The epic journey that is: Making Macarons

First things first…macarons are different from macarOOns. They both use egg whites as a main ingredient, but macaroons have coconut while macarons do not. And, according to NPR, macarons are the new cupcake. For us bakers (yes, I’ve now classified myself as a “baker”) thats like learning that pink is the new black. Very exciting.
 I was a little intimidated when I checked out the recipe; there were directions about “aging” your egg whites and folding in almond powder to form “a soft magma”….what?? I’ve learned that this is a recipe that will definitely take many tries to perfect, but the macarons are so cute that I will keep trying till I get it right!!
Raspberry Chocolate Macarons (adapted from Epicurious)
Ingredients
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 tsp salt
3 T sugar
red food coloring
Directions
Beat egg whites and salt on medium speed for about a minute. Add sugar to egg whites a tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Add food coloring and mix on low until color is distributed. Mix the almonds and confectioners sugar in a separate bowl, then fold in to egg white mixture with a spatula. Fold until the mixture is slightly runny; test a bit on a plate: if it spreads into a small pool – its perfect! If it stays in a mound, fold a few more times. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and pipe batter into 1-inch rounds. Bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees. Let cool completely, and remove from baking sheet. 
 I sandwiched the macarons with raspberry chocolate ganache:
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T raspberry preserves
Also, if you look closely, the two batches of macarons are two different colors. This is because the recipe told me to bake them for 20 minutes, but they really only needed TEN! Lesson learned.

 Happy baking!
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