This is the recipe I developed as a St. Patrick’s Day treat for The Oregonian. Originally, I made these as a dessert for my friend’s birthday but as that celebration was hit by a random Portland snowstorm no one except my family got to try them.
You’re all probably thinking, “Bryony, macarons are French not Irish, how are these a St. Patrick’s Day treat?!” Well my friends, I used some food colouring and made the filling green. Now, I realize the Irish have their own desserts that are delicious. Most of them have some kind of Irish whiskey or Bailey’s in them and I (along with the lovely folks at The Oregonian) want the recipes I create to be kids and family friendly so this recipe seemed perfect.
Macarons look intimidating to make; I’ll admit the first time I made them – a couple of years ago for a dinner with my friends – they did not turn out looking like macarons at all. They didn’t have “feet” (the cute little ridges at the bottom of each cookie) and didn’t have the crunchy outside/soft inside texture. This was probably the result of under-whipping the eggs. The key to perfect macarons is making sure the egg whites have stiff peaks and that you don’t over or under mix the batter when combining the egg whites with the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture. When combining the two, you want to add the sugar/flour mixture to the egg whites in 2-3 batches and only mix until the two are combined and there are no streaks.
Once piped onto the lined baking sheets I recommend you bang the baking sheets on a counter top 3-4 times, releasing any air bubbles in the macarons. Some recipes for these pretty treats have you let them sit for a while before you put them in the oven and some have you bake them right away. I’ve had the most success when I let them sit out for at least 30 minutes so that’s what I do in this recipe. I haven’t tried baking them right away, but if you want to go ahead – let me know how they turn out!
This recipe does make enough ganache for multiple batches. If you’re only making one batch you can either cut down the recipe or freeze the leftover ganache for later use in more macarons/cakes/cupcakes etc.