Chocolate Orange French Macarons

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Chocolate and Orange… One of the greatest duos the sweet culinary world has ever seen.

 

Combine that with French Macarons and that is the way to my heart.

 

Macarons are my absolute favorite cookie. I am obsessed with eating them and even more obsessed with perfecting the process of baking them.

 

Take it from someone who has tried and failed to make the “perfect” French Macaron about a thousand times- that THIS is a wonderful, beautiful, nearly fool-proof recipe that will take your baking skills to a WHOLE. NEW. LEVEL.

 

I’m not going to lie and say that these are “easy” to make, but with some patience, time and maybe a quick read-through of the whole recipe and baking instructions prior to starting, you should have gorgeous, perfectly chewy, smooth-topped and a.m.a.z.i.n.g-tasting French Macarons after following this recipe! These particular Macarons are just melt-in-your mouth tasty- think about those Chocolate Oranges at Christmas time (the ones where you have to smack it against the table to break apart the pieces?) and imagine that as a cookie…. THAT’s what these Macarons are! Do yourself a favor and bake these… perfect for any season!

 

What you will need for the Macaron Cookie:

  • Almond Flour
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Egg Whites
  • Iodized Salt
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Orange Candy Oil (It is imperative that you use candy oil instead of extract- I LOVE and will always stand by LorAnn Oils ((found in almost any hobby/craft store))- otherwise you won’t get that exact orange flavor that these Macarons deserve.
  • Orange Gel-Based Food Coloring
  • Pastry Bag (16in, so you don’t have any spill out the back when piping)
  • #802 Piping tip (you can just cut a hole in the bag if you don’t have or can’t find the tip- the tip just helps with uniformity)
  • Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper (I use the Macaron Silicone Mat pictured below- found at Hobby Lobby and incredibly helpful in making uniform Macarons- just pipe to the edge and each one will bake the same size!)

 

For the Ganache Filling:

  • Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Pastry Bag

 

PLEASE NOTE:

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you achieve the soft peaks, stiff peaks, and final batter consistency that I have referenced in the photos below. If you don’t, your Macarons may end up dense or flaky, and that is not what we want! They may taste great, but they’re not as “fun” to eat and won’t stand up as well to the filling. Don’t worry, it isn’t hard to achieve these things, it just takes some patience to get it right!

 

 

Look at these gorgeous pre-assembled Macarons…. you drooling yet?? I am! Also…. 3/4’s of the batch of Macarons are gone already. I made them this morning. Yikes!

 

Chocolate Orange Macarons

Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Orange Macarons for any season!
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 24 Macarons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Finely Ground Almond Flour
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • Pinch Iodized Salt
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp LorAnn Orange Candy Oil
  • 2 drops Orange Gel Food Coloring
  • 2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 4 oz Heavy Whipping Cream

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, sift together your almond flour and powdered sugar, making sure there are no chunks.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk your egg whites and salt on medium speed until soft peaks are reached. Add in your sugar in three additions, whisking for 10 seconds after each addition. Up the speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff peaks are formed. This is essentially a meringue.
  • Decrease your speed to low and add in your candy oil and gel food coloring (I used 2 drops) until mostly mixed. If your color and/or oil has not fully incorporated, don't worry- the next step will allow it to become fully incorporated.
  • Add all of your flour mixture to your egg whites and using a large rubber spatula, gently but quickly fold together. It will take many folds, depending on your technique (see notes below for how I fold). Once your batter is smooth and slow-flowing, drop a spoonful in on itself and if the edges start to disappear (pictured above) within 15 seconds you have reached the right consistency!
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare a pastry bag with a #802 tip (you can just cut the tip off the bag if needed), add your batter, and pipe 1 1/4 inch thick Macarons onto your pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, leaving about a half inch of space between each cookie. The batter will only spread very slightly at first, and will not spread when baking.
  • Once you've piped all your Macarons, give your pan a few good smacks against your counter-top. This is important as it eliminates any air bubbles in your batter. At this point, you will need to set the pan aside and let it sit at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes, (away from the heat of the oven) or until there is smooth "shell" formed on your Macarons. You should be able to touch a Macaron and not have any batter stick to your finger. This will make sure of a smooth-topped cookie and an even bake. If your Macarons do not form this shell, the meringue may not have been whipped enough or there have been foreign ingredients (i.e water or oil) incorporated into the batter.
  • After your shell is formed, put the Macarons in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes. Your cookies should have "feet" at this point- (the bottom part of your cookies will have a rough-edged look while the rest of the cookies should be smooth, hence "feet")
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack or cool surface and let the Macarons cool down before you remove them from your silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • While your Macarons are cooling, prepare a bowl with 2 cups of milk-chocolate chips. In a small saucepan (or microwavable bowl) heat your heavy cream until just starting to bubble and immediately pour over your chocolate chips. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk together until you achieve a smooth, glossy ganache. Refrigerate the ganache for 20 minutes, or until firm. It should be the texture of slightly runny peanut butter. Transfer to a piping bag.
  • To assemble your Macarons, pipe your ganache in the center of one-half of your cookies, making sure to leave space between the filling and edges. Use the other half of your cookies to gently press the Macarons together, making sure not to spill any ganache over the edges.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight (my preferred way- I love the extra chew that the Macarons get after firming up in the refrigerator) and enjoy!

Notes

Folding Your Batter

With a large rubber spatula, scrape your batter, rotating around the entire bowl and then bring your spatula (gently) down through the center of the batter. Repeat this process several times. It will be thick and lumpy at first, but you WILL eventually achieve the consistency I pictured above. I find that setting my stand mixer bowl on it's side is a great help here. 
Keyword Chocolate, Cookies, French, Macarons, Orange

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