Cookie Dough Macarons / by Chelsea Zwieg

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Ahhhh, macarons. I've been eating macarons like a champion for years. The problem is, I have been making macarons like a champion for exactly zero days of those years. Until recently! In a baking obsession/will-not-be-defeated-by-a-cookie-recipe/can-and-will-latch-onto-anything-trendy-in-the-baking-world moment I decided that I was going to master making macarons. Guys, this was months ago. It's taken me that long. This was no casual obsession. This was a bags and bags of almond flour and powdered sugar, cartons of eggs stacking up in my fridge and batch after batch of failed macarons kind of obsession. And it was so 100% worth it. 

I'm going to do a longer post in the future with erryyyythang I learned about the world's most finicky cookie but for now I will just say the most important thing I learned -- the Swiss meringue method is my favorite every. time. Yes, it's not the most authentic and blah blah blah. But there's nothing authentic about a Wisconsin girl cranking out french macarons with Costco almond flour anyways so I'm giving deuces to authenticity in exchange for macarons that have yet to fail me. If you're not familiar with the different methods, French Macarons are made with (preferably aged) uncooked egg whites and sugar. They're traditional but also suuuuuper temperamental. The Italian meringue method uses a hot sugar syrup that is poured into the egg whites as they whip, which makes a more stable meringue and ultimately a more stable cookie. Swiss meringue goes for the same stable meringue concept but by cooking the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler before whipping them. It's pretty much indistinguishable from the Italian method but you don't have to deal with pouring hot sugar syrup into your mixer. Having a stable meringue will give you much less trouble later when it gets folded into the dry ingredients, which is the key key key step that determines if your shells will be too flat, cracked, tall, slanted, chewy, dry....all those things that have ended up in my garbage over the past few months. 

Now that I have my recipe down, I have been making all of the macaron flavors. Like raspberry and cinnamon toast crunch and apple cinnamon but most importantly of all, chocolate chip cookie dough! 

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Cookie Dough Macarons

| Ingredients | 

For the shells:

  • 100 grams almond flour
  • 100 grams powdered sugar
  • 10 grams black cocoa powder (you can also use regular cocoa powder, they just won't be as dark) 
  • 100 grams egg whites
  • 100 grams granulated sugar 

For the filling: 

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp.  finely chopped chocolate chips 

| Instructions | 

Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking mats and set aside. 

Sift the flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and granulated sugar. Place the mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar is melted and the mixture is warm to the touch. Return the bowl to your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to high and whisk the egg mixture until it forms stiff peaks. 

Sift the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl on top of the egg whites. Don't skip this double sifting step, it's super important! Turn the mixer to medium and mix for about 10 seconds, until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. At this point, take a spatula and scrape down any unincorporated meringue from the sides of the bowl. Also run the spatula around the bottom once to get any bits that didn't get mixed in. You don't want to just let the mixer run until this stuff is mixed in or the batter will be overmixed. Drop the whisk back down into the batter and lift it up, if the batter runs down in a steady stream, it is ready. If it breaks as it runs down, continue to mix for a few seconds at a time just until it no longer breaks. 

Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip. Pipe evenly sized rounds (the size is totally up to you, mine are usually about 1 1/2- 2 inches in diameter) onto the prepared baking sheets. Bang the baking sheets on the counter several times to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons sit out until the tops are dry and a skin has formed. You will know they are ready when you touch one with your finger and you can pull it away clean. If batter sticks to your finger and it creates a peak in the macaron, they need to sit longer. This can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the weather, the heat of your kitchen, humidity etc. 

Once the macarons have dried, preheat oven to 300 and place a rack in the center. Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 15-20 minutes. A good test for if the macarons are done is to gently tap the top of a shell with your finger. If it sound hollow and the macarons does not jiggle back on forth on the feet that it has formed. they are ready to go. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the baking mat from the pan. Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the mat. 

For the filling, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour and mix to combine. Add the milk, a few splashes at a time until the dough thins to a frosting like consistency. Mix in the chopped chocolate. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe the cookie dough onto half of the macarons and sandwich together with the remaining shells. Store at room temperature.