May 31st is National Macaroon Day, and we can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than by making—and eating—some macaroons! Although a big ol’ chewy coconut macaroon is something we would never turn down, we are hopelessly in love with the French-style macaron, a delicate poof of finely ground almonds, sugar, and whipped egg whites that is most commonly sold as a miniature sandwich, held together with a decadent filling, such as chocolate ganache or a buttercream frosting. Paris has been ablaze with brightly colored macarons in neon-intense shades of pink, yellow, and green for several years, and the trend has finally jumped the pond to urban centers in the United States.
Because macarons are so gorgeous, you’d think they’re difficult to make, but if you can whip egg whites and handle a pastry bag, you’re bound for success. To make the process as simple as possible, we used a few drops of supermarket food coloring in place of special-order powdered colors, and skipped buttercream fillings altogether in favor of jams and easy-peasy chocolate ganache.
The easiest ones to start off with are the espresso-blackberry, or the grapefruit macarons, because they both use jam fillings, but don’t let that stop you from indulging in chocolate earl grey tea macarons or coconut passion-fruit macarons. Use these recipes as a springboard for your own creations.
By the way, your gluten-free and wheat-free friends will love you because these macarons fit right into their regimens. And while we’re on the subject of free in terms of foods, check out Gourmet Live’s latest: The Free Issue!