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Happy Macaron Day!

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Yesterday, March 20th marked the first day of spring and that is definitely something we are all looking forward to. Yesterday was also World Macaron Day and – in my opinion – was equally as exciting.

IMG_1641Macaron Day was started in Paris by the famous bakery Pierre Hermé. The idea behind it was to get people into the bakery to try macarons and give to charity at the same time. The concept has now spread from New York to Tokyo to Toronto!

Here in Toronto, 18 bakeries are participating in the event. Each person who walks into a participating bakery simply has to say they’re here to celebrate Macaron Day and they are given a free macaron of their choice. 25% of each additional macaron purchased goes to the Red Door Family Shelter – an organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling get back to stable living.

I checked out Pâtisserie 27 in Bloor West Village and picked up one coffee and one raspberry macaron. They were delicious!

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I had picked up a copy of Martha Stewart Living last month and they had a whole spread of different macaron recipes. The front cover was so pretty that it persuaded me to try and make them at home. They are so smooth and delicate I had always figured they were difficult to make but I figured as Martha as my guide, why not?

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Here’s what you need:

  • 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds (71 grams)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (117 grams)
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water
  • 3 drops rose-pink gel-paste food coloring

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (with seeds)

1. First thing you’re going to want to do is preheat your oven to 350°. Then put your almonds in a food processor or blender and pulse until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Add the icing sugar and blend until combined, about 1 more minute.

2. Pour almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. If you still have bigger solid pieces left over toss those back in the blender and then press them through the sieve again. Repeat until you have less than 2 TBSP of solids remaining.

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3. Whisk the egg whites and table sugar to combine. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to med-high and beat 2 minutes. Beat on high for 2 minutes more.

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4. The egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. They shouldn’t droop or drip at all. Now add the rose water and food colouring and beat on highest speed for 30 seconds to combine.

5. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from the bottom of the bowl upwards, then press flat side of spatula through middle of mixture. Repeat until batter flows like lava, about 35-40 complete strokes.

6. Fill a pastry bag (or a Ziploc) with batter and secure the top by twisting it. Dab some batter from the bowl and use it to secure the corners of a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

7. With tip of bag about a ½ inch above the sheet, pipe batter into ¾ rounds, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 1” apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2-3 times to get rid of any air bubbles.

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8. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, about 13 minutes. Let cool.

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9. Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies, then top with remaining half. Wrap in plastic or put them in a Ziploc and refrigerate. They taste best after an hour of refrigeration.

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Enjoy! 🙂

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Click here for full recipe:

http://www.marthastewart.com/1054197/rose-raspberry-macarons

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