Easter Potluck Recipe: Raspberry French Macarons

Earlier this week, we brought you a Homemade Spinach Bread recipe for an Easter potluck. For my second annual Friendster (Easter w/ degenerates friends, not the defunct social network), I'll also be making an adorably pink dessert: Raspberry French Macarons.

Trendy, light, sweet, and oh-so-pretty, these delicate treats will make the perfect addition to Friendster. Plus, they are great to make ahead of time, as the cookie absorbs the filling over time, making the texture of the pastry more moist and tender within one to three days of baking.

Here's how to make them:

Ingredients recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • Red food coloring, 2-3 drops
  • Seedless raspberry jam

    Directions yields about three dozen

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Line baking sheets with parchment paper and fit pastry bag with a ½ inch plain round tip.

    In a food processor, pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour until combined. Sift two times to ensure mixture is well combined and remove any lumps.

    In a clean stainless-steel or copper bowl, whisk egg whites with a whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy. Add in a pinch of cream of tartar or lemon juice and mix until soft peaks form.

    Reduce speed to low and add in superfine sugar and food coloring. Set speed to high and continue to mix until glossy, stiff peaks begin to form, about eight minutes.

    Carefully sift flour mixture over the meringue, gently folding until mixture is smooth and shiny.

    Transfer batter to a pastry bag and pipe small rounds, about ¾ inches, one inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle instead of forming a peak in the center.

    Pick up the baking sheet with both hands and holding it level, tap it firmly onto the counter to remove air bubbles.

    Let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.

    Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and add in first baking sheet while temperature is reducing.

    Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through cooking time, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. The insides should be set and not overly moist (if it is too moist the cookies will collapse when they cool).

    After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for five minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees and add sheet. This allows the cookies to start baking at a higher temperature with the temperature reducing to 325 as they bake.

    Allow macarons to cool on sheets for two to three minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

    Sandwich two same-size macarons with one teaspoon raspberry jam.

    Wrap in single layer in parchment and refrigerate until ready to serve or freeze for up to three months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    We're not all French pastry chefs, so don't worry if your macarons aren't perfect - they'll look adorably pink and taste great anyway.

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    Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
    Contact: Brooke Viggiano