Oct 27
2009

Daring to Attack Macs (again)!

in Daring Bakers, Dessert, French, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

In my last mac post I wrote, “I’ve learned that this is not the last time that macarons and I shall meet.  I am determined to get this right.”  Well, true to my word, I’m back with more macs!  The Daring Bakers provided the impetus for my most recent mac escapade.   

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.  The rules were simple–make Claudia Fleming’s recipe for macarons and fill and sandwich them.  Above and beyond that, we were allowed to make any flavor variations that we wanted to.  I went for a basic flavor combo.  I added vanilla sugar to the macarons batter for a hint of vanilla,

and then made a rich chocolate ganache,

which I whipped, and then piped onto the macarons using a star tip for a bit of extra visual interest. (For a great ganache tutorial, see this post by Alice of Savory Sweet Life.)

This past weekend we made our annual trip out to The Pumpkin Patch.

Squirrel was in heaven traipsing through all of the pumpkins.

I couldn’t help but be inspired by all of the wonderful Fall colors.

So I decided to take a bit of inspiration from our trip and added some orange gel coloring to my mac batter, 

to give the finished macarons a subtle burnt orange color.

It made for a perfect autumnal mac attack.


Macarons
Adapted from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern
Yield: 10 dozen. Ami’s note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.

Ingredients
Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). 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.
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 overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). 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).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

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* Voting for the Foodbuzz Blog Awards is open for just a few more days (through the 29th)!  If you haven’t voted, please do!  LFM is a nominee for Best Family Blog!!

* Don’t forget to enter my Starfrit Apple Pro-peeler Giveaway!

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }



Y October 27, 2009 at 6:22 am

Gorgeous! I love those pictures of the pumpkins, and your macarons are so pretty.

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MeetaK October 27, 2009 at 6:56 am

these look gorgeous! really like the color and flavors here. we'll be attacking those macs more often i hope!

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Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets October 27, 2009 at 7:41 am

These just scream fall and I love the piping. It really does make you look twice. Very nice!

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Fuji Nana October 27, 2009 at 7:53 am

Your beautiful piping makes me want to eat these open-faced like an oreo just so I can enjoy the visual detail!

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Mary October 27, 2009 at 8:22 am

Your macarons look wonderfully seasonal. I've heard this was a difficult challenge for many. Looks like you escaped the curse.

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Jen October 27, 2009 at 8:36 am

you did it!! so jealous. still struggling…*SIGH*

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Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

Simply stunning. Gorgeous. Great job!

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alice October 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

Beautiful job! Your macs look absolutely perfect..unlike mine. :/

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Angie October 27, 2009 at 9:02 am

Almost thou persuadest me to visit southern California!

By the way, I have to confess that I assumed from the title of your post that this entry was about computers….

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Asha @ FSK October 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

Lovely! the filling looked so beautiful when piped!!!

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Divina Pe October 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

They're absolutely fantastic.

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sunita October 27, 2009 at 9:24 am

Beautiful macarons.Autumn is such a lovely time of the year :-)

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Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

Absolutely beautiful (of course)! I am so jealous of all of the beautiful DB macs today… I definitely need to try again. Very cute pumpkin patch pictures, too!

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Jamie October 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

The kids are gorgeous!!!

And what macs! Yay! They are just wonderful and yum I'd love to try a few…

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Hilda October 27, 2009 at 11:11 am

Hee, squirrel and bug are so cute! and the macs look great, chocolate and vanilla is the ultimate simple winning combination. I want an apple peeler, but live overseas!

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Engineer Baker October 27, 2009 at 11:14 am

Perfect mac attack indeed – love the color on those!

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Jenn October 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

Delicious. I've got to try making me some. Though, I've been a bit hesitant about it. It seems a bit intimidating especially when trying to bake it right. But I will eventually give it a try.

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Parita October 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

Stunning pics!

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Food, she thought. October 27, 2009 at 11:58 am

Thank you for this. I have an upcoming blogger baking fund raiser at the beginning of December and I am committed to trying macarons again. Yours look perfect. Love the idea of using the star tip on the pastry bag.

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maybelle's mom October 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm

lovely lovely. they are so adorable at the pumpkin patch.

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Barbara Bakes October 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Your macs do look like a perfect autumn treat!

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Peggy Bourjaily October 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Their so pretty! I had a great time making them too:)

We took baby girl to the pumpkin patch and she went bananas for it. So fun.

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Pontch October 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Perfect!
I love you macarons and beautiful pictures.

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Kelsey B. October 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm

So pretty – and no, these were not easy!

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Online Printing Company October 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I'm salivating right now. Too bad I have to make one to taste one. The trip to The Pumpkin Patch looks like a lot of fun. The photos are awesome. Thanks for sharing them.

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Amanda October 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm

LOVE the pics of the kids Rachael! The macarons look pretty dang awesome too!

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Susan @ SGCC October 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Your macs look perfect! I'm so impressed. I couldn't get these to work for me at all.

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Marianne Guymon October 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Those look REALLY yummy. I'm still too scared to try to make Macs! One of these days I'll get the courage. Looks like the girls had a blast at the pumpkin patch!

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Linda October 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm

The shapes of your macarons are perfect. Love it

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Nutmeg Nanny October 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm

The pumpkins were so cute! I love Fall:) Your macs look great too. The flavors you picked sound delicious!

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Fuji Papa October 27, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Love the girls. The macs look pretty good too.

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Jill October 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Your pictures of the macarons are just beautiful! I love the autumn ones–they look delicious! :)

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LittleRed October 28, 2009 at 2:00 am

Just beautiful! What a nice post! and great job on the challenge:)

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Argus Lou October 28, 2009 at 2:35 am

Very pretty macarons and lovely children with magical pumpkins too.

Have you ever tried Luxemburgeli which is sold by Sprungli in Switzerland? Apparently, the tiny tender macs are 'cooked' in a slightly ajar oven at low temperatures for about 2 hours!
One day, I'll work up the courage to give that method a try. :)

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Rachael October 28, 2009 at 8:37 am

Thanks so much everyone!

Meeta– I expect the Mac Gang will striking many more times in the future! :D

Susan– I have to admit my secret. The temperature in the oven is extremely uneven and so I can only bake one tray of macs at a time. The first tray was underdone, so I drastically adjusted the temperature and cooking time for the next tray.

Argus– I've never tried Luxemburgeli, but they sound WONDERFUL! I'll have to look for a recipe!

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nikki October 28, 2009 at 10:41 am

Lovely macs!

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Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" October 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Wonderful job! I love all your fall pictures.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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Jo October 30, 2009 at 4:01 am

Beautiful macarons and the pictures are simply gorgeous.

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Ramya Kiran October 30, 2009 at 4:11 am

Oh my god!! These look lovely. Too good to eat. Great job.

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Nico October 30, 2009 at 9:33 am

what a nice pictures, really nice macarons, thanks

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Lori October 30, 2009 at 11:15 am

I love the texture of the frosting. That is the first time I seen that.

You are brave for adding mroe moisture. I am always so scared to do that.

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