Almond Macarons

 

I had a chocolate craving.  I had a cookie craving.  And I had a craving to try something new.  After paging through a couple cookbooks I landed on a recipe for macaroons from Flour.  Now, normally I don’t care for macaroons.  They come in rainbow colors and are simply just crunch with a filling that tends to escape its confines.  No thanks.  I decided to give this one a try because it was a nut based cookie and looked genuine.  The end result: s a bit of crunch on the outer edges yet soft and chewy on the inside.  Its an incredibly simple cookie to make once you have the weird steps figured out.  So what’s the weird part?

The first step is to pulverize the almonds.  The hard part here is knowing when to stop pulsing the nuts in the food processor.  You’re looking for a ‘sandy’ texture so you essentially want to stop just before you get almond butter so that the cookies are smooth yet crunchy.  I went until I couldn’t see any change in the nuts bits and then started pouring in all the other ingredients.  I think I got a bit lucky with my stopping point but it seemed as though the trick was to realizing that it was New England beach sand, not Florida type sand.

Next up was the ganache. Essentially you heat up milk then pour it over chocolate.  Where’s the challenge?  Figuring out how long to stir the chocolate (just keep going like the little engine that could).  And then waiting for it to cool before spreading it on the cookies.  Make the ganache first.  Its easier to not eat it all if you’re working on baking the cookies…  No, no I didn’t eat half the smooth chocolate perfection before it cooled.  But it was a close call.

These are definitely best eaten the first couple days.  I think I prefer them best the second and third days because the cookie starts to become creamy where it touches the ganache.

 

ps. a little bit of research revealed that these are referred to as Macaron craquelés, Macaron a l’Ancienne or Macaron De Nancy in France.  Chef Eddy, mercotte, C’est ma maman quil’a’fait

 

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