desserts

chocolate macarons + tahini buttercream

Let’s just call these rustic french macarons. They aren’t quite as smooth as traditional macarons. I put sliced almonds through a food processor and used that for the base of the cookie rather than almond flour. Call me cheap, but almond flour is so expensive. Plus, I happen to have a ton of sliced almonds on hand.

I love baking macarons. They are, in truth, rather finicky. But don’t let that scare you. They aren’t tough to get a grasp on as long as you are aware of the areas in which hangups can occur. They are as follows:

– Sift, sift, sift. When the directions say sift, friggin’ sift!

– Beat it. The egg whites go through a couple beating phases for a certain amount of time. Really, time those phases. 

– Gentle stirring. When it’s time to incorporate the wet + dry ingredients, be very gentle with your folding/mixing. Too much muscle kills the time you will have spent beating air into those egg whites. 

– Tap it. Before putting the cookies in the oven, (carefully) tap the pan on a flat surface to release any air bubbles that might be hiding out in your perfect little rounds. 

 

makes about 18 

– cookie –

1 c sliced almonds, processed (or 3/4 c almond flour)

1 c powdered sugar

2 Tbl dark cocoa powder

2 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar

1/4 c sugar

 

– buttercream –

1 c butter

1/2 c Soom tahini

1/4 c water

1 tsp vanilla

dash of salt

3 1/2 c powdered sugar

 

Preheat oven to 375º. Process the sliced almonds.

In a bowl, sift almonds through a mill or fine mesh sifter two times. Sift in the powdered sugar. Add in cocoa powder. 

In a large bowl beat egg whites with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until foaming and slightly stiff. Add the cream of tartar and beat eggs for 1 minute. Next, add sugar and beat again for 8 minutes, increasing the speed every 2 minutes until the whites become fluffy and stiff peaks form. 

Add the dry ingredients by gently sifting them over the egg whites. Then, with a light hand, use a spatula to carefully fold the powder mixture into the egg whites. At this point, lower the oven to 325º.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. If you have a metal tip, insert before adding in the batter. Otherwise, snip the tip. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Sil-Pat mat. Pipe rounds approximately 3/4” wide. Drag the tip around and down to the side of the circle to tapper off each time. Give the pan 2-3 firm taps on the flat surface of the counter to release any air pockets. Let sit for 5 minutes before putting the cookies into the oven. 

Bake for 10 minutes, flipping the tray halfway through its baking time. NOTE: For best results, only bake the cookies one tray at a time. Two trays can cause for uneven baking. When finished, let the cookies cool for a few minutes before removing. Repeat until all the batter is used up. 

Now for the buttercream using the super yummy tahini sauce from Soom FoodsFirst melt the butter until soft. Add in the tahini and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. 

Add in water, vanilla, and salt. Beat. In 1/2 cup increments, add in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. 

Fill a pastry bag and snip the end and pipe buttercream on the flat, underside of a cookie. Sandwich together with another. 

Store cookies in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days… if they even last that long!