When I was little, my favorite thing I owned (besides my Little Tykes Kitchenette) was my box of 96 crayons. I've always had a love for color, and the box of crayons had about every single color imaginable to my curly-haired, 4 year old self. Purple mountain majesty, macaroni and cheese, robin's egg blue...they helped my creative, right-brained juices flow. I think that's why I am obsessed with macarons. Aside from being so cute, they can take on almost any color and flavor imaginable. They really let you express your creativity. And best part? These little morsels are naturally gluten-free. Gluten-lovers are even fans of them and they don't get the "EWWW this is gluten free?" reputation. Crispy but chewy with a special filling- everything is right about this delicious French cookie. Trendy as they may be, they are perfect for just about any occasion. Have fun with them as they are blank canvases for color and flavor! I love raspberry and peach, I think the combination is just divine. Try chocolate, orange, lemon, mint, caramel, or whatever fun flavor you can imagine. Getting macarons right can be a little tricky. I've experimented with a few recipes, and have made my own recipe based on the recommendations of many. This recipe is fool proof, so for all of my friends who get intimidated in the kitchen but want to impress friends/family/coworkers/strangers with a beautiful dessert, this recipe is especially for you.
Raspberry Peach Macarons
-1 c powdered sugar
-3/4 c almond meal
-2 large egg whites, room temperature
-1/8 tsp white vinegar
-1/4 c caster sugar (1/4 c granulated sugar can be substituted)
-1/2 tsp raspberry extract
-Preheat oven to 375F.
-Pulse powdered sugar and almond meal in a food processor until combined.
-Add egg whites to bowl and beat at medium speed until foamy. Add vinegar and beat until soft peaks form. At this point, reduce mixer speed to low and add caster sugar. Add food coloring and extract. Beat until stiff peaks form.
-Add almond/sugar mixture to egg mixture, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
-Using a gallon sized bag, cut a small hole in the tip. For those of you who have a pastry bag/tip, use that. Use the bag to pipe 1 inch rounds on the baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart.
-Tap the baking sheet against the counter and let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
-Before baking, turn oven down to 325F. Bake for 10 minutes, until macarons are crisp and firm.
-Let cool on tray and transfer to wire rack.
-Spoon about 1 tsp peach preserves between two cookies, and poof- you've got a macaron.
Enjoy my friends, and most importantly- be creative and have fun.