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Macarons shaped like donuts, topped with a vanilla glaze and sprinkles. These little gems are filled with a rich, raspberry chocolate ganache.
For the shells:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats (double up sheets if needed to cover the entire baking sheets). Set aside.
Process almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until blended into a fine powder. Sift mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Combine egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form, adding a few drops of the food coloring during about the last minute of beating the egg whites to make a dark pink color (I used mostly pink, with a dab of purple). My perfect time for beating the egg whites is 2 minutes on speed 4, then 2 minutes on speed 6 and then another 2 minutes on speed 8. At this point they should stay put if you hold the bowl upside-down.
Add the dry mixture into the egg whites. Using a spatula, smash dry ingredients into the egg whites, flattening mixture (use about 5-10 quick strokes to release the air). Then fold mixture onto itself until it becomes shiny again (another 30-40 strokes). When you lift up the spatula, there should be solid, thick ribbons that run off (this whole process should take no more than about 50 strokes).
Transfer the batter into a large piping bag (I like to use a #12 round icing tip, but it’s optional).
Using circle guides or by freehand, pipe about 1 1/4″ circles onto the prepared baking sheets, keeping them at least 1-2″ apart to allow for spreading. If making a donut shape, trace around the circles with the batter, but don’t fill in the center (this will make the hole). Do this same method for the second baking sheet.
Holding each end of the baking sheet, give it a good slam on the counter. Rotate the pan and give it another few slams to release any air bubbles that remain. Let the macs sit out for 30 minutes before baking to form a dry shell on the tops to prevent cracking.
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Bake each sheet, one at a time, for about 16 minutes (depending on size), rotating the pan once halfway through. Once they’re ready, carefully test one by attempting to lift it off the baking sheet (keeping the pan in the oven). If the top half starts to come off from the feet, it could use a few more minutes.
When they are done, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies on it) onto the counter. Allow the cookies to completely cool before removing them from the paper. Once they are room temperature, match up macarons in pairs that are about the same size, placing one face down and one face up.
For the royal icing:
In a small bowl (I use a 2-cup measuring cup with a pouring spout) combine the powdered sugar, cream/milk and light corn syrup. Mix well until combined and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, just add more milk, about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time. It should be a smooth, pour-able consistency, but not too runny and thin (a little thicker than a molasses or syrup).
Transfer icing to a squeeze tube (or just freehand it with a spoon). Squeeze out a small amount of the icing onto the top of half of the shells (the ones that are top side facing up), concentrating on the highest point of the circles to resemble how a glazed donut looks (see related blog post for photos).
Top each glazed shell with a few sprinkles. Allow them to dry for about 2 hours before stacking them.
For the chocolate ganache filling:
Place chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, carefully bring cream to a simmer/light boil. Remove cream from heat and pour it over the chocolate. Allow it to sit for about 2-3 minutes. Then whisk the mixture in small circles to combine until fully melted and mixed well. Add butter and continue whisking. Stir in extract and mix to combine.
Let ganache stand at room temperature, mixing every so often, until it thickens enough for you to pipe it. (Or you can speed up this process by placing it in the refrigerator).
Once ganache is thickened up, transfer mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a decorating tip. Pipe a few teaspoons of the ganache onto the cookie that has the bottom, flat side facing up. Sandwich the two halves together, pushing the filling to the edges.
– Makes about 50 macarons.
– If using parchment paper (as opposed to a silicone mat) using small magnets help keep the paper flat while piping the batter. If you do this just be sure to remove magnets before baking.
– Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (or freeze them for up to one month), Then allow them to come to room temperature before eating.
– The shells only can also be frozen before adding any filling; allow them to come to room temperature before filling.
– Macarons are best eaten 24-48 hours after assembly.
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