Yes, you read the title right. VEGAN MACARONS.
First, let’s have a cookie lesson: macarons (with one o) are a “French sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring” (Wikipedia). Macaroons (with two o’s) are cluster cookies, usually made with egg whites, coconut, and other flavourings.
Vegan Macarons are my favourite. Macaroons can go away…forever.
In my own words, macarons are delicious, adorable sandwich cookies that are challenging to make. They are kind of expensive, as far as cookies go because they are labour-intensive. I’m talking $2-$3 a pop in most speciality bakeries. I first started making macarons about three years ago and, my first time, it was DISASTROUS. The batter wasn’t stiff enough, and they ended up tasting more like burnt marshmallows. And those were the egg-based cookies, not Vegan Macarons.
I finally got the knack for it, and I enjoyed making them every now and again. As far as the vegan macarons go, I’ve tried making them about four times…and failed three. I just couldn’t get the consistency right. I used several different egg replacers and couldn’t get it to work. I was pretty deflated.
But then I stumbled upon Floral Frosting’s Instagram post – she was making vegan macarons! They looked pretty legit. I wanted to see what her secret was. And when she finally posted her recipe, I found out it was…
I’m not even kidding. Did you hear that sound? I’m pretty sure it was the sound of your mind-blowing.
Now, I can’t even fathom how someone discovered this: you can reduce and whip that canned chickpea liquid and poof! You get a meringue-like substance. You have Floral Frosting and a vegan named Goose to thank for this Vegan Macarons Chocolate & Amaretto recipe.
Now, I’ve been a macaron connoisseur for a few years now…and these don’t taste EXACTLY like traditional macarons. But, for all intents and purposes, they have an outer shell, a chewy inside, a yummy filling, and look the part. It’s good enough for me! If you’re vegan and you’re missing macarons, this Vegan macarons Chocolate & Amaretto Recipe will satisfy your need!
If you’ve never made macarons, here’s a quick listing of things you need:
Food Processor – to mix/grind the sugar, cocoa powder, and almonds into a fine mix.
Stand Mixer – sorry, you can’t get around this one. If you can make them without, I want to meet you; you’re a wizard!
Sifter – if you want to make the sifting process quicker…and trust me, you will. Otherwise, you can use a sieve and spoon to do it the old-fashioned way!
Piping Bag – for piping the macarons onto the Silpat. You can get them in the Wilton section of Michaels or Wal-Mart for a few dollars.
Silpat or Non-Stick Mat – I’ve used parchment paper in the past, but I think these mats work the best.
Blanched Almond Flour – it’s expensive but ready to go. Alternately, you can buy blanched sliced almonds and grind them yourself.
Regular macarons are challenging enough to make, let alone vegan macarons. I will do my best to outline every step and guide you through the process!
Vegan Macarons: Chocolate & AmarettoCourse: Uncategorized
Adapted from Floral Frosting
1 can of chickpea water, chickpeas saved for another use
1/2 c. organic cane sugar
1 c. almond flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 c. vegan powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, like Guittard
1 tsp. vanilla, plus more as needed
- For the icing:
2 T. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, like Guittard
2 c. vegan powdered sugar
2 T. amaretto (learn how to make your own!)
a few T. almond milk, as needed
- Bring the chickpea liquid to a boil in a small saucepan. When it heats, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer/reduce for 10 minutes – set a timer! This boiling liquid may have an odd odour, just so you know. It should be reduced to around 1/3 cup.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, mix the almond flour, cacao powder and powdered sugar. Pulse a few times to mix, then run the processor for a minute or two.
- Sift the powdery mixture into the sifter. For several macaron recipes I’ve tried I needed to sift three times. This recipe only needed one sift. Some big chunks that don’t get into the sifter can be discarded.
- Take cane sugar, measure it out and keep it aside.
- Pour your chickpea liquid into your stand mixer tank and clip your whisk once it has decreased. Set a timer for 2 minutes and whisk on a medium-high setting (about a 5-6 setting) in the mixer. The mixture should foam up and get frothy.
- Toss in the cane sugar. Set a timer for 5 minutes to beat the mixture on high. This is where the real magic takes place. It’s awe-inspiring to watch! The final product should resemble a meringue, with stiff, shiny peaks. After that, apply your teaspoon of vanilla and beat for another minute on high.
- Fold in the sifted mixture in thirds once the meringue is ready. (Pour in one-third of the liquid and fold.) (Do it again.) I discovered that my batter was a little dry at this stage. In the batter, I placed another teaspoon or two of vanilla extract. You want a dense, firm batter that is still a little shiny. Someone compared it to lava pouring down a cliff, but I’m not sure how accurate that comparison is. This is the point where you simply have to get a feel for it. Which is why making macarons is difficult!
- Using a spatula, transfer the batter to your piping bag. Snip a hole in the bag about a half-inch from the top. The batter can trickle out steadily, most definitely in tiny blobs, if you keep the bag upright at a 90 degree angle. You have a problem if it’s runny. If it’s stiff and won’t move without assistance, you’ve got a separate issue! This requires dexterity.
- On your Silpat mats, pipe cookies the size of a quarter or half dollar. I would suggest that you double the baking sheets. This has been stated in a number of macaron-making blogs. It prevents the bottoms from being charred. Pipe the batter before you run out of batter – or space to pipe it.
- Smack the cookie sheets on the counter a couple times until you’re finished piping. You want to smooth out the macarons to get rid of the air bubbles inside. Whack them in the face – don’t be scared to injure them. My macarons started off with small peaks, but after a few smacks, the tops smoothed out. That’s how you can tell whether the batter is decent or not.
- Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for the macarons to dry on the counter. They should be fully dry to the touch – don’t poke them!.
- Preheat the oven to 205° F as the drying period passes.
- Bake the macarons for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off after 30 minutes and leave the cookies in the closed oven for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, open the oven door and let the cookies cool for another 15 minutes before removing them from the oven.
Voila! Now you have beautiful macarons.
- As a side note, not all of my macarons turned out picture-perfect. Some oozed out in a weird way. Hey, traditional macarons don’t all turn out well either, so I guess it’s just part of the process. They were still tasty!
- For the icing:
- In a medium-sized mixing cup, add the five ingredients with a spatula. If you need a bit extra liquid to get the icing to come together, add a tablespoon of almond milk at a time. It will have the appearance (and taste) of fudgy, chocolaty goodness.
- Gently pipe icing onto one side of a macaron using a second piping bag. Take another macaron and sandwich it between the two. (I prefer to name it the Oreo process in reverse.) You remember how you used to “unscrew” the Oreo cookies when you were a kid? Ok, twist the macarons around to make them match!) If you have some leftovers, put them in the fridge to use later!
- Enjoy these deliciously fudgy mouthfuls. The amaretto complements the chocolate and provides a beautiful, delicate flavour. These Vegan Macarons with Chocolate and Amaretto can be kept in the freezer, but they should be allowed to come to room temperature before eating. I guess the first day or two is where they taste the strongest, but they’re so delicious that they won’t last long.
Send me pictures! I want to see how they turn out 🙂