French Macarons – those tricky little tykes that have spawned a multitude of trouble-shooting guides across the globe – were this last weekend’s baking project.
This batch was actually pretty good other than the fact that I over-whipped the egg whites with my new fancy mixer (gosh, you’ve got to keep an eye on those machines, don’t you!). Yep, they were as dry as old boots but, rather than waste the ingredients, I carried on regardless, knowing the end result would suffer. As it happens, they weren’t too bad… other than very thin, slightly deflated shells, they were great and, best of all, no hollows!
I was rather intrigued by these Oreo Cookie French Macarons from New Zealand’s Taste magazine (March/April 2016, Issue 116). I loved the look of them with their light grey shells (okay, mine sort of turned beige as they baked), and their dark Oreo cookie butter cream filling. And, yes…
The ‘yum’ factor was pretty high.
And, no… we didn’t let them mature for 24 hours, let alone 48. In fact, they’d barely cooled down before they were hoovered up. I’m not proud of it…
Whether you’re a macaron making pro, or whether you’re still traversing the steep learning curve en route to becoming a master, this is a fun recipe to give a go. And, if you’re an Oreo fan, you’re definitely in for a treat!
There may be 101 things that can go wrong with macarons but, rest assured, they’ll always taste great! Enjoy!
- 100g (3.5 oz) ground almonds (almond meal)
- 210g (7.4 oz) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 3 tablespoons Oreo cookie crumbs (about 3-4 halves with cream filling removed)
- 100g (3.5 oz) egg whites (about 3 eggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 50g (1.7 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Black food colouring (gel form is best)
- 10 Oreo cookies
- 185g (6.5 oz) butter, room temperature
- 30g (1 oz) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- Preheat oven to 140C (280F) and line a baking tray with baking paper, or use a macaron mat.
- Put ground almonds into a food processor and pulse, then add the icing sugar and pulse again to form a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Put Oreo halves into the food processor and pulse to a fine crumb (I then ground down the crumbs further by using a mortar and pestle) and stir 3 tablespoons of crumbs into the almond mixture. Stir the mixture with a whisk to combine.
- Whip the egg whites and salt until foamy, then add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time until stiff peaks (it's important not to over-whip the egg whites). Just before the egg whites are at the stiff peak stage, add in a few drops of black food colouring and beat in to create a soft grey colour (remember, the colour will fade as the cookies bake, so go slightly darker to start with).
- Sift in a quarter of the almond mixture and fold in, then repeat until it is all combined.*
- Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe rounds onto the lined baking tray.
- Rap the baking tray onto the worktop a few times to pop any air bubbles (you can use a tooth-pick to pop those that don't) and leave on the bench for 20-60 minutes to form a skin (this will help the macarons to rise and create 'feet').
- Bake the macarons for about 20 minutes** and then allow to cool on a wire rack (keep them on the tray and don't try to remove them until they are cooled).
- Put 10 whole Oreo cookies into the food processor and process to a fine crumb (use a mortar and pestle if you need to).
- Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then add in the icing sugar and Oreo crumbs and beat again to combine.
- Spoon the filling into a piping bag and pipe onto half the macaron shells. Top with remaining shells and press down slightly.
- While the macarons can be served immediately, they are better served 24-48 hours later. Place in the fridge to chill, then before serving take out to rest at room temperature.
**To check whether they’re done, very lightly touch the top of a macaron – if it’s still wobbly or slides on the feet, give it another minute or two. They’re done when they feel firm and the feet themselves don’t compress when they are lightly touched. And, if you lift one of the macarons gently, they should just start to pull away from the paper without sticking – if they lift off entirely, then they’re probably overcooked.
I've got some additional tips for macaron making in my first macaron post here.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting