Surprise your friends with this savory macaron, a twist on the traditionally sweet cookie with its mild crust and tangy center of feta, fresh tomatoes and basil. When you assemble them, be sure to spread the filling gently or even use a piping bag to prevent damaging the delicate meringue cookies.
- ¾ C (64 g) almond meal
- ¾ C (98 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 lg egg whites
- ¾ C (177 ml) water
- ¾ C (144 g) sugar
- 2 T (30 g) feta cheese
- 2 T (30 g) cream cheese
- 2 T (5 g) basil, finely chopped
- Few drops lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 med ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- Individual basil leaves (one per macaron)
Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a damp kitchen towel on counter. Place almond meal and confectioners’ sugar in medium bowl; stir to combine. Place 1 of the egg whites in another medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until firm shiny peaks form. Spoon into almond mixture, folding in gently to combine. Place remaining egg white in a medium bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Place water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium low heat, stirring frequently until sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil until mixture reaches a temperature of 245°F (120°C) on a candy thermometer. Very gradually pour sugar syrup into egg white, constantly beating with an electric mixer until shiny peaks form. Add almond mixture and gently fold in.
Spoon mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip and form 24 small disks about 2 inches across, leaving an inch of space in between. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and, leaving macarons on parchment paper, move paper to damp kitchen towel. Let cool to room temperature.
To make filling, place feta, cream cheese, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl, mashing with a fork to combine. Stir in tomatoes. To assemble, spread mixture thinly between 2 macarons.
Prep time: 38 minutes. Cook time: 12 minutes. Makes 12 servings.