This weekend I decided to challenge myself to make macarons. Since Halloween is soon, I decided to make these simple spooky macarons!
These macarons are a fun baking project to get in the Halloween spirit! They are also easier to make, since they are not meant to be perfectly shaped. This is because the odd shapes make them look more like mummies or ghosts! While they might not look like the traditional macaron you see at fancy French bakeries, they sure taste just as good!
Tips to Master Simple Spooky Macarons
While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make the best spooky macarons at home.
Flour: macarons call for almond flour. This is a non-negotiable part of the recipe, and you cannot substitute for other types of flour. I recommend using a fine or super-fine almond flour. This is important because it helps to achieve the best texture for your macarons.
Sifting: as you prepare your almond flour, you need to sift it twice before you start. You will also sift the flour into the meringue once it is ready to be combined with the dry ingredients. This means you will be sifting a total of three times. You may end up with a small amount of extra bits in the sieve the first time you sift the flour. That is okay, and you can discard these bits. Do not try and force them through the sieve, since this may release oils from the almond into the dry ingredients.
Meringue: you must beat the eggs until stiff peaks form like in the picture above. I recommend adding a small amount of cream of tartar to the egg whites as you beat them. This is important because it helps stabilize the egg whites to form a better meringue.
Combining Dry Ingredients with Meringue: once you have beaten your eggs to the right consistency, it is time to sift your almond flour into the mixture. Once you have sifted the almond flour over the meringue, fold the mixture with a spatula until it forms a lava-like consistency. The batter should fall off the spatula within 10 seconds. I recommend starting with 50 folds, and checking from there. Fold the batter more times if it has not reached the desired consistency.
Setting the Macarons: once you have piped the macarons onto a parchment lined baking sheet, let them set for at least 15 minutes, up to a couple of hours. A film should be set on the macarons so that they are smooth to the touch.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. For the best air circulation, use the baking sheets upside down.
Using a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed in a clean mixing bowl. Once the eggs become foamy, add cream of tartar and salt and continue to beat. Slowly add the sugar while the eggs are still beating, ensuring that the sugar has dissolved before adding more. Beat until the eggs for hard peaks.
While the eggs are beating, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar twice.
Once the eggs are fully beaten, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar for a third time into the mixing bowl with the meringue. Fold the batter together using a spatula until the ingredients are fully combined and reach the consistency of lava.
Preheat oven to 300F. Pipe the batter into even 1 inch rounds on the parchment lined baking sheets. Let sit until a film is formed on the outside of the rounds. They should be smooth to the touch.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.
To make the Filling:
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until it is dissolved. Add milk and whisk together. Heat the mixture in a small saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly until it is a thick consistency, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture back to the mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. Beat in the butter and vanilla extract.
To Assemble the Macarons:
Turn the macaron shells upside down and arrange in order of size. Pipe the filling onto half of the macaron shells and add the other shells on top. Let set in the fridge in an airtight container overnight.
To add the spooky eyes, melt chocolate and apply the eyes using the tip of a toothpick.