Cap'n Crunch Macarons (and a Macaron Tutorial!!)
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Recipe type: Cookies
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 40
 
Macarons have a reputation for being tasty yet temperamental cookies. Take the complications out of making these fancy French confections by using my method -- and kick up the flavor a notch by using Cap'n Crunch cereal!!
Ingredients
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 ounces almond meal/flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 3.5 ounces Cap'n Crunch cereal
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Peanut butter, for filling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using your kitchen scale, weigh the almond meal and Cap'n Crunch cereal until it reads exactly 3.5 ounces. Pour both the almond meal and the whole cereal into a food processor or blender and pulverize the mixture until it is finely ground crumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the almond/cereal mixture. Spoon a cup or so of the mixture into a handheld sifter and sift the mixture over another separate bowl. Continue spooning and sifting the mixture. Eventually, you'll be left with what I call 'pebbles'--small particles of the mixture that are too coarse to grind up. Leave the pebbles until last, then mix whatever pebbles are leftover into the sifted mixture. I've found that sifting is essential as it removes the grittiness from the macarons. However, the pebbles only add a little texture and in my opinion, do NOT make the macarons gritty or grainy.
  4. Next, add a couple inches of water into a large saucepan and place the pan on medium-high heat. Once the water begins to simmer, drop the temperature to medium-low so it maintains a steady, slow simmer.
  5. Using a glass, heatproof bowl (I used the glass bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer), place the bowl over the simmering water, taking care to make sure the bowl does not touch the water underneath and does not fit into the bowl (the heat will seal the two together, so make sure your bowl is larger than the pot's mouth!!) Working quickly, add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl. Begin whisking the mixture feverishly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is frothy and pale yellow in color. Remove the bowl carefully from the heat.
  6. Either attach your bowl to your stand mixer or pour the egg white mixture into a stand mixer bowl and, on high speed using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg whites. This takes about a minute or two. Egg whites are done when they are light & fluffy with shiny, stiff peaks. TIP: if you drop your whisk attachment into the bowl and yank it back out, if the egg whites in the bowl remain spiky and stand straight up, it's perfect. If they kind of start to keel and fall, you may need to whip just a little more.
  7. Next, gently fold the sifted dry mixture into the egg whites. I like adding half of the dry mix first to incorporate, then adding the rest. Make sure you fold in the dry mix that sits at the bottom of the bowl as well. The mixture will look kinda gross looking-- that's okay. As long as it is thick, goopy and combined -- no dry particles-- it's good. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag attached with a frosting tip -- I like Atecco 807 which is a large open circle tip. You could also spoon the mixture into a Ziploc baggy, seal the air out, and snip off a corner of the baggy.
  8. Hold the frosting tip just barely off of the sheet and begin piping, counting to four as you pipe. I found that counting to four equals the perfect size for me-- just slightly larger than an American quarter. If you want your macarons more round or larger, continue piping. Gently and quickly lift your wrist, flicking it slightly, to stop the flow of macaron batter. You may have a "hump" on top of your macaron. You can let it sink back into the batter slightly with time, smooth it out gently with your finger or an offset spatula, or flick your wrist quicker to prevent the hump in the first place.
  9. Once the macarons have been piped on, allow them to sit on your stove top for about 5 minutes. This will help them get their shape prepped and help sink those humps back in if need be. After sitting, bake the macarons ONE SHEET AT A TIME for approx. 11-12 minutes per sheet. Macarons are done when they look light golden in color and have dull tops. Do not over bake. Remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the sheets before gently peeling away the parchment.
  10. Frost the macarons any way you desire -- for these, I very gently smeared some creamy peanut butter onto the macarons with a miniature offset spatula. You could also use canned frosting, make your own ganache, make your own buttercream, or use other spreads such as Nutella or Biscoff. Gently sandwich the cookie together to form the classic macaron sandwich, and serve! Macarons are best served the SAME DAY but can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer airtight up to a week. Just bring to room temperature before serving.
Recipe by The Domestic Rebel at https://thedomesticrebel.com/2013/12/17/capn-crunch-macarons-and-a-macaron-tutorial/