Friday, December 25, 2009

Strawberry Macarons Recipe

Whenever I come home I'm guaranteed to be force fed the latest gluten free recipes that my mother and sister have found.  My latest trip has been no exception to that general rule.  I finally arrived home after three cancelled flights and a 1.5 hour delay through Atlanta back home to upstate New York to a plate full of gluten free cookies.  The local time was 3 a.m. but that didn't stop me from indulging in a few of these delectable pastries.

I particularly enjoyed the Strawberry Macarons my mother made me, and have reproduced the recipe below.  The cookies were flavorful, light, and very simple to make.  The recipe comes from TeaTime Magazine's March/April 2008 issue.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the cookies; I turn into a cookie monster when I'm home and had eaten all of these before I thought to photograph them.  Whoops.  The picture above is from the magazine.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season!
Strawberry Macarons
Makes 40-54 cookies, 20-27 sandwiches

1.25 cups confectioners' sugar
1.25 cups almond flour
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 drops red food coloring
Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling (see below)

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl.  Blend in almond flour.
3. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy; add salt.  Slowly add sugar; blend until soft peaks form.  Add vanilla extract and food coloring, being careful not to overmix.
4. Gently fold the almond flour mixture into the egg whites until just incorporated.  Do not overmix.
5. Gently fill pastry bag with mixture (no tip is necessary).  Pipe batter into 1- to 1.25-inch rounds on prepared baking sheets.
6. Bake until bottoms of cookies are just set and tops are only slightly firm, about 20 minutes.  Do not overbake.
7.  Remove parchment sheets from baking sheets immediately after removing from the oven.  Allow cookies to cool completely on parchment sheets.
8. When completely cool, spread a thick layer of Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling (see below) on the flat bottom of a cookie.  Sandwich with a second cookie; repeat with remaining cookies.  Reserve remaining filling for another use, if desired.

If possible, prepare cookies one day before serving to allow Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling to fully set.
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Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling
Makes about 1.5 cups

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1.5 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup strained strawberry preserves

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Sift confectioners' sugar into mixture.  Add vanilla extract and preserves; blend until smooth.
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Do you love it or do you love it?

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