Monday, January 2, 2012

Valentines Day Macaron's with Raspberry Cream and Fresh Raspberries

These adorable little creations are perfect Valentines Day Treats.


1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Red Food coloring
Raspberry Cream Macaron Filling (see recipe below)


To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form.  Gradually add food coloring until reaching desired color. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 2-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use Heart cookie cutter to cut in to desired shape. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Add fruit to the perimeter of the macaron. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

 Raspberry Cream Macaron Filling:


8 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions for Filling:

To make the filling, drain the thawed raspberries, reserving the liquid in a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough water to equal ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture boils and thickens.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Stir the raspberries into the cooled mixture.  (Depending on the texture of the filling you want, you can smash the berries or leave them chunky.  You can also strain through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds if desired.)  Transfer to the refrigerator to chill the filling.  It will thicken as it cools. Meanwhile whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks begin to form, combine raspberry mixture and follow instructions above. 

Note: Raspberries can be substituted with strawberries. 

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