Double Chocolate Macaroons

This week I came down with the worst flu since I can remember, and I didn’t cook or bake a single thing…. [unless frozen chicken nuggets and corn dogs count!] :-/ Then this weekend my 3-year old Braden was asking for some candy and I realized the poor little guy hasn’t eaten anything yummy all week long, so I started looking through my cupboards, which of course were completely bare because I haven’t been able to do any shopping in a while. Then on display in my kitchen was a Wiliams Sanoma cookbook all about chocolate, and as I started flipping through it, I found this recipe for double chocolate macaroons that looked SO heavenly, and I knew it was time to get back to baking and blogging- and filling my family’s bellies with good stuff. They were pretty simple to make, but looked so elegant, and tasted seriously delicious!!! I will be making macaroons of every kind after trying this recipe! And here it is:

Ingredients
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup (4 oz) firmly packed slivered almonds, finely ground in a food processor
2-3 drops almond extract
{chocolate filling}
4 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 baking trays, lined with non stick parchment paper

Directions:
Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a  double broiler (or glass bowl on top of a saucepan of steaming water). Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Let cool while making the rest of the mixture. Put the egg whites into an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar to make a thick, glossy meringue. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the ground almonds, almond extract and chocolate and blend well. Put 1 Tbsp of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and spread into a 2-inch disk. Repeat with the remaining mixture, spacing well apart.

Bake in a preheated oven at 300degF for 30 minutes until just firm. Remove from the oven and let cool on the trays for about 2 minutes or until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cold, peel the macaroons away from the parchment paper and dust with powdered sugar.

To make the filling, put the white chocolate and cream into a double broiler and heat very gently, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, let cool, then beat in an electric mixer until thickened. Use to sandwich the macaroons together and set aside for at least 1 hour before serving.
What I also LOVE about this recipe is that they’re GLUTEN FREE! I have a brother in law with siliacs, so it makes me happy to stumble upon a good gluten free dessert that I can have on hand for when he visits. Usually gluten free recipes aren’t as good, but I would take these cookies over a bakery style chocolate chip, any day! They’re light, yet rich and chocolately and creamy…. and just the perfect balance of everything delicious. Needless to say I had one very happy little guy!!

Hope you are all having a nice relaxing sunday with your family and friends and good food!
<3 Sarah