The Paris bakery sold only macarons – that’s right a patisserie displaying brightly colored hot pink, lavender, mint green, baby blue and light brown chocolate macarons. It was five year ago, but I still remember opening the door and stepping down a few steps as the sweet cookie aromas washed over me.
Since then, I’ve wanted to recreate the airy, yet chewy French treat. But, honestly, I didn’t think I had enough ‘kitchen cred.’ I’m far from a French baker. But thanks to encouragement from Carrie of Poet In the Pantry and Kate of Food Babbles through their brilliant bloghop First on First, I figured, if ‘everyone’ was doing it, maybe I could too!
The cookbook Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home was my favorite Christmas gift this year. The book contains a macaron (macaron) recipe that seemed a bit less fussy than most. Jeni uses them in ice cream sandwiches. Since the cookies are airy and chewy, they don’t freeze into tooth-chipping, rock-hard sandwiches. Smart.
All things Valentine are on my kids’ minds right now so I whipped up a batch of Jeni’s shockingly pink Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone and Orange Zest to serve as the sandwich filling. The bold orange flavor in the ice cream paired perfectly with the cocoa and almond in the macarons. But this version of Jeni’s Lemon Frozen Yogurt would also be a delicious sandwich filling for these Chocolate Macarons. I adapted Jeni’s version of the cookie recipe to use blanched almonds and then decided to toast them – thinking the toastiness would complement the earthy (but not too earthy!) beets. I also added a bit less sugar to the recipe.