So, this isn’t exactly an Irish-inspired recipe, but it IS green, so I’m lumping it in with my St. Patrick’s Day dishes! Any excuse to make a new flavors of macarons. After my initial batch, I’ve found them to be pretty easy to make. They aren’t quite as temperamental as I once thought. They do take a little bit more patience than a regular cookie, but you definitely get the hang of it.
Pistachio is my favorite kind of nut, so I’m a little surprised I didn’t try these sooner. The shell is a mixture of pistachio meal and almond meal, but the pistachio flavor definitely shines through. I decided to fill them with white chocolate whipped ganache, because I wanted it to taste mostly like pistachio. I think a pistachio buttercream or Swiss meringue buttercream would work nicely too.
One note, I was able to find pistachio “nut meats” (de-shelled & removed of the papery skin) at Trader Joe’s for a good price. To save your hands from opening too many pistachios, I would suggest trying to find them already de-shelled! If you can’t, make sure to shell them AND remove the papery skins. There are several tutorials online on how to do this easily. I think one of them has to do with boiling the nuts for a short time…not entirely sure!
Pistachio Macarons (makes approximately 24-30 cookies, depending on the size)
225g powdered sugar
60g almonds (I use blanched, slivered almonds)
65g pistachios (de-shelled and removed of papery skins)
100 grams egg whites (about 3)
25g granulated sugar, with 3 drops of green food coloring mixed in thoroughly and dried for at least 10 minutes
Start by putting the almonds and pistachios in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until very finely chopped. Add in the powdered sugar and give it a few pulses to combine. Set aside.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use an electric mixer), beat egg whites to a foam. It should resemble bubble bath at this point. With the mixer still running, slowly add the green tinted granulated sugar and continue beating just until smooth and stiff peaks have formed. Check it often so you don’t over mix. You want to stop right at the beginning of the stiff peak stage.
Add the almond mixture to egg whites and carefully incorporate with a spatula. You want the mixture to be thick enough to pipe, but thin enough that it won’t form peaks when piped. I suggest testing the batter by spooning out a small amount on a plate and checking that the batter “melts” into itself. If it doesn’t, give it a few more strokes and try it again.
Place macaron batter into a piping bag fit with a large, round tip and pipe small circles (about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches in diameter) onto your prepared baking sheets. Let macarons rest for at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until a hard shell has developed on the top. You can test this by carefully brushing your finger over a macaron. If it feels dry, you’re ready to go. If not, give it another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. Let cool completely before filling.
White Chocolate Whipped Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz chopped white chocolate (chips work fine here)
In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Pour hot cream over the white chocolate and let sit for 20 seconds. Stir to combine until smooth. Place ganache in the refrigerator until thickened, but still semi-pourable. Make sure to stir a few times during the process so the ganache is a uniform consistency throughout. Using an electric mixer, whip ganache until it is a thick, but pipeable consistency. Place ganache into a piping bag and pipe a small circle onto one macaron shell. Top it with a similar sized shell and squeeze together carefully.
Keep macarons in the refrigerator. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.