Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 9: Chocolate-Filled Almond Macaroons

The cookies we made today did not turn out. I'm not sure why..and it's the first time I've used almond paste. I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart a little while ago and she had a man on who had a bakery and this was one of the things he sold there. Ours turned out flat and we didn't really like the flavor..but i'll still post the recipe if anyone else wants to give it a try. Now I have a big bowl of ganache I don't know what i'm going to do with.. So instead we made some cookies from the frozen dough we have. We took them to an older lady that we were refferred to from yesterday. She accepted and told us she had been at her place since 1992. We invited her to the health talk, a couple times I think we forgot to invite people..not sure that any of them will even come, but who knows. She told us we could try going to her neighbor tomorrow but that he isn't often home. So hopefully we'll get to catch him tomorrow. Here's the recipe, if anyone ever tries making these let me know how it goes. (The recipe calls for 8 oz. of almond paste and I only had 7..maybe that had something to do with them being runny and flat..but either way we didn't care for the taste.)
Chocolate-Filled Almond Macaroons
Makes about 36 cookies
1 3/4 cups Ganache (recipe follows)
1 (8-ounce) can almond paste (1 cup)
6 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten, room temperature

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together almond paste and sugar on medium-high until almond paste breaks down and mixture is well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add almond extract and salt; beat until well combined.
With the mixer running, add egg whites, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The batter should be smooth and thick enough to pipe.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a No. 4 (1/2-inch) pastry tip. Holding pastry tip about 3/4 inch above the parchment paper on prepared baking sheet, pipe a quarter-size round of batter onto parchment paper. Lift the bag off the batter a slight sideways jerking motion of your hand, producing a flat, rather than pointy, top on the cookie. Continue piping cookies about 1 inch apart, trying to finish with as small a peak as possible to leave tops rounded and smooth. Wet a finger with warm water to smooth out any remaining peaked tops; sprinkle generously with sugar. Let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes so that a thin, crisp crust develops on outside of each cookie.
Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and back to front two-thirds through, until set but not browned and still gooey in the centers, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
To fill cookies, place 1 teaspoon ganache on the bottom of one cookie, sandwich with the flat side of a second cookie. Repeat process with remaining ganache and cookies.
To make the ganache:
Makes about 7 cups
1 pound semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Place both chocolates in a large heatproof bowl; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, mix together cream, honey, and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into saucepan and add vanilla bean, if using. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes; whisk until smooth.
Strain chocolate mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. Stir in vanilla extract, if using. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until ganache stiffens, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
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1 comment:

  1. Macaroons are tricky. I can't do them either. With the ganache you could use it to cover a cake like frosting or you could drizzle it in ice cream.