I figured I should get this recipe posted ASAP before next week hits and I swear off sugar for a while. I have been a cookie making fool over the past couple of weeks and these are definitely my favorite. It took me several…many…too many tries to get this right, but I think I have some technique tips that will help you out.
And like a few of my desserts, you might be thinking, “Sarah, this is a HEALTHY blog, you shouldn’t post stuff like this.” You know what? If I find a recipe I really like, I want to share it with the world. And this is one of those. The name of my new cookbook is Balance for a reason. I enjoy a cookie now and then. These are fun and I love them:)
And because they take a little time and effort, they are definitely not a cookie that I will make all the time. Actually, there aren’t any cookies that I make all the time. Special foods for special occasion, I always say.
These are perfect for customization. I used peanut butter and jelly, because these are ingredients that you probably have on hand and there is no extra work for the filling. However, if you can make a lovely lemon curd or buttercream, do it.
Also, these are chocolate macarons, but you could leave out the cocoa powder and just have white macarons. I am not an avid user of food coloring, so chocolate and vanilla are my go-to flavors. I like it simple.
I have many variations in the recipe below. In the picture, they are chocolate macarons with peanut butter and jam. I made chocolate peppermint bite sized macarons for my friend’s annual cookie exchange – those are so delicious and perfect for Christmas. You can also go very basic and use vanilla buttercream or even Nutella. These don’t have to stress you out. Trust me, your family and friends will love them.
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract + ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ cup fine almond meal or almond flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Optional: 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (for chocolate macarons)
- Filling variations below
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and whisk on medium speed until frothy
- Add sugar and vanilla and turn power to high and whisk until the eggs whites are no longer clear and start to form tiny peaks - you don't want full stiff peaks (note: You don't want this to be super runny, so turn off the mixer when the egg white can hold a tiny peak on its own. This step takes about 2-3 minutes on high)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond meal and the powdered sugar to remove clumps
- When the egg whites are done, gently fold the almond meal mixture into the egg whites, just until combined - do not stir
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper
- Fill a pastry bag or a ziplock with mixture and cut a ½" hole to pipe the filling onto the baking sheet
- Hold the bag straight up and pipe the filling into a 1" circle
- Leave 1" between each cookie and repeat until the filling is gone
- Gently tap the baking sheet against the counter to remove air bubbles in the cookies
- Let the cookies sit for at least 20 minutes to form a skin (this means that when you press on it, it won't stick to your finger)
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Bake for 11 minutes
- Turn oven off and crack the door and leave the cookies in the oven for 5 minutes to slowly cool off
- Remove from oven and place on counter
- When cookies have cooled, choose a filling to spread on the flat side of one cookie
- Place the flat side of another cookie on the filling side to make a sandwich
- Store in refrigerator
- Peanut Butter Filling: Spread freshly ground peanut butter onto one side of the cookie, sandwich with another cookie
- Jam: Spread thick jam onto one side of the cookie, sandwich with another cookie
- Basic Buttercream: Beat together ¼ cup softened butter, ½ cup powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Slowly stir in 1 teaspoon of water until you reach desired thickness. Add additional drops of water if it is still too thick. Spread onto one side of the cookie and sandwich with another
- Chocolate Buttercream: Beat together ¼ cup softened butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Slowly stir in 1 teaspoon of water until you reach desired thickness. Add additional drops of water if it is still too thick. Spread onto one side of the cookie and sandwich with another
- Chocolate Peppermint: Finely crush peppermint candies or candy canes. Spread chocolate buttercream on one cookie, sprinkle with a few pieces of peppermint candy and sandwich with another cookie