Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves

http://greenlitebites.com/2010/12/16/chocolate-almond-macaron-ish-halves/
20101216_chocAlmondcookies11

I’m not a baker. You’ll be able to tell with this recipe and my lack of basic baking equipment like parchment paper and piping bags. Don’t get me wrong I find baking fun but honestly, I’m a rebel in the kitchen. I don’t follow recipes or recommended cooking techniques. I simply don’t believe there is a “right” way of cooking. If I cook it and I like it, it’s “right.” End of story, case closed.

And an empty cookie tin means…

empty container

it’s “right.” :)

So if you are looking for recipes that you can host fancy shmancy dinner parties to impress your friends or perfect holiday cookies to give as gifts, sorry your out of luck. If you are reading this you probably know that by now but for some reason I feel the need to express my position on cooking/baking when I post certain ideas as I know baking purists will come out of the woodwork and rip me to shreds.

The way I see it… there are enough tried and true recipes in the world to keep you busy for decades. My job is to share my rebel experiments and hopefully dispel the myth that you have to be perfect in the kitchen to cook a meal. So many people think they “can’t cook” because some jackass told them what they made wasn’t good enough and that makes me angry. Anyone can and should feel comfortable in the kitchen.

Okay… NOT sure where that all came from but I shall slowly back off my soapbox and share with you may latest cookie experiment, Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Cookies

I stumbled across a few recipes like this, and this and this. I never really heard of a Macaron before only Macaroons which are coconut based cookie globs. Right? (please correct me if I’m wrong) But a Macaron is an almond based sandwich cookie that’s pretty much only made up of egg white, sugar and almonds. No fat, super simple and sounded mighty tasty! So I studied the handful of recipes I found, all slightly different and made up my own. Reducing the sugar as much as possible, of course. MAN we use a lot of sugar when really, not that much is necessary. I just don’t get it. Anyway, I made two batches of these and both came out the same. I’m not sure if they are “right” but BOY are they tasty.

I decided to leave the cookies as halves because frankly, then I get to eat more of them. Plus I didn’t think they needed to be made into sandwich cookies to be good. They were awesome on their own.

I need to invest in some parchment paper as I think using aluminum foil and cooking spray effected the baking process but I still wanted to share what I had because honestly, the little man devoured them! He came home from school and before I knew it…

Little Man eating Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves

The only piece of the puzzle I haven’t figured out is the storage and that may just be because my tin isn’t air tight. These come out of the oven crisp on the outside and edges and awesomely gooey on the inside. but a few hours later.. they are soft all over. Still yummy but soft. Little man said he actually preferred them soft. I like the out of the oven texture better. So again, this is probably NOT a cookie you can bake for a cookie swap but a simple treat for your family that’s non-fat, full of almond-chocolaty goodness and fun for the holiday. Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole raw or blanched almonds (73g)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (90g)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (10g)
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar (4g)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Separate the egg whites and place them in a large stainless steel bowl. Set aside. You want them to sit out a bit as they will whip better at room temperature.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or in my case I used aluminum foil and spray. They will stick so you need something. You will also want to use a liner so you can remove them from the hot sheets fast or they will continue to cook.

Add the almonds, powder sugar, and cocoa powder to a food processor or blender. I actually found my bullet worked just as good as my food processor. To make sure there are no lumps, sift the grinded mixture and then process any remaining bits.

chocolate almond mixture

Set the almond mixture aside and return to the egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and start to beat on medium-high until soft peaks form like this…

soft peaks -egg whites

Now sprinkle in the 2 tsp of granulated sugar and beat the crap out of it until stiff peaks form like this…

egg whites - stiff peaks

Now it’s time to fold in the almond mixture. It’s gonna look gross…

gross Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish batter

But just keep folding lightly you will soon get this…

Yummy Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish batter

Now place the batter into a piping bag or in my case a large ziplock. If you are having trouble transferring it use the bowl method. Line a bowl with the bag like you would a garbage can…

Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves - bag

Then simply pour in.

Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves - batter in bag

Unroll the bag from the bowl and seal. Snip the edge of the bag and pipe drips of the batter onto the cookie sheets. About and inch each and an inch apart.

Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves - before baking

Bake for 6-8 minutes.

Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves - after baking

When you take them out of the oven, simply pick up the parchment/foil from the sheet and let the cookies cool.

Mine rose up a bit but then flattened. Not sure why.

Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves - flat

They were tasty all the same. If any baking purists made it this far I would love advice, suggestions, etc. We did like them as is but I’m sure I could be something differently to make them even better. I may be a “rebel” but I also like to learn. :)

The recipe makes about 4 dozen. I was able to squeeze a bit more of it mostly because I make small cookies but by keeping it at 48, I can easily calculate nutrition information for a serving size of 3 cookies. But I dare you to stop at 3. ;)

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
16 3 Chocolate Almond Macaron-ish Halves
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
55 2g 1g old: 1 new: 1
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
6g 0 7g 2g
18 comments »»
Posted in: 1 WWP, 1 WWPP, Cookie Ideas, Dessert Ideas, Toddler Approved, Vegetarian Ideas
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18 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. Darleen

    Hey, I am going to try making macaroons myself. I have studied several recipes and directions. The best I have found however is in LCBO Food & Drink magazine. link to lcbo.com However the recipe is not (yet at least) online. The magazine is free in Ontario, Canada Liquor stores.

    The difference in recipe directions – is that has you draw circles on parchment paper – 24 1 3/4 inch circles, flip parchment over. Set baking sheet on top of a second baking sheet. >> So double baking sheets (I have double lined) and parchment paper, and correct quantity.
    * tinfoil with spray definitely will cause issues as the spray is absorbed by the batter, and tinfoil will cause to cook too fast.

    You then pipe the batter onto the baking sheet by placing the tip in the center of each circle, squeezing until the batter reaches the outer edge of the circle. Gently rap evenly against counter or use back of a spoon dipped in warm water to smooth any peaks.

    Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 min (but no more than 60 min) >> this seems to make a difference.

    Now here is where differs to some – bake for 16 – 18 min at 300 dgrees F
    >> This is important, as if take out too soon they will not rise properly

    >> Allow to cool completely on pan. Transfer to cooling rack or transfer to Air Tight container.

    >> Container is also very important. Air tight means like tupperware. Tin lined like you show, will allow moisture to get in and cause to go soft.

    So ,,, I myself get the cooking rebel thing, as I tend to use a recipe as a guide, and often combine recipes, and use what I have in the house. If it tastes good then all is well :) There are never failures, just different outcomes in the kitchen – as long as do not completely set on fire an char. BUT – I have learned after cooking and baking for about 50 years now, that BAKING is different than cooking, and more precise. It is important to follow the recipe closely and use similar tools, or results can be quite different. Also, just to make baking more of a challenge – temperature and humidity of your kitchen makes a huge difference. This can be annoying if your kitchen is like mine and constantly under renovation, and therefore no consistency with temperature or humidity :) That being said if recipe calls for egg whites at room temperature and you forget, so use directly from fridge, you may get different results – IF the egg whites are the main event ingredient (as are in macarons).

    This recipe does not have flour, but recipes with flour I find I often adjust the amount of flour due to if using a different brand of flour – huge differences can happen. This is particularly true between Canada and USA recipes – as our flour is processed differently. I have had to order flour specifically for a special cake recipe that was made with King Arthur Flour, in order to get the same results.

    And Baking requires a ‘touch’ to knowing how to adjust the batter – to take into account, temperature of kitchen, humidity, differences with different brand ingredients – the moon phase, etc :). Baking does take practice and is much more scientific than cooking – and is almost like gardening, that some people seem to have flare for more than others. I am challenged by baking, and some things – such as Bakerella’s Cake Pops and Cupcake decorating have huge investments of practice to achieve same results as seen in recipe photos and cookbooks. I suppose that is why I prefer baking, as it is challenging and so exciting when I do achieve the perfect cookie or cake!

    I will let you know how my attempt at macarons turns out :)

    Any way they turn out they are yummy, so no failures!

  2. roni

    And that is why I will never be a “baker” :) lol
    Thanks for the all the insights Darleen! That was great! Can’t wait to hear how yours come out!

  3. Liz

    I make meringues which look similar to macaroons based on the ingredients (I think).

    One thing I learned that helps is turning off your oven after baking and letting them sit in the oven. I don’t know if this would help them stay firm for a little longer.

    I also use a plastic container and line it with wax paper and put the cookies in a layer and then use wax paper to separate the layers.

    I don’t know if these would help the cookies you made but it’s worth a try!

  4. Monica

    Mmm mmm mmm! These sound delish!!
    I’m definitely going to give them a try, since every recipe of yours I’ve tried so far have always been a stellar success!!

  5. RG

    I love macarons, enough to have paid the $1/cookie price tag a few times. I happen to think the filling is part of the cookie, and doing a different, complex flavor in the middle is part of the point. I don’t want to discourage an excited baker, but your calorie counts don’t quite add up – maybe 2g of fat instead of 0, since the almonds are almost pure fat? It’s absolutely true that if you like them, who cares what they’re called, but I’d encourage you to try a bakery macaron sometime so you know what you’re aiming for. I’ve made other low-carb items with almond flour instead of white flour, and am surprised by how light it can be.

  6. roni

    RG – I have NO doubt I’d love a macaroon if I ate one. It’s what attracted me to the recipe. But like You I’ll buy them if I want a “REAL” one I wanted to have fun experimenting. That’s what gets me into the kitchen, most of the time anyway. Thanks for the catching my fat typo… I must have glanced at sat fat. My mistake didn’t effect the points.. thankfully!

  7. roni

    Deana – So FUNNY! i’m planning one. I had to get some new equipment. My new kitchen arrangement isn’t as good as my old one. I hope to have it up before the end of the year!

  8. Pat

    These look fantastic. I didnt know the difference between macaron and macaroon.

    One thing I might have done is fold the almond mixture into half the egg whites and then fold that mixture into the rest of the egg whites so that the whites stay fluffy.

  9. Shannon

    I am a macaron addict – and though your cookies look super tasty, I wouldn’t call ‘em macaron-y. ;) Macarons aren’t gooey at all! But these look unique and I love the lesser sugar amounts. :)

    Similar to when I make meringue cookies, I wonder if yours got all soft because of moisture in the air? Was it snowing outside? My meringues get soft pretty quick when it’s like that.

  10. roni

    Maybe I should call them macaroon-inspired! lol
    It wasn’t snowing but I was thinking moister was the problem. Or may lack of baking skills. :)

  11. Jacqueline

    These cookies are AMAZING! I lost 27 pounds on WW this year — always looking for a WW-friendly cookie recipe and this fits the bill. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I used a mini cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the baking sheet (I didn’t feel like using the pastry bag method; feeling lazy today!). Thank you, Roni, for all you do — and for calculating the WWPP. Keep up the great work!

  12. Sasha

    My mom usually keeps her cookies in clean jars from big peanut butter or pasta. Find the one that is from glass (don’t use plastic ones, they are not air tight) with metal lids that has sort of rubber on the inside, and has big opening to make your hand easy to get inside. These jars are certainly waterproof and air tight. It will keep the cookies fresh for months.

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