Bake Sale Macarons

Since my son started kindergarten, I've been a bit overwhelmed with the numerous activities at my son's school. Parent meetings, fundraisers and social events seem like they happen every other day. Ok, maybe that is an exaggeration but there is lots of activity at my son's school which I wish I had the time and energy to be involved in. But, I did volunteer as a room parent and I'm learning the ropes as quickly as I can.

Jelo, my kindergartner, said to me the other day, "Mommy, why don't you volunteer in my class like the other mommies do?" His question broke my heart. As much as I wish I could volunteer time in his classroom, I had to explain, "I have to work, baby, so we have a house, food, and get to do all the fun things we do. I can't be there in the classroom with you but I can do things from home like send emails, make flyers, and bake for your fundraisers. Is that OK?" He responded "OK, mom..." and gave me a big hug!

So, with the the school's Fall Carnival coming this Friday, I got a head start on my baking with some macarons I made this evening.

My favorite macaron recipe is from Martha Stewart. It's super easy!

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar

Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

For the filling, I used a Chocolate Ganache recipe from All Recipes:Recipe makes 2 cups
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before putting into the macarons.

I can't wait to share these yummy goodies at Jelo's Fall Carnival this Friday! I hope this will be the first of many bake sales for my boys and I!