This crunchy chocolate cookie with a delicate, crispy/chewy topping baked right on is a unique way to enjoy a macaron without overwhelming your sweet tooth! The chocolate cookie is rich and dark – a perfect choice for complementing sugary meringue. They’d be delightful for Easter or Mother’s Day.
And…those crispy macaron shells are perfect for decorating. Sprinkle lightly with chocolate shavings or sprinkles just before baking, or paint them with food coloring or petal dust after they are baked and cooled! I used an old fashioned paintbrush, but I’ll bet food color markers would be a good choice if you want to add names. Just don’t press too hard!
Even when baked on a cookie, macarons have a little ruffle at the bottom (called feet), so I piped the macaron batter a bit inside of the cookie edge (the macaron may shrink slightly, too) and then decorated around the baked cookie with tiny royal icing dots, using a small round tip.
No, my cookie sheet isn’t dirty – it’s SEASONED! That’s my story. Seriously, folks – a seasoned cookie sheet is great; I rarely have to grease it. I love these DoughMaker sheets, but the third one I ordered refuses to season. It’s all shiny, and things do stick sometimes. So it’s mostly for photos!
The cookie dough is a snap to make, and once you get the hang of it, the macarons really don’t take that long either. You can make the cookie dough ahead of time – up to 3 days – but let it sit at room temperature for an hour or so before you try to roll it out.
I got all crazy and split one batch of macarons into three different colors. It worked, but only because I had everything ready before I started mixing the egg whites. Three bowls with food coloring (GEL OR POWDER ONLY) in them, piping bags with large round tips in a row. Yes, for once I was organized. Don’t expect to see that again any time soon.
Now for the recipe, and…a disclaimer: In a perfect world, the recipe will make 48 cookies and 48 macaron tops, but so many things can mess up this plan! The thickness of your cookie dough, size of your cookie cutter, or your exuberance with the macaron topping can leave you with a little extra of one thing or the other. They are both stand alone treats, so I’m sure you can live with a few strays.
|Macaron Topped Cookies|| |
- CHOCOLATE COOKIES:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- MACARON TOPPING:
- 210 grams (2½ cups) almond flour (use the lightest, finest flour you can find)
- 380 grams (3½ cups) powdered sugar
- 200 grams (6 whites) egg whites, room temperature or - better yet - aged *
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 90 grams (1/2 cup) superfine sugar
- food coloring - gel or powdered only
- Shaved chocolate, sprinkles, food colors or petal dust, royal icing (if desired for decorating.)
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the vanilla, milk, and egg, and beat well.
- Add the dry ingredients (slow down there, Tiger...the cocoa will fly everywhere! Beat it on low until it's incorporated) and mix together well.
- If you're making this ahead, wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and chill for up to 3 days. Allow dough to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before rolling.
- Roll dough out (preferably between lightly floured pieces of parchment) very thin - between ⅛" and ¼". Cut with 3" egg-shaped cookie cutter.
- Place approximately 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Set aside while making macaron topping. (If you don't have enough sheets, arrange cookies on parchment and then slide the parchment onto a cooled sheet.)
- MACARON TOPPING:
- Weigh or measure the almond flour and powdered sugar. Sift together twice, discarding any large bits that won't go through your sifter, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle a pinch of cream of tartar over the top and beat until soft peaks form.
- While beating, slowly add the superfine sugar. Continue to beat until meringue forms stiff peaks. If you are making just one color, add it now.
- Add the dry ingredients and carefully fold in, just until incorporated.
- (If you are dividing the topping to make several colors, do so now, before it is "lava" like or it will be over mixed by the time you blend in the coloring. Fold each color until thin enough to flow from your spoon slowly.)
- If you are making just one color, continue to fold until mixture will flow slowly from your spoon or spatula. It won't look smooth - it has almonds in it - but shouldn't be "gloppy". Drop a spoonful on a plate and tap the plate against the counter. The batter should smooth out. If there is still a peak on the top, stir a few more times.
- This is important: *The more you stir, the thinner it will get (not good), so don't over-stir!*
- Spoon into a large pastry bag equipped with a large round tip.
- Squeeze bag to pipe around each cookie shape, staying a little inside of the edge. Fill in the middle. If you get too close to the edge, run your finger along it to even it out.
- Drop the pan several times onto the counter to flatten out any tip left from piping and remove air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick right away.
- Let the pans of cookies sit and dry for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 F.
- If you are using shaved chocolate or sprinkles to decorate your cookies, do so just before they go in the oven.
- Bake cookies 12-14 minutes, or until macarons are firm but not turning dark. Touch the edge of one - if it moves, give it another minute and check again.
- Cool cookies on wire racks.
- To paint cookies, thin gel or powdered coloring with a little vodka and let your artistic side take over!
I think I may be through with all things macaron – at least until Christmas.
Wishing you the joy of spring –