Ever since my friend Lupita taught me how to make macarons several years ago, I've been in love with the process and results. Despite their finicky reputation, they are actually easy to make, Really!
*this post and recipe are sponsored by my friends at Imperial Sugar
This time, we're making HAZELNUT MACARONS. Hazelnut is often paired with, and sometimes overtaken by, chocolate. In this recipe, though, the hazelnut flavor shines!
That crispy exterior gives way to a chewy interior. The center is a hazelnut-coffee buttercream. If you love a hazelnut latte, get ready to SWOON.
How to Make Hazelnut Macarons
First things first, you will need hazelnut extract/flavoring. My grocery store used to carry this, which is how I was introduced to it. (See these Frosted Hazelnut Cappuccino Bars.) Now, I have to order hazelnut extract online, but it's worth having it on hand.
You'll also want instant espresso powder for the filling, and both Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar and Extra-Fine Granulated Sugar.
Start by tracing a template for your macarons on a sheet of parchment paper. You'll do this using a 1.5-inch circle cookie cutter and a Sharpie. Be sure to flip the sheet over before piping your macs!
Before making the batter, get your egg whites ready and let them sit on the counter. A long aging process isn't necessary, but you can let them sit on the counter for a couple of hours.
Toast up raw hazelnuts and remove the skins. Lately, I've been liking the method of doing this in a wire sieve over a bowl. You can also pour the warm nuts into a dish towel and run the skins off. (I like to buy hazelnuts from Trader Joe's.)
You'll use a food processor to make a hazelnut "flour" or a very, very fine chop. This will get combined with powdered sugar and almond flour.
Time for the eggs! Whip them with granulated sugar until they hold a stiff peak. (This means that you can pull the whip off of the mixer, give the whipped eggs a shake, and they'll stay standing.) You'll add in the hazelnut extract.
Fold in the dry mixture...it'll seem like it's too dry at first...until it's moist and loose. When the batter is ready, it'll drop off the spatula in a ribbon. Pipe onto the prepared sheets.
Give the sheets a good rap on the counter and let them sit for 30-60 minutes. This helps with the formation of those classic macaron "feet."
While the macarons bake and cool, make the hazelnut-coffee buttercream filling. A word of warning...you'll have extra, and it tastes dreamy. PACE YOURSELF on "testing" the filling by the spoonful. I speak from experience here. Save the tambahanin the fridge for spreading on graham crackers!
Once the macs are filled, pop them in the refrigerator. They're actually BETTER after they rest in the fridge for a day. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
Oh, and if you don't want to make the filling, no problem, fill them with Nutella!
I'm sharing my recipe for Hazelnut Macarons over on Imperial Sugar today. Go get the recipe and let me know when you make them!