, but don't be afraid of them.  I wouldn't call them hard, as much as needing precision.  They will give you all the love in their hearts as long as you respect them.  Traditional macarons usually have a small layer of ganache filling to hold their dainty little selves together, but I opted for something a bit more, um, substantial.  Lots of white chocolate ganache, fresh berries, and blueberry jam.  Think we can fit the kitchen sink in too?

Ok, here are some tips on macarons, mostly learned the hard way: keep your meringue dough away from any form of grease, or you will have flat, uninspired cookies (been there).  Allow them to rest for a little while before putting them into the oven to allow their upper shell to harden and rise on their fluffy, ruffly little feet (done that). Touch them gently after they've baked, because meringue is a delicate wonder of kitchen science and should be handled with care lest their delightful smooth tops cave in.  Then eat them all to show the depth of your devotion.

Triple Berry Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup of almond flour (you can find it in the natural section of most grocery stores)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon raspberry flavoring

Fillings

  • 4-5 large strawberries, diced very finely
  • 2 Tbsp. blueberry preserves
  • 2 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1/4 cup high quality white chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

For the Macarons: Whisk together the almond flour and powdered sugar.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form soft peaks.  Then, add in the granulated sugar and continue beating until you have a glossy, stiff meringue, then beat in food coloring and raspberry flavoring.  With a rubber spatula, fold the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture in about 1/2 cup at a time.  Continue folding until the mixture is entirely combined and the mixture is ribbon-like.

Trace 2 inch circles onto a sheet of parchment paper as a guide, and place on a baking sheet circle side down.  Place the meringue batter into a new piping bag and pipe into circles on the parchment.  Gently tap several times to knock out excess air bubbles and flatten and points from piping, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the macarons for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops look hardened.  Remove from oben and place sheet on a cooling rack until the cookies are completely cooled.

For the fillings: Dice strawberries very finely and set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate chips, stirring every fifteen minutes until smooth.  Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and add in powdered sugar.  Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip (about 1/4 inch).

To assemble Macarons: On one half of the macarons, pipe all around the edge with the ganache, and fill the center with the diced strawberries.  On the other half of the cookies, spread a small amount of the blueberry preserves, and sandwich the cookies together.

Macarons are best served fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, or in the freezer for up to two weeks.