I've said this many times before, "I am no baker". Baking requires patience, and this character trait is not one I was blessed with a surplus of. The whole notion of "let it cool" has never stuck with me, and I always have my greedy little paws into the dish before notated, and the results are deflated cakes, melted icing or stuck-to-the-parchment-cookies.
I would like to think that I have matured ever so slightly in the kitchen, and after two attempts, have confirmed that this recipe, with minimal patience required, was a success. And thanks to a game changer tip, these little guys are almost bullet proof in the pass/fail department. That tip is Meringue Powder. Any quick online search on Amazon or google will lead to you a site you can order from. I found it easiest to buy online, as its not a common item in your local grocery store, but if you have a specialty cooking store nearby, chances are you will be able to locate it.
The next tip that I came across was to serperate your egg whites days in advance. This is a tip that I have no insight on, rather diligently followed and it seemed to do the trick. Just do it.
Aside from these two "musts", the rest is pretty simple. You can get all fancy and buy piping bags to help dispense the batter, but I went the commoners way and used a ziplock bag (hence the rustic macarons - not perfectly round).
( Recipe adapted by Dessert for Two )
- 2 aged egg whites, at room temperature*
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 3 drops vanilla extract
For the Filling
- strawberry or fig jam
- Let eggs whites come to room temperature
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the paper fits into the pan perfectly--any buckled paper around the edges will make the cookies spread unevenly and slide.
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.
- Begin to beat the egg whites on medium speed using a hand-mixer until foamy, about 10 seconds. Then, start slowly adding the meringue powder while constantly beating.
- Beat the egg whites and meringue powder until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes. This will depend on your mixer speed, but be careful not to over-mix. The peaks are soft when you lift the beaters and the egg whites flop over.
- Add 1/3 of the almond-sugar mixture and begin to gently fold it in using a small spatula. Take your time: proper folding technique is carefully folding around the sides and cutting through the middle occasionally. The idea is to not stir too hard and deflate the air you just whipped into the egg whites.
- Repeat with the remaining almond-sugar mixture two more times, until completely incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into a piping bag with a 1/2" tip (or use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off). The batter will be thick.
- Pipe the batter into 1" little mounds (about the size of a quarter), and let sit. While they sit, they should flatten out. Leave 2" between each cookie for air circulation.
- Let the cookies rest on the baking pan for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 (or 290 if you have a gas oven that runs hot like mine). Bake the cookies for 11 minutes, until their little feet have risen and the tops are dry.
- Remove from the oven and let cool near the oven (drastic temperature changes can cause cracks).
- Once cool, pop the cookies off the sheet, spread with jam and sandwich together.