This recipe is definitely a simple one when it comes to ingredients. Only four things go into it to make such a delicate cookie. Egg whites, sugar, icing sugar and almond flour.
You can find many recipes online when it comes to the macaron. Since eggs can vary in size I liked just using a ratio of weight according to however many egg whites I'm using:
1 : 2 : .5 : 1.10
Egg whites : Icing Sugar : Granulated Sugar : Almond meal/flour
( So if I had 50g of egg white it would be two times that for the icing sugar at 100g and 25g for the granulated sugar and 55g for the almond flour. Hope that makes sense) If you don't have a kitchen scale you should get one, it makes things so much easier. I tell my husband all the time how much I love mine.
For the almond flour I used whole almonds that I ground up in my magic bullet. This can lead to moist flour so do it ahead of time so they can dry a little bit. I put mine in the oven at the lowest temperature setting and let it dry for awhile. Since this recipe is very temperamental when it comes to moisture content.
The egg whites should be aged for a few days to allow for some of the moisture to evaporate. You can leave them in the fridge for a few days or if it doesn't bother you on the counter loosely covered for a day or two. Some would argue that this step is unnecessary. You could try both ways and see what works for you.
1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl.
If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks.
Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
*This is very important that it be very stiff. You have to be able to turn the bowl upside down without the meringue falling out.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t over fold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
* I put about half in and then added the rest. I read a few people say at first you want to fold quite vigorously to incorporate it fast. Some people found it helpful to count how many times they fold so that they were more in control. I think I did it around 30 times. The look you're going for is a magma consistency. Not too runny but not too stiff. I just guessed.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip . You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
* I used parchment paper that I had drawn circles on one side and then turned it over so that I had a guide to make uniform sizes.
* It is also recommended that you bang the pan on the counter to let any air bubbles out and so the any bits of almond meal settle more to the bottom so you can get that smooth top.
* It is best to leave them on the counter for at least half an hour to two hours so that the shell can form a little bit on top.
6. I baked mine at 300F for twenty minutes.
* A good tip is to double up on the baking sheet to get better temperature control.
* My first pan I piped too many on and they didn't bake as well as the second pan. They stuck to the pan probably because they weren't quit as done yet. I just sprayed a light mist of water under the parchment paper after to remove them easily.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.
I used a ganache to fill them using a 2-1 ratio of chocolate to cream. Boil the cream and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a few minutes then stir until the chocolate is melted. Put it in the fridge to set. If it gets to hard warm it just for a few seconds in the microwave.
Pipe a nice size on half of cookies and sandwich together. They are best if you leave them in the fridge for a few days before consuming. Just let them come to room temperature first. I of course sampled some everyday.
Now it may look way more complicated than it really is. Once you have everything in order it really is very simple.