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Raspberry Chocolate Macaroons

In Desserts, Gluten Free on July 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

~ 30 cookies

For macaroons:
6 oz sliced blanched almonds (not slivered; 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Red or pink food coloring

For chocolate raspberry ganache:

3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (60 to 64% cacao), chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/16 teaspoon raspberry extract (preferably McCormick brand)

Also:
parchment paper
big ziplock bag

So. This is a super cheap recipe, doesn’t take terribly long and TOTALLY worth it. Impress your friends with Parisian Chocolate Macaroons and they’ll love you forever. To start:

– coat your pans with parchment paper. Wax paper will also work for the starving college students like me.
– Combine almonds with 1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a processor until very finely ground. Sift in remaining cup of confectioners sugar and stir.

– beat egg whites with salt in another bowl with an electric mixer (medium speed ish) until they just hold soft peaks.
– add granulated sugar slowly while increasing to high speed until you get stiff, glossy peaks.

-stir in almond mixture until even and add food coloring (just a few drops will do ya!) until it is pink or red (or blue.. your choice!)

-don’t freak out, the merengue will deflate
– put the mixture into a ziplock bag and cut the corner off (just a little one, ~1/4 in)
– lay out the batter in rows, in dollops slightly bigger than quarters, depending on the size you want the macaroons to be. They will settle and spread out so don’t put them too close like I did

– let them stand until the tops are no longer sticky and a light crust forms (20 to 30 minutes)
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees farenheit. Have at least two racks open – this recipe makes a little more than two cookie sheets worth of macaroons
– bake for 20 minutes, switch the position of the sheets if your oven doesn’t heat evenly like mine
– the edges should be slightly darker and crispy but not burnt!
– cool for 30 minutes

For ganache:
Melt chocolate with cream in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or in top of a double boiler if you aren’t a starving college student and own one) Make sure the bowl doesn’t not touch water. Here’s what I improvised:
-Remove from heat, then add butter and raspberry extract until the butter melts
– Wait for it to thicken at room temperature before assembling the cookies

Putting it all together:
-put a dollop of the ganache in between two similar sized cookies. If you don’t have a steady hand like myself, then you will have fun pairing different sized cookies!
– also as an alternative, heat some fresh blackberries in a pan with about a cm of water and cook real slow for ~30 minutes. Add some blackberry liqueur and that makes a tasty alternative if you don’t like chocolate or just want variety!

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