matcha coconut macarons

Did I paint my nails just for this picture? Yes. Did I paint just the left hand? Also yes. How long did it take for me to paint the right hand? 48 hours. I've been this way for years. It either takes me an hour to do my nails... or days. Or I never finish and I just start over again with fresh polish.

But back to the macarons. I bought matcha back in December for these cookie swap cookies. It's a really unique flavor profile. If someone tells you they don't like matcha, I feel like they are being picky. Matcha absolutely has *some flavor* but its also like *no flavor* at the same time. I came across a recipe for mango coconut macaron ... which sounded great. But I didn't have any mango and it felt like a lot of work. I did have matcha and the flavors matched up well. Like I said, matcha isn't that strong of a flavor in general. Or I have low bar matcha. That could also be true.

A few notes about this recipe / attempt:
- I don't think it is advisable to attempt macarons in a heat wave. The humidity and dew point were off the charts. I feel like that is why I didn't get a good rise out of the macaron shells. I did however get some great feet. I remembered to whack the cookie sheet against the counter.
- I feel like I've had a tendency to undercook the shells a little bit compared to prior macaron trials. I need to be more patient and less worried about a tiny bit of browning on the shells. 
- The other possibility? I got tired when I was making the batter. I might not have smoothed it out well enough.... but honestly the batter did look great when I piped it onto the pans.
Also.... with the amount of homemade piping bags I've conjured recently from ziplock bags... I might deserve to buy some real ones. This feels like it might be more work than its worth - but I feel like these hacky solutions are leading to hacky results. There is also the chance that I'm always going to be terrible at frosting cakes. That is highly likely. Like 95% likely. 
  1. Set your oven to 375 F
  2. Combine your almond flour and powdered sugar in a flour sifter and sift until you have a nice, pretty pile. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat your egg whites with an electric mixer until nice and foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar until they develop stiff, glossy peaks. I added my sugar in 1 tablespoon at a time. If you think your egg whites are stiff enough, they probably aren't. Keep going. One blog I read said you should be able to flip your bowl upside down ... I make enough of mess in the kitchen without doing this step, but you get the idea.
  4. Add coconut extract and mix gently. If the mixture gets a little less stiff, just toss that mixer on again for a jiffy.
  5. After the meringue is stiff and glossy, you essentially get to mix it all up again - but none of that "folding in the egg whites" business. This is straight mixing folks. Add about half of the flour/sugar mixture and stir with your spatula until mixed. Then, add the rest and stir again.
  6. This is now a "crucial" part in the macaron process.... you need to stir until the mixture is even and smooth. A smooth mixer makes for good meringues and that is what this is all about folks. What you do is spread the batter against the sides of the bowl, then flip it back into the middle, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat times 15 or so times. Just like the flour sifting process, I thought this would be all phony and silly and not worth it, I was wrong. You can see the difference in the batter. Add in food coloring until you get the shade of green you'd like.
  7. Fill your "pastry" bag with the batter and squeeze it out gently into small circles on your parchment lined baking sheet. Note: the batter will settle a bit so, don't worry too too much about having a "tip" in the middle of your circle. Just try and keep your circles in similar small sized circles - about 1.5-2 inches.
  8. After you have filled you pan with little circles, whack the sheet against the counter several times. According to the post I read, "This will set the pied or little pastry lip at the base of the cookie (an essential for an authentic macaron)." Now, set the tray aside for 30 minutes to dry. You'll know they are dry when you tap the surface of the circle and it does not stick to your finger.
  9. Place in the oven for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, turn the sheet so that the front-facing macarons are now towards the back of the oven for an even bake. If after 14 minutes, they are still super-soft, reduce heat to 325°, cover in aluminum foil and bake for 2 more minutes. Watch them carefully.
  10. When the macarons are done baking, take them out of the oven and let sit until cool. When they are cool, they'll pop right off the parchment but they won't before then.
  11. Fill a new pastry bag with the filling and create about 1/2 inch dot on one macaron cookie, then sandwich another on top. Be careful not to squeeze the filling out on the sides.
  12. That's it. Now eat them... and store them in the fridge.
Making the Filling
  1. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream butter on high speed until light and smooth (about 5 minutes).
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Add lime juice, zest, tequila and salt and mix on high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
Shopping List
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
3 egg whites
5 tablespoons of white, granulated sugar
1 tablespoon matcha powder

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp coconut extract

Other macaroon recipes I've tried: margaritaraspberry with coconut fillingstandard, and these award winning Christmas cookie variety.

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