Gluten-Free Cookies and Cream Macarons
Somehow I blinked and now am more than halfway through the semester. With limited kitchen access and homework up to my ears, I barely even have time to procrasti-bake. SOS! But with my occasional trips home, I have been able to squeeze in an excessive amount of baking into very little time.
So unlike most people who were likely spending their fall break relaxing or studying for midterms, I was hard at work in the kitchen baking for hours at a time. And just FYI, I am not welcome at home unless I make gluten-free macarons for my sisters in addition to bringing them home gluten-free Gigi’s Cupcakes. Clearly, they only use me for my baked goods…
But to appease they’re needy sweet-teeth I decided to mix it up and come up with a completely new macaron recipe. Though I made this recipe with the intention of making it completely gluten-free, it would be just as delicious with regular Oreos. For those who are gluten-free, I used Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme cookies and actually found that these honestly taste exactly like Oreos. But, if you’re lucky enough to not be affected by gluten, go ahead and grab yourself a regular pack of Oreos and let’s get started!
Like I mentioned before while making the French toast macs, macarons are not as difficult as they appear, I promise! But I will say, that they do truly take practice to make perfect. I have taken many completely flat macarons out of the oven before I ever yielded a perfect batch. While you may need to fail a few times before succeeding, the key to the best macarons is precision in measuring. Because macarons require such exact measurements, for this recipe I have provided the weight for each ingredient instead of the cup measurements. It may seem a little different at first, but trust me once you start to bake with a scale, you’ll never go back. I swear it decreases the amount of dishes significantly!
To start, line a couple of baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats. I highly recommend baking mats, but parchment will work just as well. First, separate the cookies and scrape all the creme filling into one bowl and the cookies into another. Put the cookies in a food processor and grind to get crumbs as small as possible. This is extremely important! The crumbs will need to be small enough to fit through a sieve. You may need to put the crumbs back into the food processor a few times to get them small enough, but they should get there eventually.
Sift together almond meal and powdered sugar along with the 40 g of cookie crumbs into a large bowl. The crumbs may require some assistance to get through the sieve. I used the back of a spoon to force the crumbs through.
In a separate bowl, use a stand or hand mixer on high to whip the room temperature egg whites on high until foamy. If your eggs are straight from the fridge, placing the eggs in a bowl of hot water warms them up pretty quickly. Once foamy, about a minute, gradually add the granulated sugar and continue whipping on high for about 4-5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. This will also work with a hand mixer, but it will take a lot longer. Just have patience and it’ll whip up eventually, I promise!
Use a rubber spatula to fold egg whites into the dry mixture and continue folding until it flows in a slow, continuous ribbon from the spatula. This part is key to the macarons turning out well. When you lift up the spatula, the batter shouldn’t fall off in chunks. If this happens, you need to continue to fold the batter together.
Place the batter in a piping bag fitted with a circle tip. Pipe 1 1/2” circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Sift some extra cookie crumbs over the piped circles for decoration, if desired. Before putting the macs in the oven, let them sit out for at least an hour to dry out. After an hour, your finger should come away clean when you touch the tops of each macaron.
In the meantime, prepare the macaron fillings for later. For the creme filling, simply take the creme center fillings and use a stand or hand mixer to rewhip the creme and make it lighter. For the cookie butter filling, pulse together 140 g cookie crumbs, milk and butter until it comes together in a paste. Put both fillings in separate piping bags.
Bake the macarons in a 300-degree oven for about 15-16 minutes. You can tell that the macarons are done if you gently touch the top of the macaron shell and it doesn’t smoosh down at all. Allow shells to completely cool.
To assemble, pipe a circle of the creme filling around the inside of one shell and pipe a dollop of the cookie butter inside the circle. Then sandwich with another shell. Voila!!! You now have delicious macarons that may just be even more delicious than Oreos themselves.
- If you don’t have a food processor, no worries! I made this in my dorm kitchen and beat up the cookies in a large ziploc bag with a rolling pin until they were the right size. It may take a bit more time, but it still works! If you don’t have a rolling pin, a wine bottle will also work.
- You also don’t need a food processor for the cookie butter either. Simply pour the crumbs in a bowl with the other ingredients and mix!