Pine Nut Macarons

Macarons with a subtle pine nut flavour and a peanut butter cream cheese filling. 

What happens when you run out of almonds for macarons! Use pine nuts! For some reason I have a huge stock of pine nuts in my kitchen from trips overseas, but no almonds at all. So came the pine nut macaron! I am a beginner to these little French bite-sized treats, and for the past few tries I've failed. Like horribly. No feet at all, no dried surface for hours, and not chewy on the inside.

Well this time, I think I've got the taste rite. These macarons are crunchy on the outside, but still chewy in the centre. One thing though, the feet is terribly inconsistent. Most of my macarons have feet, but only on one side. And there are cracks on almost all of the shells. 😟 I'll do my homework I'm hopefully the next try would be better. But, if you close your eyes and eat it, it will taste like a French macaron with a beautiful pine nut flavour. 

So a few notes before the recipe:
1) Beat the meringue till stiff peaks. It should clump up in the whisk attatchment in a stand mixer and you need to knock the meringue out of the whisk to get it out. It should form a stiff peak that stands straight when the beaters are lifted and should not fall into your hair when you lift the bowl over your head. 
2) Sift the ground nuts and icing sugar together well. 
3) Fold gently, in a scoop and press motion. Fold until thick ribbons form. It's better to underfold than to overfold! 
4) It's best to trace out circles on your parchment before piping to achieve macarons of the same size.
5) Tap the baking tray on your counter to release excess air bubbles.
6) Let the macarons stand at room temperature until the surface is matt and dry. For some reason, I have let my macarons stand for almost 2 hours but no skin has formed. This may have resulted in the cracks and uneven feet.
7) Bake the macarons at a low temperature (140-160 degrees celsius). A low temperature and longer baking time results in more uniform macarons. 
8) Let the macarons cool completely before lifting it off the parchment, otherwise the wetter bits will stick (even if you are using non-stick parchment). 
9) It's best to use a piping bag to fill, but a spoon or knife is fine. Make sure the filling is not too heavy, or it will squish the insides of the macaron. 

Good luck! 

Pine Nut Macarons with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling 

1 egg white, at room temperature 
50g icing sugar 
30g pine nuts 
30g castor sugar 
Gel food colouring 

In a food processor or small blender, pulse the pine nuts with icing sugar until fine. Sift the mixture, and pulse until all the icing sugar/pine nut mixture can pass through the sieve. 
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attatchment, whisk the egg white until foamy, then add the castor sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. 
Tip the sifted pine nut and icing sugar mixture into meringue and fold in a scoop and press motion, until the mixture forms thick ribbons when lifted. 
Pipe the mixture into even rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet and leave at room temperature for 20-60 minutes until the tops and dry and matt. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Bake 12 minutes, and cool before lifting the macarons from the parchment. 
Match the macaroons to size and fill. 

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