Brownie Macarons

 

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Happy Macaron Monday!! That’s a thing, right? Well, if it’s isn’t, it should be! All of my chocolate loving friends know what I’m talking about.  Now, let’s talk about these amazingly delicious brownie macarons!!  YUM!!

I’ve made chocolate macarons before, but these macarons are, well, the best!! I baked these on a silicon mat, and I think it really makes a difference in the chewy texture.  I tweaked my original recipe, by switching out the cocoa for some of the confectioners’ sugar, and I increased the amount of granulated sugar from ¼ cup to 1/3 cup.   I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the outcome.

As  I was folding the confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and cocoa mixture into the meringue, it felt a bit thicker than usual, but I continued until it was completely combined and the consistency seemed right.  Folding until the mixture falls from the spatula into a figure eight works for me every time.  Be careful not to over mix the batter, as this will result in a hollow macaron or possibly even a cracked macaron with no feet!  Let’s face it, nobody wants that (insert winky face here)!

As I mentioned in my last post about macarons, I was struggling with my piping skills. Some were too big, some too small, and some (what I thought) just right.  I purchased silicon mats with premade circles on them.  Yes!! These things were a deal changer!

I let them dry for almost an hour. I was able to gently run my finger across the top without it being wet or tacky.  I only bake one sheet at a time on a rack placed in middle of the oven.  I don’t turn my pans in the baking process.  Bake the macarons for 17 minutes.  I suggest that you place an oven thermometer in your oven to make sure the temperature isn’t off.  If you don’t have one, they can be purchased for under $10.00.  Trust me, it will be money well spent.  A whole batch of macarons can be ruined if your oven temp is off!

Remove the macarons after they have baked for 17 minutes.  You can add a couple of minutes to the time if they don’t look like they are done.  You don’t want to underbake your macarons.  The texture will be off and they will stick to the baking surface!

As these macarons cool, the tops get a slight “crust” making them look like a brownie.  This isn’t the norm for macarons, but don’t panic (I did the first time I made these), this is the way they are supposed to look.  They almost look underbaked, but they are not. Let them cool completely on the baking sheets. They should pop off the baking surface at this time.

Match your macarons so their top and bottom match.  I don’t know why, but this is one of my favorite parts (go figure).

Now you get to fill them with your favorite filling (jams, curds, buttercreams, ganache). The sky’s the limit!! I filled these with a simple 3 ingredient chocolate ganache. I highly recommend this as the filling for these macarons!! It really adds to the brownie flavor. I dusted these with a little cocoa powder to give even more chocolate flavor.  Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate!

I hope you make these, and I hope my pictures and tutorials are helpful! Let me know if you do and post pictures and tag my Instagram page @goodeatsbymimi .

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites (100 grams) room temprature
  • 1/3 cup extra fine granulated sugar (66 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure chocolate extract (use pure vanilla if you don’t have chocolate)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (171 grams)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (25 grams) plus extra for dusting on top of macaron
  • 1 cup almond flour (98 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine kosher salt

Instructions:

Wipe down mixing bowl, whisk beater, and baking mats with lemon juice or white vinegar. This removes any  residue that will cause the meringue to not properly mix. Set aside until you are ready to pipe your macarons.

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees  (use thermometer to make sure your oven isn’t running too hot or cool).

Place the confectioners’ sugar, baking cocoa and almond flour in a bowl.  Sift these four times. I use two bowls for this process, sifting back and forth between the two bowls. This is a very important step. It not only incorporates the ingredients, it also gets out any lumps, making for a very smooth macaron.

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Place egg whites and cream of tartar (use a pinch of salt if you don’t have cream of tartar…this helps to stabilize the meringue) in a large mixing bowl.

Using a whisk attachment, start beating the egg whites on medium speed until light and frothy.  Add the extra fine sugar a little at a time, allowing the sugar to slowly incorporate into the egg whites.  Begin mixing on medium/high until peaks begin to form being careful not to overbeat.  You want the meringue to be stiff enough to withstand turning the bowl upside down without falling out (check out my picture).

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Fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture in thirds.  Gently folding after each addition, making sure not to over mix.  Mix just until the batter falls off the spatula and you can smoothly form a figure 8.

Place batter in a large piping bag with a medium circle tip (I use a Wilton tip #12).  Pipe 1 1/2 inch circles (3/4 inches apart).

Drop baking sheet on the counter (4-5 times).  This knocks the air bubbles out of the macarons.  Use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles.

Dry the macarons for at least 30 minutes (this depends on the humidity in your area). This gives it a thin shell. You should be able to gently run your finger across the top without it leaving a mark.

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Bake for 17 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Match tops and bottoms.  Fill with delicious chocolate ganache (see recipe below).  Pipe a small dollop in the middle of the bottom macaron and top with matching macaron. Dust tops with cocoa powder.  This is optional, but it really enhances the flavor!  Refrigerate overnight (of course I never wait that long to taste one).  Enjoy!!

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Ganache Recipe:

8 oz. (227 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Instructions:

Heat heavy cream on stove until just before boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let it sit for about three minutes.

Whisk together until ganache comes together and becomes smooth.  Cool to piping consistency.

 

 

 

 

S’more Brownies

When my son was little he loved the 1993 movie “The Sandlot”. Who doesn’t remember the iconic s’more scene between Ham Porter and Scotty Smalls?  Ha-ha!!  Classic stuff!!  Is it just me?  I’m so easily humored!

Ham: “Hey, you want a s’more?

Scotty: “Some more what?”

Ham: “No, no!  You want a s’more?”

Scotty: “I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have more of nothing?”

Ham: “You’re killing me Smalls!”

Well, needless to say, I love all things “s’more”…. s’more cake, s’more brownies (trust me, you are going to love these!), s’more cookies, s’more cupcakes, s’more doughnuts. I think you get the picture.

I am very excited that s’mores have their very own day!! Yep, that’s right! August 10th is (drum roll please) National S’mores Day!!

I thought I would take this time to share my delicious recipe with you. These brownies, along with their delicious graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallow topping, will take you back to the very first time you had a s’more.  You remember it, right?!  Sitting around the campfire at your campsite?  Talking about your day and telling funny stories?  Laughing so hard you have tears rolling down your face?  Going to bed with the smell of the campfire in your hair?  Ahhh… those were the days! Okay, okay, these are my memories, but when you take your first bite of these yummy confections, think about when you tasted your first s’more.  I hope it makes you smile too!  

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (9 full sheets)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (16 grams)
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup (honey can be used if you can’t get your hands on golden syrup)

Brownie

  • 1 cup butter – melted (226 grams)
  • ½ cup chopped semisweet chocolate (60 grams)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (50 grams)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (240 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (237 ml)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (104 grams)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (198 grams)

Topping

  • 6 large marshmallows (cut into quarters)
  • Chopped semisweet chocolate (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line 8”x8” pan with parchment and spray lightly with baking spray.

Put the graham crackers in zipper bag and smash with a rolling pin. Go ahead, let them have it. Crush them to smithereens.  Doesn’t that feel better?  Add the sugar, butter and golden syrup (or honey).  Stir until mixture comes together.  Press into bottom of the pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl stir together cocoa powder, flour and salt. Set aside

In a medium saucepan (over a medium heat) melt the butter and semisweet chocolate together. Remove from heat. Wisk in sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Stir into dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Pour mixture over the graham cracker crust and bake for 35 minutes. Cake tester should come out clean.  Scatter marshmallows (and chocolate-optional) over the brownie.  Roast under broiler for 2-3 minutes until toasted, or use my favorite tool, a kitchen torch! Cool brownies completely and cut with “hot knife” (Dip knife in very hot water and wiped in between cuts.  This helps make a cleaner cut.)  Store the brownies in an airtight container….if there’s any left!