This is another one to mark off the culinary bucket list for me!
I admit that I let the internet get the best of me and was really nervous to make macarons after reading about how it takes a million tries to get it right and how only the best of Parisian pastry chefs can make a true macaron. Let me tell you a secret. There are very few things in this world that are too hard for us home cooks to make. We underestimate ourselves far too often! Most of the time, things that are hyped up as being too difficult or “complicated” really just require following recipe instructions. You don’t need no stinkin’ chef’s hat to follow a recipe. Sing it with me now, “I am woman–hear me roar!”
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. almond flour
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- dash of salt
- ½ c. semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ c. whipped cream cheese
- 2 T. milk
- ⅓ c. powdered sugar
- Whip the egg whites until they get foamy (either in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand whisk).
- Add in the white sugar and continue to whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar. Discard any larger pieces of almond left in the sifter.
- Pour the almond flour mixture into the beaten egg whites and fold just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is thick and tacky.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper (silicone is best).
- Pour the batter into a large ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners.
- Use the bag of batter to pipe out little circles of batter, 24 on each pan.
- Once the batter is piped on, lift one cookie sheet a few inches from the counter and release it to let the pan fall back onto the counter. Repeat this a few times with each pan to release any air bubbles.
- Let the cookies sit on the counter for about an hour to dry before baking.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake the cookies (one pan at a time) for 20 minutes.
- Remove cookies from oven and let them cool on the pan before using a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring well after each increment. When the chocolate is melted, set it aside to cool to room temp.
- Vigorously stir the whipped cream cheese into the chocolate. (Don't worry if it looks like it's seizing at this point, it will smooth out)
- Pour in the milk and continue to stir vigorously until the mixture is silky smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add in additional powdered sugar by the tablespoon if your icing is too soft to pipe.
- Pour the icing into a small plastic bag and cut a hole in one of the bottom corners.
- Pipe a couple teaspoons of the chocolate filling onto half of the cooled cookies.
- Top each iced cookie with a blank cookie and press gently together until the filling squeezes to the edge of the cookie.
- You did it! Enjoy!
You can be creative and fill these cookies with whatever you please, but here I like the flavor and visual contrast of a rich chocolate cream filling. They are quite sweet, so one cookie is definitely a satisfying serving on its own. That being said…they are hard to resist. Every last one of these has been devoured since I took these photos!
What should be next on my bucket list (remember, I’ve got homemade pasta and challah bread checked off)? I’m thinking maybe some homemade nut milks…or maybe doughnuts….or croissants….or fresh mozzarella cheese….
I know. Tough decisions.