How can something so small be so intimidating? The macaron, light and airy, adorably round and dyed a pretty pastel shade, is hardly frightening on the surface. But face-to-face with it, it scared the pants off me. These little pastries look like perfect little packages, sometimes too perfect to be made at home.

But, it turns out, they’re quite simple to make. Yes, there is some precision needed, but overall it’s just about following directions. And what you get at the end is a pretty little cookie, soft on the inside, with the thinnest of crisp outer shells. Filled with an intense clementine-scented, dark chocolate ganache, they’re a lovely combination of crunchy and smooth, rich and bright; they might just be the perfect holiday cookie.


Yield: 20-30 cookies


1 ½ Cups Powdered sugar
1 ½ Cups Almond flour
4 lg Egg whites (divided)
¾ Cup Granulated sugar
¼ Cup Water
A few drops food coloring, optional


Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a piping bag with a small round tip. Preheat oven to 275F. Sift together powdered sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl.


Over medium heat, in a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring water and sugar to a boil. Beat 2 egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until foamy.


When the sugar syrup reaches 230F, remove from heat and slowly add the syrup to the whipping egg whites. Continue to beat the meringue for 8-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.


While your mixer is beating the meringue, add two egg whites to your almond flour/powdered sugar mixture and combine to make a paste. Add into the paste any food coloring gels or extracts (vanilla, orange flower water, etc.), if desired. Fold together the meringue and almond paste. You are done mixing when the batter drips slowly as you scoop it with a spatula. It should be shiny, gooey, and viscous as you see in the video.


Scoop mixture into piping bag and pipe into 1-inch circles on the parchment –lined baking sheet. (This is easiest if you trace 1-inch circles onto the parchment paper first.) Bake in the oven for 12-20 min until top is set and there is still slight movement in the cookie. Once cool, make cookie “sandwiches” with the ganache filling (recipe below).



3.5 oz Whipping cream
3.5 oz Dark chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested


Place chocolate in a bowl and put cream in a sauce pan over medium heat.


Once the cream has started to simmer, pour it over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk to combine. Stir in orange zest to finish.


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