Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Almond Macaroons with Orange Buttercream Filling

The last (and my personal favorite) macaroon that I made this year for Passover was an almond macaroon with an orange buttercream filling dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. I think the almond, orange, and chocolate combination was wonderful and surprisingly light. These were also the first cookies to be finished in our house, way before Passover ended.

Almond Macaroon Recipe
(taken from the Odense Almond Paste Box)
Almond Paste7 oz
Granulated Sugar2/3 cup
Egg Whites1/4 cup

1) Preheat oven to 350F and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven
2) Place the almond paste in a mixing bowl with a beater attachment. Turn on the mixer to low and break up the paste a bit
3) Add all the sugar to the paste and beat until the texture of crumbs
4) Slowly add the egg whites a little at a time with the mixer on low.
5) Turn the mixer on high and beat to a paste, about 3 minutes. Make sure you scrape down the bowl 2-3 times during this process to ensure even mixing. The final mix should be piping consistency.
6) Place batter in a piping bag with 1/2 inch tip. Pipe about a teaspoon sized amount of batter about 2 inches apart onto a silpat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
7) Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown
8) Allow fully cool on pan.

9) While cookies are cooling, filling can be made
10) Place the filling in a piping bag with 1/2 inch tip and fill the cookies, sandwiching them with like size cookies

11) Refrigerate the cookies to allow for the buttercream to set up
12) Melt chocolate and use the same dipping procedure as the chocolate peanut butter macaroons.
13) Make sure to store in an air tight container in the refrigerator (take the cookies out of the refrigerator and allow the buttercream to soften before serving)

Orange Buttercream Recipe
Sugar8 oz
Water2 oz
Egg Whites4 oz
Butter, softened14 oz
Vanilla Extract3/4 tsp
Orange Zest from one Navel Orange
Orange Juice from one Navel Orange Strained

1) Weigh out sugar and water into a small saucepan. Place on high heat and cook till mixture is 243F
2) While sugar is heating place egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks are formed
3) Turn the mixer up slightly and slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites.
4) Turn up the mixer and whip until firm peaks are formed and mixture is cool
5) Add the butter a little at a time while continuing to mix.
6) Once all the butter has been added, slowly add the vanilla extract, orange zest and orange juice, letting the mixture come back after each addition.
7) Continue to whip until the mixture is smooth. Make sure you taste the buttercream before you use it. More juice can be added to up the flavor. If you choose to do this you might need to add more butter to help the consistency.

1) Be careful when adding liquid to buttercream. If you add liquid too quickly it will not be combined as well since fat (butter) and water repel. It took some quick work to get my buttercream back to the right consistency
2) Don't be afraid to experiment. I made up this cookie and it turned out really well