I'm on some kind of intimidation-facing baking jag this week- vegan TWD, souffle, and now macaroons. My failure rate for egg white based recipes runs a little on the high side. It all started with a disastrous Filbert Gauteau- the genoise was so heavy you could use it as a door stop. I've never had a lot of luck with sponge cake in general and my meringue is often mediocre at best but today I put a sizebale dent in my Egg White Phobia with Hazelnut Chocolate Macaroons.
Bonbini! provided both inspiration and information to tackle these little French, blog envy inducing cookies. I went with the Hazelnut version because I had hazelnut flour on hand (left over from the aformentioned Gateau Wreck) and will take advantage of any excuse to use Frangelico in a baked good. It started out a little rough. The recipe calls for italian meringue made by boiling sugar to a soft ball stage before incorporating it in with the egg whites. First attempt I ended up with a hard crystallized mess. Second time, I burned the sugar. Finally got it right on the third try and frustratedly yet gently folded the batter together, piped it out and crossed my fingers. I was overjoyed when I took them out of the oven and saw little macaroon "feet," and pressing their little flat ends together between a big dollop of Frangelico laced chocolate ganache made me so darn proud.
Little cookies, little victories.
You can check out lots of macaroon recipes here. I used this one for the shell.