Friday, February 10, 2012

{Tutorial} Valentine Heart Macarons

You might remember back in December when I posted a recipe for these stunning Peppermint Macarons from Stacy Able.  Stacy was so kind to create the perfect Valentine's Day dessert recipe for our readers.  You know how much I LOVE macarons and I nearly fell off my chair when I saw what Stacy created.  Not only are they macarons but little heart shaped macarons! I can't wait to share her recipe with you....

Stacy Able Photography’s
Valentine's Day Heart Macaron Recipe

200g almond flour
200g powdered sugar
80g egg whites
80g egg whites
200g regular sugar
80 ml water
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
 red food coloring

Heat oven to 355F
Separate egg whites ensuring there is absolutely no egg yolk. You may set the egg whites aside for 2-3 days in a refrigerator to “age”.
Measure out egg whites into two small containers with 80g in each.
Measure out almond flour and powdered sugar; add to food processor or spice grinder and pulse. Once the sugar and almond flour is a fine texture, sift 2 times; add the vanilla seed scrapings, red food coloring, and 80g of egg white, set aside. For a pale pink add a few drops of red for a super red cookie you'll need to use at least 15g of dye.
Cook sugar with water in a pot over medium heat with candy thermometer. Gently swirl the water and sugar a few times so it cooks evenly. When the temperature reaches 230F take the pot off the oven.
While sugar is cooking, Begin whipping the other 80g of egg whites with stand or hand held mixer. When eggs are in a soft peak drizzle the 230F hot sugar syrup down the bowl in a thin stream and continue beating until you get a firm, shiny meringue.
Pour half of the almond/powered sugar ingredients into meringue and stir ensuring you scrape the sides and bottom. Add the second half and stir. Note: do not over stir. You want the batter to look like a thick magma that when dropped in the bowl slowly absorbs into batter. Over stirring creates flat, pancake, cracked cookies.

Place parchment on a cookie sheet and trace 1 inch circles on the parchment then flip the parchment as you do not want pen marks on the cookie.
In a pastry bag use a plain round tip and pipe out heart shape cookies on your parchment. It may take some practice, but if you start with one circle, pipe down, then another circle down to the tip you'll create "heart shapes".

Once you have your hearts piped, firmly hold the cookie sheet and rap the sheet against a counter a couple times. This is done to help form the foot/pied bottom of the macaron.
Let the dough sit for 15-30 minutes to form a soft non sticky shell.
Place in oven for 11 minutes and put a wooden spoon or chopstick in the door to let some heat escape. Note- this will produce a slightly chewy Macaron which is traditional without browning the cookie. If you’d like them done slightly more you can cook at 300 for 20-25 minutes.
Once cookies are done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool. Do not remove from parchment until cool as they may stick. Pull up the corner and gently peel from the Macaron or use a metal spatula to gently remove shells.
To complete the cookie, make a simple butter cream and add a few drops of flavoring. Spoon icing onto macaron shell and gently press the two sides together.
Macaron shells will last 3-4 days if left on the counter. If unfilled you can freeze the cookies then thaw and fill for an instant glamorous treat.

All photos by Stacy Able Photography

A VERY special thank you to Stacy for sharing this fabulous tutorial with us.  Thank you also to Blair Lauer for assisting Stacy with this tutorial.

Wouldn't these little pretties make the perfect addition to a romantic Valentine's Day dinner for your sweetie? 

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