Strawberry Macarons

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The only macaron flavor I have ever made is salted caramel, it’s my absolute favorite.  It’s not that I don’t like other flavors, but if I’m making them I want those in particular.  However, about a week ago I started thinking about my Easter table and what I wanted to serve, and the idea of a nice pink macaron came into my mind.  This is a flavor I have never tried, and I’ve tried a lot of flavors, so I wasn’t sure how well it would turn out.  Never going to find out unless you try, right?

So last night I pondered how to go about tinting the shell.  Yes I could use a store bought natural food coloring, but since I had beet powder on hand and I figured that mixed with a little strawberry puree would do the trick.  I knew I wanted to do a buttercream filling, but then I had to figure out how to mix in more strawberry puree without going overboard.  Nothing like a little trial and error…

*Note: you can ground your own almonds if you do not have almond flour, however, you need to make sure you are able to make them very fine, it’s a tad tedious if you don’t have the proper equipment.  Also, you want to toss your almonds in the freezer for 30 minutes or more before you ground them or they will turn into an oily mess.

Thankfully, I didn’t have much error and it all came about quite smoothly.

For the Recipe:

Macaron Shell:

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250 g almond flour

400 g powdered sugar

12 g beet powder (this made a very light pink shell, adjust to the color you want)

440 g egg white

50 g sugar

1/4 c strawberry purée

In a bowl, sieve the ground almonds, powdered sugar (aka confectioners sugar) and beet powder into a bowl to make sure there are no lumps.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl add the egg whites and whip to firm peaks.  Then add the sugar and whip until you get a stiff merengue.  Next, gently fold in the dry ingredients and strawberry purée.  Take care not to over mix.

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Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pipe nice round circles about 1 1/2″ in diameter using a pastry bag.  You can use a tip on the bag if it’s easier for you, but I use the plastic disposable bags and find it just as easy to cut the tip and just do it that way.  I’ve also seen people draw circles on the underside of the parchment paper to use as a guide, this might sound kooky, but I just like to count how long I pipe each circle to keep them uniform.

After you pipe all the shells let them dry on the counter for an hour to allow them to get a skin.  Bake in a 335 F degree oven for 12-14 minutes, until the top has a dry look to it.  Take out, slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack and let cool before you remove the cookies.

Strawberry Filling:

8 oz. unsalted butter, let it sit out at room temperature for an hour, you want it soft enough to whip up but not too soft (warm days this can be achieved in under an hour)

4 oz. mascarpone cheese

8 oz. powdered sugar

1/2 c. strawberry purée

In the bowl of a mixer add all the ingredients and whip until nice and fluffy.

To Assemble:

Spoon the filling into a piping bag (again I used disposable plastic that I cut, no tip) and pipe onto one of the shells.  Top with another, tada!!

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After you finish assembling all the cookies, put them in the refrigerator to firm up the strawberry filling.

To serve, you can pull them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes beforehand.  I personally like the straight out, still firm, but that might just be me.

Enjoy!!

 

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