Sometimes you have had enough of trying to get those French macaroons right – with the smooth and crisp top, delicate feet and chewy center. Though I have been successful, it is heartening to find a macaroon recipe that doesn’t care about looking too pretty but is big on taste. I came across this recipe while browsing through “How to be a Domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson. I love Nigella’s style of cooking – minimal effort, maximum pleasure. She’s very “approachable” and her recipes are seldom intimidating. This one seemed easy enough and the picture accompanying it didn’t seem like she was concerned about the whole French macaroon look.
I browsed online and found that this recipe has very mixed reviews and people have made these with very varied results. I’ve only made this once and have the one and only picture above of my result. However, the next time I make these I would probably be more conscientious of how I pipe the batter and the time the macaroons spend in the oven.
One friend commented how she appreciated a nice, clean pistachio flavour these macaroons delivered. It’s probably because this recipe doesn’t use any flavourings but just plain ole’ pistachios – something which I appreciate as well. The buttercream also has a great flavour and when combined with the cookies is surprisingly not too sweet.
(taken from “How to be a Domestic Goddess” by Nigella Lawson)
Makes 20 sandwiches.
For the macaroons:
- 1/3 cup or 3 ounces pistachios (shelled) (I used dry roasted, unsalted pistachios available from Trader Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered/icing sugar)
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the buttercream:
- 1/4 cup or 2 ounces pistachios
- 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softned
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grind the pistachios along with the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until fine as dust.
- Whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff (but not dry), sprinkle the sugar over and whisk until very stiff.
- Fold the egg whites into the pistachio-sugar dust and combine gently.
- Pipe small rounds onto your baking sheet, using a plain 1/2 inch nozzle. I got about 20 rounds, but I suspect my rounds were too big as the recipe is supposed to yield 20 sandwiches = 40 rounds. Also, pipe them as little “mounds”. If you pipe them too flat, they might spread out too much and you end up with flatter cookies.
- Let them sit for about 10 minutes to form a skin.
- Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, they should be set, but not dried out.
- Remove from oven and cool on sheet.
- To make the buttercream: Grind the nuts and confectioners’ sugar together in food processor. Cream the butter and continue creaming as you add in the pistachio-dust. Mix until you get a soft, well-combined buttercream.
- Sandwich the macaroons together with some buttercream in the middle. These are wonderful served with coffee and tea.