Oui.

Oui. That’s “yes” in French for you non-french speakers. Join the club. I don’t speak French either. My seester does and I am sure that she is going to hammer me with text messages about this post. You see, I have never been to France, or even outside of the U.S. for that matter. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend that we are in France. Right? Are you ready? We are in Paris, we just stopped off at the local food market to pick up a few staples for our picnic. We grab a loaf of fresh, warm, crusty French bread (I would think it would be a baguette…because isn’t that French?), a pound of butter, a wheel of gooey Brie cheese, a bottle of the finest French wine we can find, grapes, and for dessert…macarons.


 Now, I am not talking about the American macaroons that usually present themselves in the form of a small ball of coco-nutty goodness, no this macaron is French, Parisian…if you will (I hate saying if you will). Ironically, my first taste of macarons was in America, California, of all places! Ever since my date with my small plate of macarons I have been determined to make them. Failure after failure…it finally happened. Yes, people…today I am French…at least I hope the French would love my macarons. Maybe. Maybe not. It’s worth a try. 

Breakthrough: I actually figured out how to properly set up my pastry bag. 
Epic.

A good pastry bag pipes the best macarons. 
It definitely takes a couple of tries. 

Anyway, imagine biting into a tiny, pretty (might I add), sandwich-like cookie, 

with a crispy outer shell, and a smooth, gooey filling. 

My macarons didn’t come out as purple as I wanted them too, so I used graphics.
 I’m just a bag of tricks.

Not bad for my first legit try eh?
Watch out France!

P.S. Macarons are the queen-bee of the pastry world, don’t forget to rock your fave nail polish when eating them! My fave brand is Essie!


Have you ever had a French macaron? If so, what’s your favorite? What would you bring on our picnic in Paris?

Lavender Vanilla Bean Macarons with Lemon Curd:

For the macarons (recipe slightly adapted from Inspiring the Everyday):

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 c. + 2 T. almond meal, sifted
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 T. granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped of its flesh (save the vanilla bean shell for something awesome)
A couple of drops of purple food coloring (I had to channel my inner artist and mix red and blue together)
a pinch of lavender bud

Instructions:
1. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, trace out 24 circles about 1 3/4 in. in diameter. The macarons will be piped into each one of these circles.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Sift the powdered sugar and almond meal together in a large mixing bowl. 
3. Separate the eggs, setting aside the yolks for another purpose. Maybe you can make a nice aioli later? IMPORTANT: A good rule is to leave the egg whites out overnight in a small covered container. This helps cure the egg whites and whip that meringue into shape!
4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
5. Add the sugar gradually, and continue to whip the eggs until stiff peaks form. Just before you reach this point, add the vanilla bean and the food coloring. You will have a little room to adjust the coloring before the egg whites are stiff.
6. Fold in confectioner’s sugar and almond meal using a spatula, working in two parts. Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, continue to fold until the batter flows like magma when you lift the spatula.
7. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip with the batter. Pipe the batter into the traced circles on the pastry sheet. To pipe a nicely shaped disk, start with the pastry bag vertical to the parchment, tip side down. Squeeze batter onto the center of the circle drawing and the batter will flow towards the edge. Just as the batter reaches this point stop squeezing the bag and drag the tip in a circular motion towards the edge of the circle This will help eliminate the peak of batter in the middle of the cookie. Repeat.
8. Sprinkle half of the cookies with 1 pinch each of lavender buds. You just want the lavender buds to be on the top cookie half when you sandwich them together.
9. Allow the meringue to rest for 1 hour. This will allow the skin to form on the macarons which will give you that signature French macaron skirt we are looking for.
10. Put the macarons in the oven, reduce the temperature in the oven to 325 and bake the macarons for 10 minutes. 
11. Allow the macarons to cool for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. Raise the heat on the oven back to 375 F. 
12. Once the oven is back up to temperature, repeat with the remaining macarons, making sure to drop the oven temp. to 325 F. each time you bake more macarons.
13. Fill one half of a macaron sandwich (preferably the one without the lavender on top) with a drop of lemon curd, and top with the other half of the cookie.

For the Lemon Curd:

Ingredients:
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
grated lemon zest from two small lemons
juice of 2 small lemons
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 T. butter, melted (I only had vegan butter on hand…a little ironic since I am using eggs).

Instructions:
1. Whisk together all ingredients minus the butter in a medium saucepan. 
2. Add butter and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. 
3. Do not let sauce come to a simmer. Transfer to a small bowl and cool slightly. Place a drop of lemon curd between two macarons to make a sandwich. 

MANGIA!!!

Comments

  1. AMAZINGLY EXECUTED! They’re beautiful and I’m certain that they are delicious too!

  2. Soooooooo yummy Aunt Shelly! You have no idea. I have two left! I will make some more and we can have a coffee date! Yes?

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