2.18.2015

Samoa Macarons


Evidently, it's Girl Scout cookie season. Which means it's also time for us food bloggers to recreate Girl Scout cookie flavors in a variety of desserts. I called dibs on macarons.


Now, I've never actually had a Girl Scout cookie before. But I imagine if I did, Samoas/Caramel deLites would probably be my favorite. Chocolate, toasted coconut, and caramel sounds like a stellar combination. Actually, it is a stellar combination. I know, because I ate the filling for these macarons with a spoon. And then there was the chocolate.


I added cocoa powder to the macaron shells, and also drizzled chocolate on top in true Samoa style. I think these are my prettiest macarons yet!

Samoa Macarons

Yield: Approximately 24 macarons, depending on the size
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Ingredients:

57 grams almond flour
115 grams powdered (confectioners) sugar
10 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
72 grams egg whites, aged, room temperature
36 grams granulated sugar

For the filling:
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1/2 cup caramel sauce

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for drizzling

Directions:

Add almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift mixture into a clean bowl. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites and granulated sugar on low speed for 3 minutes, medium speed for 3 minutes, then high speed for 3 minutes. The beaten egg whites should stick to the whisk when you remove it. Tap the whisk against the side of the bowl to release them into the bowl.

Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until the batter is smooth and lava-like. Be careful not to overmix. The batter should slowly fall off your spatula when you pick it up and any peaks in the batter should settle down within 20 seconds.
 
Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto the parchment paper(or silicone mat). It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size. Once all the rounds are piped out, slam the baking sheet against a flat stable surface, then rotate, and slam again. This is done to force any large air bubbles to the surface.

Let the piped macarons dry on the countertop for 60-90 minutes. The macarons are properly dried when you touch the top of the mounds and the batter doesn't stick to your finger.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the baking sheet with piped macarons on an empty baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 15-18 minutes. Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on them. To check if they are done, touch the top of the macaron. If it wobbles, it's not done yet. Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing.

To prepare the filling, in a small bowl, mix together toasted coconut and caramel sauce until well-combined.

To assemble the macarons, match macaron shells into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can. Spoon coconut-caramel mixture onto the center of half the macaron shells. Top them with opposite shells.

Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or in a microwave. Spoon melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off, and drizzle over macarons.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes: I used a KA stand mixer and the low, medium, and high speeds correspond to speeds 4, 6, and 8 on the mixer.
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