Ever since I first conquered macarons over the holidays, I've been looking forward to making different variations and flavors. When I hosted my Trashy to Classy Cocktail Party, I knew I had a perfect opportunity to make something "trashy" into delicate, elegant little macarons.
I know there are countless variations on Watergate "salad," but the gist of it is instant pistachio pudding mixed with marshmallows and some sort of canned fruit - pineapple, fruit cocktail, etc. I remember this salad well from family picnics growing up, so I was really excited to adapt it into macarons. I kept it simple and just made pistachio macarons with marshmallow filling, and I served them on a platter with fresh cherries (yay, cherry season!).
The macarons were by far the most popular dish of the night. Partly because no one had ever had them before and they were a fun new novelty, but mostly because they're so darn delicious! They were all gone within the first hour of the party - even the sad misshapen ones that I didn't initially put out.
As far as the combination of pistachio with marshmallow goes, I wouldn't have initially put them together, but it turned out to be quite good. That's not to say I'll make the same combo next time - I'd love to try pistachio buttercream, raspberry jam, or chocolate ganache.
As far as the process of making the macarons goes, I didn't have any trouble really, but as I folded the ground pistachios in I noticed that I definitely should have ground them finer. It wasn't an issue for baking, but there were just bigger pieces than I would have preferred.
Check out these sites for more in-depth info for making macarons:
Confections of a Foodie Bride
makes about 25 sandwich cookies
For the macarons:
- 225 gm confectioners’ sugar
- 60 gm blanched, slivered almonds
- 65 gm pistachios
- 3 egg whites (about 100 gm), aged 1 day at room temperature
- 25 gm granulated sugar
- Green powdered food coloring (optional)
To make the cookies, combine the confectioners sugar, almonds, and pistachios in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the nuts are very finely ground and the mixture is well blended.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks. Mix in the powdered green food coloring, if using. (Start with only a little bit at a time. Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it away.)
Add the ground nut/sugar mixture to the mixing bowl and gently fold in to the egg whites using a wide spatula. The mixture should remain shiny and flow easily.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe rounds (approximately 1 inch in diameter) onto baking sheets lined with silicone baking mats. Let rest for 20-30 minutes, or until the outsides form a harder "shell."
Preheat the oven to 315˚ F. When they are finished resting, baking for 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely before carefully removing from the baking sheets.
When the cookies are cool, match them up according to size and fill with desired filling.
source: Annie's Eats, originally from Use Real Butter and Tartlette