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Macaron, Macaroon, Macarena

Last year – it was salted caramel.  This year, it is the Macaron.

Last years trend sensation was footloose and fancy free.  Salted Caramel could do anything, go anywhere and do no wrong.

2014’s obsession is rife with controversy.  That sexy little strumpet known as the Macaron knows how to stir up publicity – good or bad.

The Macaron is not the Macaroon.  Both are made from egg whites, sugar and are gluten free.  But the Macaroon’s star ingredient is coconut.

Make these little babies and you’ll immediately make an impression.  “They’re so hard to make!”  “I can’t believe you made those!”

You’ll also be told – repeatedly – that your pronunciation and perhaps your spelling is wrong.

They both have a somewhat murky history – but Macaron’s are most definitely French.  Which probably explains a lot.

Whatever your opinion – these light and sweet, chewy little treats are delicious!

 photo macaron_zpsfee3cbcc.jpg

French Macaron Cookie

How to make them:

2 egg whites
2/3 Cup Almond Flour (cheat and buy yours at Trader Joes like I did)
1/4 Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Powered Sugar
1 tsp extract of desired flavor

Separate your egg whites and combine in a  mixer with your granulated sugar.
Beat on low for 2 minutes
Medium for 2 minutes
High for 2 minutes
Top speed for 2 minutes

While the egg whites are beating – sift your almond flour and powered sugar together in another bowl.
Once the egg whites have formed stiff peaks and hold their shape you can dump in the almond flour/powered sugar and any flavoring you desire.
I used espresso powder and vanilla.

Fold together until just mixed and spoon into a pastry bag.  You can use a big round tip but your can also just cut off the top of the bag if you’re using the disposable kind.

Pipe nice 1″ round circles onto a parchment or silpat lined pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.

Let cool completely – ESPECIALLY if you are using silpat.

Fill with your choice of filling – frosting, etc.  I used butter cream mixed with either Vanilla, Meyer Lemon (juice and zest) or Raspberry.