After making our raspberry meringue cookies, and being pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to make, I decided to tackle a similar meringue-based cookie that even the most experienced home bakers tend to balk at.
When looking around at different recipes, I was a bit grossed out at how often artifical colours and flavours were added to homemade macaron recipes, and I wanted to come up with a naturally coloured and flavoured macaron recipe that would still hit all of the requirements for a “true macron”:
- glossy, smooth shell
- the “little foot” at the base of the cookie
- airy, chewy texture inside with a soft crunch exterior
These natural raspberry macarons definitely hit all of those marks, plus I think the more developed flavour from using real fruit elevates these among some of their artificially-enhanced cookie peers.
I’ve also successfully used raspberry compote in this recipe but I’ve taken out that suggestion because the success really depends on the consistency of the compote and the reported experiences in the comments using that method seemed mixed.
You’re going to want to make these on a cool or at least not humid day. Here in Canada, that doesn’t happen too often in the summer, so we cranked up the air conditioning a couple of hours before starting this recipe. Humidity or undue heat during the preparation stage will result in disaster for the cookies.
Even if the meringue cookies don’t turn out perfectly in terms of shape, they will still be delicious and you can always add any truly appalling cookies to an Eton Mess dessert – in fact, I kind of think that’s where the idea for the Eton Mess came from; hiding the failed attempts of a batch of meringue cookies!
Pay careful attention to the small details in this recipe – things like tapping the baking sheet before putting it in the oven, or cooling the cookies off of the baking sheet are especially important when making homemade macarons.