Sometimes, people assume the worst in given situations.
For example, I texted Kristen (bff) at around 11:30pm on Sunday night as I was peeling off my hockey gear and about to head back up to the ‘burbs after my game. All my text said was, “You up?” Kristen, knowing that I am normally long gone to bed, assumed the worst and called me within seconds asking, “Is everything okay!?” Yes, yes, yes!
She said she didn’t even want to SAY what her mind went to first after getting my text. Apparently, my very religious early-to-bed sleep patterns have others assuming the worst when I’m out of my routine. I just wanted to catch up!
When it comes to me and baking, I assume the worst. I anticipate disaster, quite frankly.
My first attempt at Chocolate Macarons looked like…little piles of nasty, inedible piles of….you get my drift. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I had no idea what to expect taste-wise or texture-wise from a macaron (yes, you are reading between the lines correctly…I was a macaron virgin), but I knew that they had this very distinct, smooth, round appearance with a textured bottom lip.
Being the novice that I am, I didn’t even pause to note the spelling difference between macaron and macaroon, but let’s quickly discuss. A macaron (one “o”) is a French cookie made with almond and egg whites that is sandwiches around a cream-based filling. A macaroon (two “o’s”) is a flour-less egg white-based cookie, commonly made with coconut.
What I know of macarons is that they can be challenging to make…very challenging. Many bakers and bloggers fear the task of macaron-making. However, the novice, inept baker in me thought, “Why not give’em a shot!” while the very practical side of me screamed, “Those things are filled with caramel-coconut Samoa goodness…figure it out woman! Stat.”
Two attempts, several hours, and a mess of a kitchen later…here we are. I made 40 macarons inspired by my favorite Girl Scout cookie — the Samoa, or “Caramel Delight” if you were a mid-80’s baby Girl Scoutin’ in Chicago.
Mr. Prevention got so sick of my excitement over macaron success — I think I asked him if they were pretty 54 times and smiled until it hurt. I felt like I had accomplished the impossible — me and baking…the infamous macaron. Who knew? If you’re ever up for a baking challenge – voila! The juice is so worth the squeeze…these are KILLER!
Samoa Macarons from Bon Appetit (cookies) and Barbara Bakes (filling)
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups almond meal
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp egg whites (from ~4 large eggs), room temperature, whisked to loosen
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
30 chewy caramels, unwrapped
1 1/2 Tbsp whole milk
Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and toast 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 325 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pulse 1 cup powdered sugar and almond meal in a food processor until well combined. Add cocoa powder and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar; process to blend well. Sift mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat 1/3 cup egg whites in a medium bowl on medium speed until white and frothy, about 1 minute. With mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add sugar by teasponfuls. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until firm peaks form.
Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons egg whites. Fold meringue into dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing well between additions.
Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ tip. (Alternatively, spoon into a plastic freezer bag, then cut 1/4″ off a corner of bag — I did this…worked great). Twist top of bag and pipe quarter dollar-size rounds onto 2 of the 3 prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Let stand until tops appear dry, about 10 minutes.
Bake cookies until puffed and dry, about 16 minutes. Slide cookies on parchment onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, put the unwrapped caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 secons. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Drop a rounded teaspoon of filling on to a macaron shell and gently sandwich another shell on top. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 40 macaroons, assembled.
Nutrition Information (per macaron): 96 calories; 3.6 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 45 mg. sodium; 15.1 g. carbohydrate; 1.4 g. fiber; 1.5 g. protein
Result: These were…phenomenal! These definitely take some finness, and my macaron skills need some practice, but I had a lot of fun tackling this challenge. The end result were these delicate, chocolate macarons with a chewy, uber sweet caramel coconut filling that was to die for! If you love samoas, these are such a fun take on the ever-loved Girl Scout cookie classic![/print_this]
Off to my old clinic for my final, last day. I have officially been replaced!
Congrats on your macaron success! They look perfect!
I am majorly PETRIFIED of macarons so I am SO IMPRESSED by these! I bookmarked them from barbara also…maybe this weekend will be THE weekend that I attempt them!
Admittedly, I always have been a little bit scared to try macaroons. These look awesome though – I love Samoas! 😀
You done good.
Those look so good. I like to bake things that don’t have to look pretty like loaf cakes, cookies, bread. I am pretty terrible at making things that look pretty. I’ve never had the patience or the skill for it.
Maybe I’ll make macarons for Easter? I like that they don’t have any added butter in them– that shit has been expensive lately and the cost of it has seriously curbed my cookie baking lately.
Also, I’m so jealous of Girl Scout cookies in the US. Here we have Girl Guides and they have chocolate sandwich cookies, white sandwich cookies, and thin mints. That’s it.
A perfect post on Macaron Day. Your macs are so pretty and I’m sure delicious too!
These look even better than actual Samoas! I know that may be sacriledge, but really, they do! Fabulous!
Samoas are my favorite girls scout cookie- hands down!
These look great. I’ve never made macarons myself. And honestly, I can’t remember ever having one myself. Weird that I let this happen!
These look amazing & I love the flavors you chose! I can’t wait to try these!
I think your macarons look incredible! Macarons are on my baking bucket list and have been for some time. TJ’s carries some pretty decent frozen ones.
You know, I don’t like GS cookies at all! I feel bad saying it, because I know they are for a great cause, but for the most part, I think they are just horrible. Full of chemical ingredients that taste chemically. I think I would like your remake! 🙂
They look fantastic!
I do love Samoas – and macarons. Sounds like a winning combination.
I had no idea there was a difference between a macaron and a macaroon! Thanks!
These look delicious!!
Samoas are my favorite GS cookie, so I know I would just love these!!
Wowie!!!! These look absolutely gorgeous, and too perfect. Your feet look specatular, and totally drool worthy of any macaron. The fact that you combined a girl scout cookie into a macaron…is simply an amazing feat!! You go girl!!!!!!!!!! Now send me some! hehe.
These look fabulous! If there are any leftovers you can send some my way!
I’ll have to make those for my step-son and ship them to him in Texas – that was his favorite girl scout cookie when he was growing up! Thanks for the recipe Nicole!
In the ingredients you forgot to put the measurement for the almond meal/flour. Was that supposed to be cups?
Katie: Thanks for catching that! It is 1 1/4 cups of almond meal/flour…sorry for the confusion 🙂
OK, I’m totally impressed! I’ve wanted to make macarons for literally years. I’ve never even tasted one before, but I’ve always been impressed with how they look. I have so many macaron links bookmarked it’s not even funny, but I’ve put it off and put it off. I really need to just try! Yours look amazing! Plus, the chocolate and caramelly coconut sound soooo good.
Yum, I love Samoas! Definitely my favorite girl scout cookie. 🙂 These look amazing! 🙂
Wowza– I am SO impressed!!! These look like they belong in a gourmet French foods shop!! Beautiful!!
They are BEAUTIFUL!!! I have no baking abilities whatsoever so I think I’ll stick to buying macaroons haha. Though I do wish there was someplace close to me that had a samoa version available!
Those look incredible!! wow, I barely can make muffins 🙂
You’re welcome! Im making these as i write. Egg whites just whipped to perfection.. The egg whites don’t really look like enough.. I used the four eggs(large) like you said so im about to start folding and i hope its enough.
Katie: How did they turn out? I hope okay!
Yay for macarons, I wish I could just pluck one right off my screen and eat it!! I have always wanted to make them but haven’t gotten up the courage to do it yet. I love your photos, especially the first and last one!
hahahaha! Oh my gosh, I love your little story about this. I feel the same way about macarons and I’m scared to death to try making them! Yours turned out BEAUTIFUL! In fact, I think I repinned someone elses pin of these not knowing it linked to your blog! 🙂 Now, next time I see you, you can give me a macaron lesson, right? 🙂
These are more than pretty, they are gorgeous!! Congratulations on the (incredible) baking success! I am loling at your BFF calling you right away, I would do the same if my early to bed BFF texted me that late!
Congrats on your macaron success! They are on my bucket list but have not conquered the fear yet-lol! I love the flavor you made here.
gorgeous, I’m totally impressed 🙂
I love this story! 🙂 Anything samoa inspired has to be great! And your photos are absolutely lovely!