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A girl and her kitchen.

May 12, 2011

Michael was in Las Vegas on work related business, and I joined him for a wonderful, whirlwind vacation after his conference. The thing is: being away from my kitchen makes me crave cooking and baking like there is no tomorrow. Moreover, on our trip, we made our way over to Bouchon Bakery in the Venetian hotel. And I was nothing short of inspired.

I don’t fancy myself a pastry chef.  After all, I’m just a baking enthusiast. It’s just a girl and her kitchen over here. And I happily take on all kinds of culinary challenges and adventures. Hence, we came home and I threw myself into making French macaroons.

My sweet and dear friend Anne likes to say that she and I make handmade things. This is not to be confused with homemade. Handmade things take care and love. Anything made at home can be called homemade. Even boxed mac n’ cheese. We like the differentiation.

So, I know these might not look exactly like the fancy kind at the amazing bakery. But I’ll say this: they’re handmade and taste fantastic.

This was inspired by an easy recipe over at the Food Network. I think it’s an easy starter recipe.

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
7/8 cups almond flour
1/2 cup egg whites
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 drops food coloring (natural or regular)

For the buttercream filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat over to 300 degrees F.
2. Stir together the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour.
3. In a mixer, whip the whites until frothy. Add the sugar and food coloring and whip until stiff.
4. Add 1/3 of the almond mixture and fold part way in. Add another 1/3 and fold partway in.
5. Add final 1/3 and fold in leaving a few specks of egg whites (it will look like a deflated marshmallow).
6. Place a pastry bag or big plastic baggie (I used a freezer bag and snipped off the corner as a makeshift pastry bag).
7. Pipe dots of meringue at each corner to stick down some parchment paper on a sheet pan.
8. Pipe rows of kisses 1-inch each (size of a quarter) one half inch apart. Helpful tip: They tend to collapse a bit after baking, so make them a little bit taller than you think you’d need to.
9. Bake about 17 minutes until very light brown.

To make the buttercream filling:

1. Place softened butter into mixer, add sugar and beat until fluffy.
2. Add lemon extract and mix thoroughly.
3. Fill cooled macaroons with layer of buttercream, and top with another.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 12:59 pm

    These look DIVINE!

  2. ilovefetacheese permalink
    May 12, 2011 2:10 pm

    i love how they are slightly pink….gorgeous! These would be a great dessert for a summer event…so light.

    • May 13, 2011 1:22 am

      Thank you! Michael suggested I might want to take a pastry class, and I am way excited about the thought of it. I want to make more professional looking macaroons!

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