Pecan Italian Macarons
- Prepare your baking sheets. I found that parchment paper produced better "feet" with this recipe.
- Weigh your water and granulated sugar into a small sauce pot and place on stove with a candy thermometer attached but don't turn the heat on just yet. You also do not want to stir it. Just measure it into the pot and set it on the stove. At no point will you be stirring the sugar water mixture.
- Weigh your pecans into bowl then place into a food processor. Pulse a few times. They will not be as fine as the almond flour but that's ok.
- Weigh your almond flour and powdered sugar into a bowl and place into the processor with the pecans. Pulse 2-3 times, stir to mix it around, and then pulse 2 more times.
- Weigh 25 grams of egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside.
- Weigh the other 25 grams of egg whites into a separate large bowl. Add your almond flour, pecan, and powdered sugar mixture.
- Turn the burner with your sugar water pot on to medium heat. Again, no stirring. Everything will be fine. Just let it work it's magic.
- With a rubber spatula, start folding the eggs into the sugar flour mixture. It will seem dry and like it's not going to mix, but eventually it will.
- Your sugar water mixture should be simmering at this point. Once it reaches 100 degrees C, turn your stand mixer with the bowl of egg whites on to medium high.
- This is where you have to multi-task. Watch your egg whites and your sugar water closely. You only want the egg whites to get foamy. Do not take them to soft peaks. Your sugar water is only going to get to 115 degrees C. If your egg whites are ready before your sugar, just turn the mixer down to low.
- Once your sugar water reaches 115 degrees C, remove the candy thermometer and with the mixer on medium low, slowly pour the sugar water into the egg whites.
- As soon as all of the sugar water is added, turn the mixer on high.
- I don't have an approximate time on how long to mix. What works best for me is bowl temperature. Every minute (or less) I place my hand on the lower portion of the outside of the bowl. Once it's at room temperature, my egg whites are usually ready. Even here you don't want stiff peaks. When you take the whisk out of the bowl, the egg whites will form a bird beak. They won't be stiff. They will be glossy.
- Place half of the egg whites into the bowl with your flour, pecan, powdered sugar, and egg mixture. Fold this until you don't see anymore white streaks (from the egg) or dark clumps (from the flour mixture).
- Add the second half of egg whites to the bowl. Fold the mixture while also pressing it against the side of the bowl periodically. You want the consistency to be like lava. No, I've never actually seen lava, but this is the most accurate description. It will still be somewhat thick, but will also slightly flow off of the spatula. This batter works best when it's not as thinned out as most other recipes. It will fall from the spatula but should not be able to do a "figure 8" into the bowl. This batter will come together fairly quickly and be an Oatmeal consistency.
- Place a piping tip into a piping bag, twist the end with the tip (keeps the batter from oozing out), and place into a cup. Scoop or pour the batter into the piping bag.
- Pipe 1- 1 1/2 inch circles onto your prepared baking sheets about an inch apart. After your baking sheet is full of shells, bang it down on the counter 2-3 times, spin the pan around, and bang it down 2-3 more times. If there are still air bubbles you can pop them with a toothpick.
- Turn your oven on to 300 degrees F. Your shells will be drying while your oven preheats.
- Depending on your climate and humidity, the drying time will vary. I let mine dry for roughly 30-40 minutes. I test them by lightly touching the side of a shell. If the batter doesn't stick to your finger, it's ready to be baked! They will still have a shine on them.
- Place into the oven for 7 minutes, rotate the pans around and cook for another 7 minutes. If you touch the side of a shell and it doesn't wiggle, it's ready.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before attempting to remove from the silpat or parchment paper. The shells should pop off of the silpat easily. Every once in a while I have a few that slightly stick, but not usually. You can bend the silpat away from the cookie and this helps a lot.
- Match up your cookies by size and fill! I mostly fill mine with flavored buttercreams, but there is an endless list of possibilities when it comes to flavored fillings!
- Enjoy your gorgeous creations!