As a little girl, my mom and I always made treats for my birthday. These usually consisted either of a simple family recipe from Brazil or cupcakes from a box mix. They were always yummy and a fun way of celebrating my birthday, but I remember thinking that it would be so cool to make something like cupcakes from scratch. Later on, when I started baking on my own, I learned that my mom can do quite a bit from scratch - with a recipe in front of her, she makes great brownies and cupcakes with me. But she doesn't enjoy it as much as cooking. She says with cooking you can taste as you go along, but with baking you put something in the oven and just hope for the best.
(slightly adapted from 52 Kitchen Adventures)
110 grams almond meal
200 grams minus 2 Tbs powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
100 grams egg whites (3-3 1/2 large eggs), aged in the fridge for 3-5 days (I only left them overnight)
50 gm granulated sugar
about 1/2 cup nutella
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats.
If you’re using almond meal: run through a sifter. Place in food processor.
Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder to food processor and pulse a few times until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites for a few minutes until they are foamy. Place mixer on low and slowly add the granulated sugar to the foamy egg whites. Continue beating until egg whites have stiff peaks.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula. Fit a large round tip (I used one a zip-top bag)onto a piping bag and place a clip above it so batter won’t flow out while you fill the bag. Place the bag on a tall glass to hold it up and fill it with the batter. Twist the top shut and remove the clip. Pipe small circles onto the prepared baking sheets.
Let batter rest for around 45 minutes, until it feels dry (and not sticky) to the touch. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 300°F.
Bake for 12 minutes. Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension. Remove from oven and let cool completely before sandwiching with nutella.
-makes about 20 small sandwich cookies