Crunch Berry Macarons

I have day dreamed of these Crunch Berry macarons for quite some time. Last year, the gentleband and I traveled back to the Midwest where my body was born. As we were driving back, we stopped in Indy (Indianapolis for all you non-Hoosiers) at milktooth, and I fell in love as soon as we walked in. They probably thought we were crazy because we ordered two pastries for here, two to go, espresso drinks for here, two to go, and brunch. I seriously was in love and wanted to experience the place with the small amount of time I had. One of the espresso drinks they offered was a crunch berry cappuccino. (which I have now found out they don’t even offer the drink anymore!!!!) This past year I have found myself thinking how creative of a drink and place it was. I started thinking of something clever to make with crunch berries. It came down to, “why not macarons?” IMG_3895

I’ll probably end up sharing a lot of macaron recipes for you, because I understand how to make them and no longer cry when I make them. Crying sounds dramatic and I’m not crying over the actual pastry, I cried because I failed so many times and took my frustrations out on my gentleband. I thought the third time making macarons would be a charm since that’s what they say, but honestly, my fifth time was a charm.

With anything in life, when you do something more times than once, you gain confidence and the knowledge to troubleshoot a problem. So, if you want to make these, don’t give up! If you get it right perfectly the first time, then let me know, so I can be super jealous of you.

I always use the Italian Method of making macarons, because it became easier for me than the French method. IMG_3896IMG_3898

If you’ve never made macarons before, I would do some research before you get started. Try a simple recipe at first. My Crunch Berry shells and Crunch Berry buttercream are actually a good starting point. Google “troubleshooting macarons” because I guarantee when something goes wrong, you’ll wonder why. Look at other people’s recipes and see why they do something different. Once you get them down, have fun sharing them! Believe me, if you tell someone you baked Crunch Berry macarons, I bet there won’t be an awkward silence after you say it. (If their face stays emotionless, don’t give it to that person!)

Crunch Berry Buttercream

(adapted from Bouchon Bakery)
38 grams granulated sugar
38 grams granulated sugar
63 grams egg yolks
75 grams whole milk
250 grams unsalted butter – cubed at room temperature
20 grams ground Crunch Berries

Crunch Berry Shells
212 grams almond flour
212 grams powdered sugar
15 grams ground Crunch Berries
82 grams egg whites
90 grams egg whites
236 grams granulated sugar
158 grams water
What you need to do!
(I age my egg whites the night before. In two separate bowls, weigh out in one 82 grams and in the other 90 grams. I usually use a smaller bowl to represent the smaller number so I don’t forget)
You may make your buttercream in advance; it’ll keep for a few days. Weigh all of your ingredients out before you get started. I have found this helps with organization when the time to bake actually occurs.
∙Whisk together 38 grams of sugar and egg yolks- set aside
∙In a small saucepan, bring the other 38 grams of sugar and milk to just under a simmer-be sure the sugar is dissolved
∙Slowly add hot milk to the yolks, whisking constantly-don’t cook your eggs!
∙Add back to saucepan and bring to a simmer for a minute-don’t bring to a boil- and whisk the whole time
∙Run this thick mixture through a sieve into a mixer.
∙Mix for 5-8 minutes to cool this custard down
∙Start throwing in your cubed butter in increments- if it’s curdling, turn the speed up on the mixer
∙Once to a beautiful, fluffy consistency, fold in those crushed crunch berries!
for the shells!
∙sift together your almond flour, powdered sugar, and ground crunch berries
∙make a well in the dry ingredients and add the 82 grams of egg whites
∙fold everything into each other-this will be paste-like; just be sure there isn’t anything dry in the bowl
∙in a small saucepan, add sugar and water over medium heat-you want 248℉
∙your 90 grams of egg whites should be in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment
∙when your water and sugar are at 230 whisk to soft peaks-I mess up here, so when my whites get frothy, I throw in 1/8tsp cream of tartar to help stabilize
∙when syrup reaches 248℉, pour into bowl and aim for the side of the bowl. beat until stiff peaks
∙fold your meringue into your delicious looking paste you made
∙if you hold your spatula up and it ribbons off and disipates into itself in 10 seconds, you can stop folding; you’re ready to pipe!
∙I do not own a piping bag. I use good old zip lock and cut the tip off. I couldn’t tell you how to properly pipe, so I’ve just been watching videos. I’d suggest you do the same
∙you can have your circles drawn out, or you can free hand, which is what I’ve been doing lately.
∙pipe shells on baking trays lined with parchment paper
∙if you have a little “top hat” game going on dip your finger in cold water and push it down gently, and let your macarons know they’ll be pretty on their own – no need to add to the occasion
∙tap your tray after shells have been piped to knock any possible air bubbles out-this scares anyone in the house that doesn’t know what you’re doing
∙set oven to 350F
∙once tray goes in set it to 325F and timer for 12 minutes
 
bringing it all together
∙let shells cool completely!
∙pull paper from shells, not shells from paper
∙find their dates-meaning find two shells similar in size
∙pipe butter cream in the middle and put the other half of the shell on top
things to note
∙every oven is different, so your temperature and time may not be the same as what I have found works best for me
∙Because my oven isn’t the greatest, I bake one tray at a time
∙these are best ate after they’ve sat in the fridge for a day
∙if you give them to your friends, they will expect you give them one every time you make them
If you meet Captain Crunch, then let him know I took the berries he worked so hard for and ground them up into tiny pieces to make this.

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