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There are some recipes that no matter how many times I attempt them they just don’t come out right. It doesn’t happen *too* often, but certain dishes seriously just escape me. I don’t know why, maybe it is timing, temperature, the phases of the moon…who knows. But it happens, and my biggest fails have been macarons. You know, those pillowy, crispy and oh-so-rich sandwiches of pastel perfection? Those. For some reason I just can’t win with them, so of course being a super competitive try it till’ I rock it person I couldn’t rest until I caught this white whale. And guess what? I did it…sort of.
They aren’t the prettiest, but these green tea macarons taste amazing and through a lot of trial and error weren’t too difficult to whip up. I’ve had more than my fair share of macaron fails, so believe me when I say pulling these off was quite the achievement for me.
I chose to flavor them with green tea partly because I like the color, but also because I love all things green tea. I love the taste, the color and the health benefits that go along with it. I love sitting on the back porch sipping it on ice or cuddling up with a good book and a nice warm mug of it. It cools me off on a hot day and warms on a cold day. Isn’t that what tea is for? There are a number of different brands out there, but my tried and true favorite has always been Bigelow. Not only do they offer all kinds of different flavors, but their tea is grown just a few short hours from me in Charleston on the grounds of an absolutely beautiful plantation. I love supporting my home state, so it’s a natural choice for me.
When making macarons I’ve found the most important thing to be on top of is timing. Using exact ingredients and measurements are important as well, but if you have gotten your eggs nice and frothy but haven’t to pause to sift your flour then you might as well throw in the towel. So before you begin, all ingredients need to be measured out and waiting to be combined at just the right time. Another consideration is your chosen tools. At first I didn’t think I needed to pull out my stand mixer or go buy a flour sifter and instead attempted whipping my ingredients into a fluffy frenzy by hand. Guess what? After a few fails and aching arms I bucked up and did it and it really did improve the consistency of my macarons.
I normally just show photos of the finished dish here followed by the how-to at the bottom of my post, but this is a very temperamental dish so I am going to share a detailed how-to with images to go along with it so it won’t be hard to follow. It isn’t that macarons are difficult to make, it’s just that they take some practice to perfect. Now lets get started!
You will need:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp green tea
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 drop gel based green food coloring
- silicone baking mat or parchment paper
First set your oven to 375 degrees and then sift together your granulated sugar, almond flour and tea and set aside. Next, pour egg whites in your stand mixer and set for 2-3 minutes on a medium speed until frothy. Once you see it start getting peaky, add in granulated sugar and turn your speed up to high. Let it mix for around 7 minutes (scraping your sides a few times) until you have a stiff, velvety texture that stays put when you stir it. It will look like this:
Now after that you will slowly add in your powdered sugar/flower/tea mixture and set your mixer to medium/high for another 2(ish) minutes until everything is evenly blended.
Next take a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with a corner cut out) and fill it with your mixture. Pipe one inch discs out onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let them sit for 15 minutes or until you see a film on top of each one.
When they are ready to bake, take your cookie sheet and whack it one good time on your counter to get rid of any air bubbles and then turn your oven down to 325 degrees. Pop them in for 10 or so minutes or until you see them rise and develop “feet” on the lower half. You will need to watch this step *very* carefully because if you overcook your pastry could fall or start to turn brown (obviously what happened here, eh?). So keep an eye out and take them out as soon as you see the feet.
After they have cooled go ahead and pop them off, ice them and stick them together to make little sandwiches. Be careful, they are very delicate! You can fill them with whatever kind of icing you would like – buttercream, traditional, ganache, anything really. I chose a green vanilla buttercream and then a traditional chocolate for these and they turned out really well!
Check out this Pinterest board for more great Bigelow Tea creations:
You can find Bigelow Tea at your local Walmart.