Raspberry Chocolate Macarons

These bright, crispy macarons with a chocolate-raspberry ganache filling are impressive and deceptively easy to make! They're a great dessert for Valentine's Day or, like, Wednesday... whatever works ;)

Hello hello, readers!

I've been asked time and time again if the reason I bake is to impress men. Um, no, because I'm a strong independent woman who don't need no man. Only tacos. Maybe men who buy me tacos. Oooh and tequila. Yes, men buying tacos and tequila would be v v v nice.

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...I digress. Anyway, a couple weeks ago I took a guy on a date to my childhood bowling alley. Fun idea, right?! Yeah! Sporty, J!

Except, it was closed (I expect nothing less at this point because my life is a joke). So, we sat in my car literally Googling "things to do on a Sunday" for a while, and while 'attend a worship service' sounded like THE BEST TIME EVER, we decided to just head back to my apartment and hang out with my roommates, Megan and Lexi.

Conversation was going swimmingly, until Megan dropped this bomb:
M - Jesse, you should bake macarons!
J - *sweat starting to bead on forehead; internally panicking* Hahaha, why?? Don't I bake enough already? Here have a cookie! And this cupcake!! And my first-born!!!

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You see, the thing is, macarons are TERRIFYING. There's so much whisking and sifting and they're so delicate and AHHHH SO MUCH CAN GO WRONG!! WHERE'S MY MOMMY?!?

Megan, oblivious to my internal distress and less-than-subtle hand motions* urging her to change the subject, continued on.
M - Yeah, I love macarons! And then, you'll officially be the best baker ever!
Date - Yeah, macarons are cool!

At this point, I momentarily considered shooting lasers at him with my eyes, but then the little angel on my shoulder** said that wouldn't make a very good impression.

*Good ways to make your date think you have Tourette's, part 1.
**My best friend Ami, who has her shit more together at 23 than I ever will in my entire life.

Now, if there's anything I've learned from watching Ina Garten while on the elliptical (a special form of torture), it's that the secret to catching a man is to shower him with boxes upon boxes of baked goods. I was trapped. So, instead of fleeing to Hawaii to become a pineapple farmer (my backup plan for when I inevitably give up on love entirely), I faced my fear.

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There were infinite obstacles. A mixer? Didn't have one. A sifter?*** Didn't have one. Almond flour? ...you guessed it.

So, I took my little Elantra for a joyride to various grocery and department stores until I had acquired all necessary ingredients, then headed home to get started.

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***When you are looking for a sifter, and you find yourself pacing the kitchenware aisles of Target, muttering to yourself "DOES NO ONE SIFT ANYMORE?! WHAT HAS THIS COUNTRY COME TO?!", please know that a fine mesh strainer is the same thing. You're welcome for those 20 minutes of your life back.

I followed this recipe for the most part, but you can switch up the coloring/filling however you want! I'm not the boss of you! You have to pay extra for that!

First thing first, I'm the realest your egg whites NEED to be room temperature. Since I don't plan ahead (ever), my eggs were cold, but I submerged them in warm water while I got the dry ingredients going and they were nice and warm by the time I needed them!

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Raspberry Chocolate Macarons

To make these macarons, you will need:
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 t red food coloring
- 2 T granulated sugar
- 150g semisweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Begin by measuring out your almond flour (so expensive ahhhh) and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. I weighed my ingredients because I'm technologically savvy and jank but I guess you could use measuring cups... peasant.

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Here's the fun part!!! Using your "sifter," filter the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture into a separate mixing bowl. I found this process went best when I used a spoon to push the ingredients through the mesh. Soon, you'll have a beautiful, fine powder!

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Set this aside, and grab ANOTHER mixing bowl. Into this bowl, crack your egg whites (room temperature!). Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer, I am not fancy), blend the egg whites on medium until frothy (about 30 seconds).

Swirl your food coloring into this mixture. I used a knife for this, but I'm 100% sure there are better ways to do this that won't leave your hands/kitchen table/phone covered in food coloring. Please help me everything is pink. Continue to beat the egg whites on medium until the food coloring is distributed, and then turn your mixer up to medium-high while you slowly stream in your granulated sugar. Continue mixing for several minutes, until the mixture forms soft peaks.

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Set the beaters FAR AWAY FROM EVERYTHING (REALLY) and grab your powdered sugar/almond flour mix. You're going to fold this suuuper gently into the egg white mixture. I found it was best to fold it in 1/3 at a time, and combine just until there were no streaks.

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Once everything has come together, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Grab a piping bag fitted with a round tip (or a ziploc bag with a hole cut in the corner... been there, gurl) and fill it with the macaron batter. You're going to be piping circles that are approx 1-1.5 inches in diameter. DON'T PANIC. YOU'LL GET THROUGH IT.

What's that? You weren't panicking, and now you are? Hehehe.

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Your piping should look like this. Kinda. Just let it happen.

Once all of your circles have been piped, we get to the fun anger relief part of the process! You're gonna BANG THE PAN down against your counter to flatten these guys out. I was only moderately angry this day, so I went with 10 smacks each. Let it allll out.

Once they're flat, you'll somehow summon the willpower to let them dry for 45 minutes to an hour. You'll know they're dry when you touch them and batter doesn't stick to your finger. At this point, preheat your oven to 280F. Once it's heated, stick the macarons on the CENTER RACK**** and bake for 16-18 minutes.

****If you have two trays, bake one at a time. It's only 16 minutes. Put on an episode of New Girl and calm down.

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When they're done, the cookies will have these little feet!!! Look how cute they are!! But let them cool before you pick them up, pretty pretty please. Here, I'll give you something to do while you wait! Add your semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli) to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until chocolate has melted smoothly.

Once the chocolate is ready, swirl in your jam. Put this heavenly ganache in your mouth ANOTHER piping bag with a round tip, and pipe it onto half the cookies. Top each half with a cookie of similar size. And, voila! You've made macarons!

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They're so so so so good. It was at this moment that I decided I was destined to be a trophy wife. Is there a dating app for that?

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So yeah, now accepting marriage proposals. Or tequila. Or tacos. Your call!

XOXO,
Jess