After a year away from blogging we’ve decided to revamp our blog and essentially start over. Fresh starts always feel so refreshing (I guess that would make sense…). There’s just something about taking time off and being able to rediscover not only yourself, but your inspiration as well.
I’m hoping this space on the internets (yes, I prefer to put an ‘s’ on the end of internet…it makes it a bit more home-y, ya know?) can become a little nook of happiness. A place to escape, where you find yourself dreaming of tasty baked goods, crafty cocktails, and possibly even being swept away while reading about our adventures.
So, to start off this new and improved li’l nook on the internets we have decided to redo a post from our previous blog…a personal favorite; Pistachio Macarons. They are damn near fail proof and made of some of the best stuff on earth. They are all things air-y, pillow-y, and sex-y, and the buttercream filling is to (clap) die (clap) for (clap). Literally. I’ve been told by someone it’s so good they could rub it all over themselves…that’s a bit personal, but you get the point. This shit’s good. Scout’s honor.
So hey, why don’t you come along on this crazy adventure with us and start by baking up a batch of these devilish little BB’s.
Note: pre-sift each dry ingredient before measuring
- 266g finely ground pistachio meal (food process and sift almond meal 3x; remove large chunks)
- 266g powdered sugar
- 100g egg whites
- 208g granulated sugar
- 60g water
- 100g egg whites
Create Starting Mix:
- Whisk the pistachio meal, almond flour, powdered sugar to combine, and then sift all together.
- Add the first 100g of egg whites and mix to form a paste. Set aside.
Create Italian Meringue:
- Place the second 100g of egg whites in a grease-free bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whisk attachment.
- Place granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Add the water and gently swirl the pot just enough to dampen the sugar evenly. Turn heat on to medium.
- Start whisking the egg whites on low. When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 220°F, increase the speed until the meringue is thick and starts to take shape, then reduce the speed to low and wait for the temperature of the sugar syrup to reach 235°F.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 235°F, pour it in a thin, slow and steady stream into the egg whites aiming for the egg whites directly between the side of the bowl and the wire whisk, with the mixer speed on medium high. Beat meringue until it has turned glossy and reached medium peaks stage. Do not over whisk.
- Using a silicon spatula, take about a third of the meringue and fold it into the pistachio, almond, and powdered sugar paste. Fold by cutting down the center and folding the mixture over, at the same time scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Repeat with the rest of the meringue and fold until the texture of the batter is shiny and everything is well blended. The batter is ready when you draw a line with your spatula right down the center of the mixed meringue and it slowly comes back together in about 3 seconds. Do not over mix.
- Pre heat the oven to 300°F.
- Fill a large pastry bag, fitted with a medium round tip, with as much batter as you can fit. Cover the rest if you can’t fit it all.
- You can draw circles right on the parchment paper with a pencil or just wing it and try to pipe each one the same size. Hold the piping bag, perpendicular, straight towards the center of the circle (If you drew one). Pipe the meringue just until you reach the inner part of the circle.
- Gently tap the cookie sheet holding the piped meringue on your work surface to release any air pockets. (This is an important step, so don’t be shy!)
- Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes, or however long it takes for the piped meringue to form a skin. The piped batter is ready for the oven when you lightly touch it and it doesn’t wet your finger.
- Repeat piping the rest of the meringue if you have enough cookie sheets. Otherwise just let it sit in the bag while you wait/bake in batches.
- Bake each cookie sheet for 10 – 12 minutes in an oven preheated to 300°F. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.
- Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Transfer filling of your choice (or the Vanilla French Buttercream below) into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. You can also use a Ziploc bag and snip off a corner.
- Pipe filling onto a macaron shell leaving a small space around the edge.
- Top with another macaron shell and press gently until filling reaches the edge.
Note for storage: Keep macarons chilled in an airtight container and bring up to room temperature before serving.
Vanilla French Buttercream
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1 pinch Cream of Tartar
- ¼ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 2 Sticks, cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- Split vanilla pod lengthwise, and using back of paring knife, scrape the beans into granulated sugar (making a vanilla sugar).
- Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Bring the vanilla pod, vanilla sugar and 1/4 cup (57 grams) water to a boil in a small saucepan and cook syrup to 238°F (115°C). Carefully remove the vanilla pod then gradually pour the syrup down the side of the bowl, cool on medium speed about 8 minutes.
- Add in the salt and butter and whisk on high speed until fluffy and emulsified; about 10 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
- Fill a piping bag (or a zip-loc plastic bag with one corner snipped off) and pipe your filling onto half of the finished macaron halves, then top with the other halves to make sandwiches.