- ¾ cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or
- semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- One 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups whole blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 large egg whites (about ¾ cup)
To make the chocolate filling In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days, or until thick and cold.
To make the macarons Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almonds in a food processor and process for 5 to 6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, or until the nuts are ground to a fine powder. Add the cocoa and process 1 minute more, or until combined. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the nut mixture into the whites in 4 additions, making a thick batter.
Spoon half the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the batter onto a prepared sheet in 12 walnut-size mounds, spacing the mounds 1 inch apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 11 minutes, or until firm to the touch in the center and dry and cracked on top.
Remove from the oven and slide the parchment with cookies onto a work surface to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter, cooling the baking sheet completely and lining with clean parchment for each batch.
Arrange 12 macarons, flat side up, on a work surface. Drop 1 scant tablespoon of filling onto each cookie, then top with a second macaron, flat side down. Press lightly to adhere. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Arrange on a platter, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Serve chilled.
Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies
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Excerpted from Tea and Crumpets. Copyright 2009 by Margaret Johnson. Excerpted with permission by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.