Happy Halloween! Errrrr, in a few days!
I made you spooky, creepy black macarons. And then I ate them all up before it was Halloween and had to make more. Repeat times 3.
I used my basic French macaron recipe for the shells. I made the recipe years ago, and I keep coming back to it. I also made a chocolate macaron version, because life is not complete without a chocolate version. I even altered the recipe to make salted caramel macarons, and put it in my cookbook. It's just a solid recipe.
I originally thought it would be hard to scale down such a finnicky French recipe, but as it turns out, the recipe is usually based on weight, which is much, much easier to scale down. See also: easy to scale up.
I don't pray to the macaron gods before making these tiny, chewy little cookies, though I do take a bit of help. I use a mixture of egg whites and powdered meringue. You can find the powdered meringue at the craft or hobby store (don't forget your coupon!). I love it because it basically makes the recipe fail-proof, and plus, it has a hint of vanilla that flavors the macarons so nicely. Plus, it just smells so good. Sometimes, I open the powdered meringue jar in my pantry and take a sniff. This is my life.
In the many iterations of these cookies that I made, I once played around with anise extract and made them licorice flavored. I completely loved it, though licorice makes most people run for the hills. I even shared homemade black licorice on this site before, and the Facebook response was um, not nice. Can we still be friends over red licorice?
So, make these vanilla-flavored, make them licorice-flavored, whatever you fancy.
Oh, one final note: I used whipped cream as the filling instead of the usual buttercream. I love the airy, lightness of macarons, and have always felt that buttercream weighs them down.
Happy Halloween, friends! Be safe! Definitely don't dress your 6-month old daughter up like a cat and take a million photos, ok? Cuz that'd be copying me.
- 1 older egg white
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- ⅓ cup + 11/2 teaspoons (35 grams) almond meal
- ⅓ cup + ¼ cup (76 grams) powdered sugar
- 3 drops extract of your choice (almond, vanilla, or anise)
- small dollop of black food gel*
For the filling:
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Begin by bringing the egg white to room temperature.
- Line a small half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper fits the pan exactly, as any excess paper will buckle and make the macarons spread unevenly.
- In a small bowl, sift together almond meal and powdered sugar. You may have a few teaspoons of almond skin that won't go through the seive--toss it.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer.
- Once frothy, slowly add the merginue powder while beating continuously.
- Once the meringue has soft floppy peaks, stop beating. Then, in 3 increments, add in the the almond meal and powdered sugar. Gently fold it in using a spatula (scrape down the middle and sweep the sides carefully).
- Add the extract of your choice.
- Once everything is well incorporated, scoop the mixture into a plastic bag or pastry bag. This is easier if the bag is inside a tall glass. Squeeze the mixture down to one side and snip the corner off of the bag.
- Squeeze gently to make 12 perfectly round circles on the baking pan. Use your finger tip to gently press away any peaks.
- Let the cookies sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before baking. Before the cookies go into the oven, they should appear dry. This takes longer on humid days. While waiting, preheat the oven to 300Â°.
- Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven for 14-16 minutes. They are done when the tops are dry and they have risen up to reveal their â??feet.â??
- Let cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel them off the parchment paper, and move them to a rack.
- Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar to make the filling. Dot it on 6 of the macarons, and top with the remaining cookies to make sandwiches.
*I used food coloring gel, not the liquid. It's much more intense than liquid food colors, and that's a good thing when it comes to macarons--you don't want to add too many extraneous things to the batter for fear it might break.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
As always, check out my recipe index to use the leftover egg yolks from making this recipe.