These past several weeks have been some of the busiest of my entire life. I have some major projects that will be wrapping up in the next two months, as well as some big changes that I’m preparing for. It’s exciting, but there are a lot of days that I barely have time to catch my breath. I know that some of you may be in a similar situation, and this recipe is for you.
If you want to impress someone with a decadent homemade treat but don’t have much time, ganache-filled almond macaroons are the answer.
The prep time for these cookies is minimal: the ganache takes about 7 minutes to whip up, while the cookies take about 20 minutes to make and assemble. That said, there is some baking and resting time required, so read the whole recipe and plan a couple of hours for the entire process.
The finished macaroons look lovely and taste divine. They’re a lovely Valentine’s Day treat for your friends, your family, someone special…or yourself!
Ganache-Filled Almond Macaroons
adapted from The So-No Baking Company Cookbook
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken up
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken up
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. honey
a pinch tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 8 oz. can almond paste
11 tbs. sugar, divided
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1. Make the ganache: In a small saucepan, bring the cream, honey, and salt to a boil. Meanwhile, place the broken chocolate in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. When the cream mixture boils, pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 4 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. You can either set the ganache aside at room temperature for five or six hours until it becomes thicker, or you can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process. If you refrigerate it, stir every 15 minutes or so as it firms up.
2. Make the macaroons: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the almond paste and 6 tbs. of the sugar on medium-high. Beat until the sugar is incorporated with the paste, about 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the almond extract and salt and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl again.
3. With the mixer running, add a quarter of the egg whites and beat until incorporated. Continue adding a quarter of the whites at a time, beating between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter should be smooth and thick at the end.
4. Place the batter in a pastry bag with a half-inch tip, or in a plastic bag with a corner cut off. Pipe quarter-sized rounds of batter on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3/4 of an inch between them. Wet your finger and smooth over the tops so that they aren’t pointy.
5. Sprinkle the macaroons generously with the remaining 5 tbs. of sugar. Let them sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, until the sugar makes a little crust on the outside of the cookies. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
6. Bake the macaroons until they’re set but not brown and still gooey in the centers, about 16-20 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Fill the cookies: Pair similar-sized macaroons, and fill each pair with about a teaspoon of ganache. If you want to use more, go for it! You’ll likely have leftover ganache, so feel free to snack as you go.