It was hard to pick just one dish, so this week we’re offering two recipes for your dill-loving taste buds! Once you harvest the free dill seed packets we sent you, serve up some sweet satisfaction by making Dill Macarons with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream. I crafted my macarons using instructions from the book I Love Macarons, but the dill and buttercream recipes are ones I concocted in the ModKitchen!
Making macarons is very tedious and precise, but when perfected can be a ton of fun!
Makes 3 dozen 1-inch macarons. Recipe adapted from I Love Macarons.
3 tablespoons dried dill
2/3 cup ground ground almonds or almond flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together through a medium-sized sieve twice. Add 3 tablespoons dried dill to mix. Stir and set the powder aside.
2. Place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes. When the bowl is thoroughly cooled, remove. Beat egg whites on high speed in the chilled bowl until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites. Add vanilla at continued speed. After the sugar has been added, beat egg whites on high until they reach stiff, glossy peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything dripping or moving!
3. Add half of the sifted flour mixture from step 1 into the meringue bowl. When mixing, gently stir it with a spatula while scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl.
4. Add the rest of the flour, and mix it lightly in a circular motion. In the next steps, we’ll be tackling macaronnage, which is the term for mixing flour and meringue to form macarons. The following steps, especially macaronnage are very crucial, you must do them nearly perfect or else your batch can be ruined!
5. Macaronnage: When all the flour has been added, press and spread the batter against the sides of the bowl. Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this process about 15 times. If the macaronnage step is repeated less than 10 times, the baked macarons will lack luster. However, when repeated more than 20 times, oil stains may remain on the pastry’s surface when baked.
6. When the batter becomes nicely firm and drips slowly when scooped with your spatula, it’s done!
7. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. Pour the batter into a clear plastic bag with the corner cut at an angle or a pastry bag. To prevent the batter from squeezing out of the top, seal the opening with a rubber band or clip.
9. Since the mixture spreads out when squeezed, squeeze out smaller circles than you want your finished macarons to be. I squeezed out circles about the size of 3/4 inch, which ended up flattening out to about an inch.
10. When your sheet is full, let the mixture dry for about 15 minutes to form a slight crust on the top of the macarons. The batter is settled when tips can no longer be seen on the macarons.
11. Stack your pan on top of another pan of the same size before placing your macarons into the center oven rack. This will prevent your macarons from harsh heat exposure.
12. Depending on the size of your macarons, and the heat of your oven, cooking times can vary and just a minute can make all the difference. When you bake your first batch, keep a very close eye on the baking process! Generally, cooking macarons takes around 12 – 15 minutes. Due to the smaller size of these macarons, and the extreme heat of my older oven, it took about 7 minutes max to cook. I found this out by overcooking my entire first batch!
13. As the macarons bake, small pleat-like frills form on the bottom of each, where it hits the pan. Note: This is called the pied, and without it, the pastry cannot be called a macaron.
14. When the macarons have cooled, spread the buttercream between the shells, and serve!
Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream
Makes enough for 3 dozen 1-inch macarons. Recipe from ModWriter Angela.
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Nutella
Combine equal parts butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer (one cup of each should be more than enough). Once the two are mixed, add about 3 tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons Nutella. Sandwich the cream in between your shells, and you’re done!
On Thursday, we’ll be serving up a savory dill recipe! Can you say ‘dill-icious?’