This isn't a typical post for me, because I don't do a lot of cooking that requires the use of so much sugar, but we celebrated a birthday (Bryan's) last week, and what's a birthday without something sweet?
The idea of macaron ice cream sandwiches seemed perfect to me, because we love macarons and we love ice cream.. but it also seemed a little daunting, as I've made macarons several times without a perfect batch. In fact, I usually have more cracked shells than perfect ones. So I did my research, and crossed my fingers, and ended up with three perfect macaron ice cream sandwiches.
I think I might have started a birthday tradition!
2 pints of ice cream
3/4 cup of almond flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
10 drops of food coloring
Empty your ice cream into a long rectangle shaped container (plastic container, baking dish, loaf pan, etc. anything will do, as long as it is long enough lengthwise to cut out three slices for the filling.) flattening and smoothing it so that it's an even surface. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place back into the freezer.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. (Be sure to use parchment paper, and not a rubber/silicone mat. I've tried this both ways, and I had better luck with parchment.)
Place a round tip on a pastry bag. (Mine don't have sizes, but I use the larger one that came in my assortment.) Set aside.
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate, large bowl beat egg whites until frothy. Slowly add the granulated sugar, and then beat until you have stiff peaks. This should take about 5 minutes.
Sift the almond/powdered sugar mixture on top of the egg whites, add the food coloring, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold until everything is combined. Using the spatula place the mixture into the pastry bag.
Pipe onto the parchment paper, making six circles, making sure they're all the same size. Leave space between each one, because the batter will spread just a little bit. Dip your finger in water and fix any imperfections to their shape. (Re-dip your finger as often as needed, if it's not wet it won't smooth them out.)
Let the shells dry before baking them. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the humidity. They should be dry enough so that when you run your finger across the top of one, it feels smooth. (You can wet your finger and smooth back out the shell if you mess it up testing for dryness.)
Heat oven to 325ºF. Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and allow the shells to cool completely, on the pan. Once they've cooled, remove from the parchment paper by lifting one corner of the paper, and then separate it from the shell, gently cupping the shell in your hand. Place the shell flat side down until you've removed them all from the parchment paper.
Remove ice cream from the freezer. Turn a glass cup upside down, and cut out a piece of the ice cream. Place it on one of the shells and top it with another shell. Repeat to make the other two sandwiches. Eat immediately, or freeze.
Makes 3 sandwiches.