I love macarons but I love them even more when they have beer in them. The undertaking of making a macaron is something to behold, if you are planning on doing it properly. Even when you do everything you should, it can still get messed-up by not measuring things exactly or having too much egg whites…etc. Basically, be ready to spend 3-4 hours on making one of my most favorite and beloved by all cookies.
1 1/2 Cups of whole almonds with the skin (raw, not roasted or salted please!)
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
Buttercream with beer syrup instead of vanilla! Buttercream was made with 3 sticks of butter and then I added a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and kept tasting it until it seemed right. Probably like 1 – 2 cups of powdered sugar. It really depends on your tastes! I added about a 1/4 cup of beer syrup which was New Belgium Lips of Faith Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout cooked down with a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar then cooled. Pour the coffee syrup slowly into the taste-approved buttercream. Watch your consistency! Buttercream is known to break easily so don’t add it too fast and wait to add more until it’s incorporated.
1. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw with a pencil or pen small circles like 1 1/2 inch in diameter about 1 inch apart. I used a flask-filling funnel 🙂 Once you are done, flip the parchment paper over so you can see the circles but don’t get ink on your cookies. Don’t skip this step, I did once and it resulted in some wonkey-shaped cookies that didn’t make for good sandwiches.
2. Take your almonds and split them into two bowls. Then take the powdered sugar and split that in half into the two bowls with the almonds in them. Put one bowl (with the half almonds and half powdered sugar) and pulse them together in a food processor. I held down the lever for 5 seconds 5 times then checked the mix to make sure it was sandy but not chunky. You don’t want to mix it too far. Do the same thing for the second bowl and set it aside.
3. Get a new bowl ready with your 3 egg whites and cream of tarter. Mix with a hand-held electric mixer until stiff peaks. You can do this with a stand mixer, but I prefer the hand-held one for egg whites.
4. Once you have stiff egg whites, start to incorporate the almond mixture. This is what took me a while, because you don’t want to incorporate too quick and you don’t want to crush those lovely air bubbles you just created in the egg whites. I would say add each bowl of almond and powdered sugar mixture in 1/3rds and remember to fold, not mix.
5. Once your mixture is completely combined, it will more than likely be a little runny. That’s ok! Grab a pastry bag (a Ziploc freezer bag works too) and a larger round tip to pipe the cookie mixture onto the baking sheets using the guides you drew on them. The cookies should have a little height, like 1/2 inch high.
6. Put the cookies in a safe, temperature-controlled place for 2 hours. This is important for the cookies to develop that signature macaron “feet” that is so famous. I put them in my oven and threatened bodily harm to anyone who touched it for the next two hours.
7. Take the cookies out of the oven, then preheat the oven to 325. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they look like they are set. Let them dry completely and carefully separate them from the parchment paper so you can make the cookie sandwiches.
8. Fill a pasty bag with your buttercream and fill one side of the cookie and press (lightly!) the cookies together. I recommend filling the bottom in a circular motion so less pressing is required. These cookies are highly brittle. A couple will probably break, a few casualties are ok. They can be stored for about 2 weeks in an airtight container.
I made a regular coffee chocolate buttercream (the white buttercream) and I also took some of that buttercream and added some cocoa powder and made one chocolate. Consensus is the chocolate one was better! Feel free to add whatever you want: speculoos, nutella, peanut butter, lemon curd, anything!