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These pretty coffee macarons are filled with a rich, coffee liqueur-flavored buttercream that is sandwiched between espresso-flavored almond meringue shells. The coffee flavors cut through the sweetness nicely and make these macarons a delicious treat for any occasion.
This post was originally published on Jan. 25, 2015.
Making French macarons is probably an old hat for many of you but it isn’t for me, I’ve struggled with them for a long time. The ones I’ve made in the past mostly exploded at some point during or after the baking process and the few that stayed intact usually didn’t develop their characteristic “foot” – the ruffled bottom part. (Although they did still taste good!).
I finally found instructions that work from Helene over at the beautiful Tartelette blog. I think one of the crucial parts about Helene’s recipe is the low temperature (280 degrees F.); I had always baked macarons hotter. I followed her basic recipe, didn’t get a single pop and pretty little feet all across the cookie sheet. Very exciting stuff! :)
Ingredients and notes:
- egg whites – make sure to let the egg whites come up to room temperature before using them; they whip up easier that way.
- instant espresso powder – this is actual brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into a dry powder. You can find it in the coffee aisle of the grocery store.
- almond flour – make sure to get the stuff that’s blanched (which means that the dark, tough almond skins have been removed). Blanched flour is much less gritty than unblanched and makes for a much smoother batter.
Tips for making macarons:
RECIPE NOTE: If you’re interested in visual instructions, I have step-by-step photos on how to make macarons in this post: Salted Caramel Macarons.
- The bowl you’re going to whip the egg whites in must be completely clean (the same goes for the beaters), because any fat will interfere with the meringue formation. Note that there is fat in egg yolks, so you need to be absolutely sure not to get any egg yolk into the whites when you separate the eggs.
- When you whip the egg whites, start adding the granulated sugar immediately after you have a bubbly foam and add the sugar continuously but in very small quantities. (Grab a tablespoon and continuously sprinkle a smattering of sugar over the entire surface of the meringue as the mixer is running).
- I have tested different types of baking sheets and liners for baking macarons and what has worked best for me is a silicone baking mat on an insulated cookie sheet (a cookie sheet made from two sheets of metal with a layer of air sandwiched between them). If you have those, I recommend you use those.
More delicious coffee-flavored desserts:
- Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Espresso Milkshake with Coffee Liqueur
- Coffee Liqueur Cream Puffs
- White Russian with Chai Spice-Infused Cream
- Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme
- Spiced Irish Coffee
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For the macarons:
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 90 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 25 grams granulated sugar
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
For the macarons:
- Whisk powdered sugar, almond flour and espresso powder together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- In a completely clean bowl and with clean beaters, whip egg whites and vanilla to a nice bubbly foam.
- Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites, continuing to beat until you have a glossy meringue that just barely holds stiff peaks.
- Fold the almond mix into the whipped egg whites until combined. (It’ll be a sticky, very slow-flowing, thick mass).
- Using a large round tip, pipe the macaron onto two cookie sheets* lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- If your macarons keep a little tip in the center, get your finger wet with a little bit of cold water and push the tip down.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (During that time the macarons will form a dry "skin" on the outside. When you touch them, no batter should stick to your finger).
- Heat the oven to 280 degrees F.
- Bake the macarons for 15 to 20 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. The macarons are done when their surface is hard to the touch.
- Once baked, leave the macarons in the oven, turn the oven off and open the oven door a crack. After 15 minutes, take the macarons out.
For the filling:
- Beat all ingredients together until you have a smooth cream.
- Match the macarons into pairs by size.
- Put a dollop of buttercream on one shell and fit a second shell on top.
- Keep the macarons refrigerated until serving.
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