Almond Flour Brownies

Ok super quick post about Almond Flour. They make delicious brownies. I need to to by some almond flour so I can make these (and lots of other things)

Almond Flour Brownies

Almond meal, almond flour or ground almond is made from ground sweet almonds. Almond flour is usually made with blanched almonds (no skin), whereas almond meal can be made both with whole or blanched almonds. The consistency is more like corn meal than wheat flour. Almond meal has recently become important in baking items for those on low carbohydrate diets. It adds moistness and a rich nutty taste to baked goods. Items baked with almond meal tend to be calorie-dense. Lots of gluten free bakeries use almond flour in their brownies and cakes because it is gluten free and does give it a nice nutty taste. 

Ingredients

(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules(optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 7oz semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate, divided OR 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix together the almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate or a scant 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the vegan butter.
  4. White the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and coffee granules if using.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated. Don’t go too fast so that the raw eggs don’t cook upon contact.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour the batter in an 8 x 8 pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate and gently press it into the batter.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before cutting in. YOU NEED TO LET THE BROWNIES COOL COMPLETELY.

Ok. Almond flour! GO GET SOME! It’s good for you! :) YAY!

Chocolate Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream Filling

What is a macaron? A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies.

The macarons are completely gluten free and start with a paste made with almond flour, cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar. They have a unique taste and are definitely a change from the ordinary chocolate chip cookie.

Chocolate Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups almond meal
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 large egg whites, divided and at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Sift together almond meal (finely ground almonds), confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add in two egg whites and stir mixture, preferably using an electric mixer, until it comes together into a very thick dough. This may take a minute or two, and the dough will be thick.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring granulated sugar and water to a rolling boil. Boil for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl, beat remaining two egg whites until frothy. When sugar mixture comes to a boil, beat egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer on medium speed, drizzle the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites very slowly until all of the syrup has been incorporated and you have a thick, fluffy meringue.
  5. Take 1/3 of the meringue mixture and stir it into the chocolate paste with the electric mixer. Fold in remaining meringue in two or three additions.
  6. Transfer batter to a piping bag (or plastic bag) with an approx 1 cm opening. Pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets to form 1-inch discs (approx 1 tbsp per disc); batter will spread slightly after piping. Leave about 1-inch between discs on the baking sheet.
  7. Once all of the batter has been piped out, let the macarons sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to form a “skin” that will give them a smooth, shiny top during baking.
  8. While the macarons sit, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  9. Bake macarons for about 12 minutes, until the tops are set and macarons have risen. 
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. The bottoms of the macarons may be slightly tacky and it is best to use a metal spatula to slide them off.
  11. Once macaron shells are completely cool, sandwich them together with about 1 teaspoon of buttercream filling. There is no need to be exact with this measurement, just so long as there is a thin layer between each pair of cookies.
  12. Cookies are at their peak on the day they are made, but can be stored at room temperature for several days (the cookies will become slightly chewier as they age).

These little delights are definitely worth the preparation and the wait. Remember patience is a virtue. And chocolate macarons are delicious! :)

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.