At Vital Farms, our entire company is made up of people who love food. And as much as we usually eat loads of whole grains, vegetables from our gardens and of course, pastured, organic eggs, we also like to indulge in a sweet treat from time to time. So in the storied and adorable spirit of French pastries, here is our take on the classic, crisp-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside macaron!
The three major ingredients needed to make macarons are: ground almonds, powered sugar and egg whites. We added a little Matcha Green Tea powder to give it a special flavor, but there are innumerable flavors of macaron: raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, caramel, sesame, rose-water, etc. One of our very favorite places to eat macarons in Austin, Texas is at La Boîte Café. The pastry chef, Barrie Cullinan, who makes their macarons was also recently featured in Bon Appetit magazine as having one of the top 10 Best Bakeries in America. Our recipe is from the book (above), i love macarons by Hisako Ogita.
To make matcha green tea macaron batter you will need:
1 strainer for sifting flour
baking mats or parchment paper
1 measuring cup
1 mixing bowl
1 hand mixer
1 pastry bag with a 1 cm metal tip
2/3 c. ground almonds
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 large Vital Farms egg white, at room temperature
5 Tbls. granulated sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla extract, or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 Tsp. Matcha green tea powder
2 baking sheets
1. First, cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit your top baking sheet. Draw 1.5 in. circles on the paper, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart. This pattern will be your guide for squeezing out the macaron batter.
2. Sift your mixture of ground almonds and powdered sugar through your strainer twice. Set aside.
3. In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, beat your egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites. Add vanilla and stir lightly.
4. When the meringue is stiff, firm and has a glossy texture, it is done.
5. Add half of the sifted flour mixture from step 2. Stir it with your spatula, scooping it from the bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of the flour and mix it in a circular motion.
6. The next step is called “Macaronnage”. Press the batter against the bowl’s sides. Scoop the mixture from the bottom and turn the batter upside down. Repeat this process 15 times. When the batter become nicely firm and drips slowly from the spatula, the mixture is done.
7. Attach your metal tip to the pastry bag. Then, place the bag, tip down, inside the measuring cup and pour the batter made in step 6 into the bag.
8. Place the sheet used in step 1 on your baking sheet and squeeze batter into the center of your circles. Make them small, since the batter spreads a little after being squeezed.
9. Rap the baking sheet firmly against the corner of the counter. This helps macarons hold their shape and form the little “foot” on the bottom of the cookie. Then, dry the batter circles at room temperature for 15 minutes uncovered. The batter is settled when no tips can be seen in the circles.
10. Place your oven rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 375 degrees F. Place your baking sheet with batter on top of another sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until slightly crisp and cracked on top. When they are cooked, remove the macarons and let cool completely.
To make butter cream filling you will need:
7 Tbls. unsalted butter
3 Tbls. water
3 Tbls. sugar
1 Vital Farms egg
a few drops vanilla extract
1. Cut butter into pieces and place them in a heat resistant bowl. Heat in the microwave for 5 seconds. Stir the soft butter with a spatula until it becomes smooth and creamy like mayonnaise.
2. Put water and sugar in a heat-resistant container and stir well. Heat this mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes. Wear oven mitts when removing the cup from the microwave.
3. Break an egg into your mixing bowl and beat it lightly with the hand mixer. Pour the syrup into the mixture like a thread, beating on high speed. Continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is no longer hot and the mixture becomes white and thick. Stir a drop of two of vanilla extract into the mixture while mixing.
4. Add the butter to the mixture, beating on medium speed, little by little, until the butter is well mixed and the cream is done.
5. Place the butter cream in the pastry bag and squeeze a little onto the flat side of half of your cookies. Gently press the top puff into place so that the cream doesn’t come out.