While my sister and I agree on most things, what to eat for dinner, weekend activities, and TV shows (as siblings, we cohabit extremely well together), we cannot agree on coffee. I love it and cannot get enough of it. My favorite time is a weekend early morning. I enjoy sitting on the porch, reading, and having that first sip of the day. Elizabeth can’t stand coffee. No amount of cream, sugar, or pumpkin spice in the world could make her drink the stuff. She doesn’t even like tiramisu! Shocker!
So, when I suggested coffee macarons, she groaned in protest, stating that I am “ruining a perfectly good dessert” by adding “that bitter rubbish.”
After that, I set out with a new challenge to make a recipe that was definitely coffee tasting in nature, but wasn’t so overpowering that my sister would gloatingly hate it. Honestly it wasn’t very easy. When baking, if I added too much coffee the texture would be all wrong, too little and I couldn’t call it a “coffee” macaron. Then, when it came to the filling, I couldn’t settle on any coffee flavor. Everything I tried was too overpowering and bitter. Even I couldn’t stomach it. Instead, I fell in love with a vanilla buttercream that complimented the coffee in the macaron shells. To me, it was the perfect balance of the creamy vanilla, nutty almonds, and a hint of bitter coffee.
In the end, when I was fully satisfied, I proudly presented the macarons to my sister. She was definitely wary, turning up her nose and giving it an uncertain sniff. When she finally conceded and tasted a macaroon, she made sure to let me know she was doing it under protest. To both her surprise and mine, she liked it!!!
I think I can count that as a little sister win for me!
Congratulations to @abigail_buckner for correctly guessing this week’s hint as revealing Macarons!
- 200 grams of powdered sugar
- 110 grams of almond flour
- 1 tsp of instant coffee powder*
- 90 grams of egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 25 grams of granulated sugar
- Vanilla Filling:
- 1 stick of butter (approximately 4 ounces or 113 grams)
- 250 grams (16 ounces) of powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of whole milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 280°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 1-inch circles on the back of the sheet. Make sure it is the back so the pencil marks do not stain the macarons.
- Step 2 Combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and instant coffee. Once mixed together, sift the mixture twice through a mesh sieve.
- Step 3 Combine the egg whites and vanilla extract. Whip with a standing or hand mixer until there is a bubbly foam. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the eggs until there is a glossy meringue that holds stiff peaks.
- Step 4 Add 1/4 of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides and fold into the middle. Be careful not to lose too much air. Repeat until all of the mixture is incorporated. It will be a sticky thick mass.
- Step 5 Using the flat of the spatula, “punch” down the center of the batter, then scrape from the sides to the center and repeat. You will need to repeat this until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl if you lifting it up with the spatula. Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons will not rise.
- Step 6 Transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew. Holding the baking sheet in both hands, tap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This helps for the pied foot on the bottom of the macarons. If there is still tip in the center from piping, wet your finger with a bit of cold water and gently push the tip down.
- Step 7 Allow the piped macarons to sit on the counter “drying” for 30 minutes. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust. If you touch it the batter would not stick to your finger. This can take much longer on humid days.
- Step 8 Place both baking sheets In the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first two minutes, crack the oven to allow humidity to escape. Keep it cracked for the remainder of the cooking time. Half way through swap the oven racks and rotate the sheets.**
- Step 9 When cooked remove from the oven and place on baking sheet until completely cool.
- Step 10 While the macarons cool, prepare the vanilla filling. First beat the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar.
- Step 11 Once the sugar is mixed in, add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Fill a piping bag and pipe into the macarons. Macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Step 12 *Not all instant coffee or espresso is gluten free. Be careful of what you pick.
- Step 13 **Not every oven is created equal. Some cook more or less evenly. Some keep the appropriate temperature better than others. You will have to watch and learn about your oven. Keep an eye on the macarons the entire time they cook.