Macarons are airy meringue based cookies filled with creamy buttercream. Pistachio Macaron is by far one of my favorite flavors of macarons. Although the French has made these little cookies their quintessential treat, the word macaron is actually derived from the Italian word for meringue. Catherine de Medici is noted as bringing her Italian chefs with her when she married into the royal family of France in the 8th century. And as with most things the French are gifted they perfected the macaron.
If you have ever been to Paris, France then you have most likely visited Laduree’ which has more macaron flavors than I can keep up with. Macarons are made in lovely and imaginative flavors such as champagne pear, raspberry rose, almond, chestnut mocha, candy cane, and orange blossom to name a few. Almond has always been a classic ingredient in these cookies. Here are some treats with nuts that are a little simpler to try like Aussie Bites, Fat Bombs, or Yema candy.
What you are mostly looking for when making the batter for a macaron cookie is the sheen of the meringue. This is what is referred to as “macaroning” and is essential to a good crisp and lighter than air cookie base. A perfect macaron batter combined with a low and slow cooking in a still oven are key components of a good macaron.
How To Make Macarons?
Macarons do not keep for very long. If you like the crispness then consuming them on the day is suggested. However, some prefer the day after texture of a macaron cookie, which after the cookies have sat with the indulgent buttercream in the center for a time they become chewy and still a little crisp.
My husband loves to get a huge Pistachio Macaron the size of his hand from our local farmer’s market and loves that they have sat for a day to create that chewy texture. But be advised that too much time sitting with make the cookies completely disintegrate thus making them inedible.
In a heavy bottomed pot bring ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water to boil over medium heat. Make sure to keep any sugar granules off the sides of the pan as this may cause crystallization of the syrup.
Cook the sugar until it reaches 250F or hard ball stage and remove from the heat.
Dump the toasted nuts into the sugar and coat until it thickens, they lay on a greased or silicone-lined sheet to cool.
In the bowl of food processor place the cooled pistachios and 1 tablespoon of almond meal and chop until powdery like flour, then drip in the oil, butter, and pistachio paste while scraping the sides and incorporating well.
Once the mixture is a nice smooth paste, set aside in a cool, but not cold place.
For the Macaron Cookie Base:
Blend the powdered sugar, almond meal, and salt in a bowl.
In another mixing bowl with a whisk attachment whip the egg whites with the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until soft peaks form.
Next, add the vanilla and whip until firm, shiny peaks have formed.
Next, fold in the pistachio paste and flour mixture until just combined.
Line sheet trays with parchment or silicon mats, about 2.
Place the cookie batter into a piping bag with a simple circle tip, about ¼ inch wide.
Pipe the batter into 1-inch circles with no holes.
Let the batter circles air dry for 25 minutes to form a crust.
Place the cookie bases in the oven on the center of the oven if possible.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, they should slightly rise, and crisp on top, but not golden.
Cool, the cookie bases on a rack or cool area before filling with the buttercream.
Spoon or pipe 1 teaspoon of the Buttercream onto the flat side of a cookie and top with the flat side of another cookie to make a sandwich.