French Almond Macarons
These classic French cookies have a crisp exterior and a slightly chewy center. Make all three versions for a festive dessert buffet.
Macarons can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to two days.
Strawberry Macaroons Variation -- Follow instructions for French almond macaroons, adding 4 drops red food coloring to the egg whites just before you add the sugar-almond mixture. Proceed with the recipe. For the filling, use only 1 teaspoon vanilla, and fold 1/3 cup strained strawberry preserves into the Swiss meringue buttercream after you mix in the butter. Chocolate Macaroons Variation -- Follow instructions for French almond macaroons, sifting 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder with the confectioners' sugar. Proceed with recipe. Instead of the Swiss meringue buttercream, make a ganache filling: Place 5 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate in a small bowl. Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a simmer in a small sauce-pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, and stir until chocolate has melted. Let ganache stand until thick enough to spread. Use to fill cookies.