Blueberry Vanilla French Macaroons
These Parisian treats caught my eye the moment I landed in Paris. It’s the delicate shell with its airy texture that seems to melt in your mouth, the variation of flavors that when combined create an explosion of joy, the quaint size of the dessert that satisfies anyones craving, but most of all the eye candy that these petite desserts shell out.
Following the steps of dessert expert, Martha Stewart, I was a bit timid jumping into the kitchen with a new recipe in hand. Everything I pulled off the internet warned me of the difficulty of macaroons and the multiple batches you would need to make. I’m normally confident and adventurous in the kitchen, but this time I caught myself re-reading recipes multiple times and making sure everything was perfect. I have to say, I did a pretty good job for my first time with these virgin macaroons. Some were off shaped and cracked but the majority of them turned out great. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, so this phone shot will have to do. I guess it gives me another excuse to get back in the kitchen and whip some more up!
Let’s get to business!
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- 3/4 cup blanched almond meal*
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature**
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 2 tbsp lavender sugar
- 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
*Meal is another name for flour. Most grocery stores will sell it as almond meal. It must be blanched almond meal. If the skins are still on the almonds, your macaroons will have a different result.
**To answer your question, yes I know these are not vegan. I’m not 100% vegan right now. I still don’t eat meat, but I occasionally have dairy or eggs as one of the ingredients. Seldom, but it sometimes happens. Also, these eggs need to be at room temperature. A good way to quickly adjust the temperature is put them in a bowl of warm water.
- For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a small pot on the stove top. Turn on high heat and let boil. Once boiled, adjust temperature to low and allow time to thicken. Transfer to small bowl and put in freezer.
- For the shells, sift the confectioner’s sugar and almond meal in a medium size bowl. Sift 2 times.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Whisk egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. Pipe 3/4 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Finish the tip of the macaroon on the side, rather than creating a top peak.
- Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release air bubbles. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven back to 375 degrees.
- Let macaroons cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for continued cooling.
- Sandwich 2 macaroons with 1 teaspoon of blueberry mixture. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment paper and plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months.
These delicate treats serve as a perfect, light dessert. The flavor variations are endless. Go for a chocolate macaroon with added cocoa powder into the almond flour; try a coconut style by adding 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut and 1/2 teaspoon rum to the almond flour, change it up by substituting some almond flour for peanut flour, or create a pistachio macaroon by substituting ground pistachios for some of the almond flour. Make it fun in the kitchen, create 6 different cookies and serve delicately in a box, decorate with colorful tissue paper and wrap with festive ribbon. These gifts can be given on any holiday!