Are vegan cookies healthy? (Not usually)
Will vegan cookies help you lose weight? (No)
Should you really be eating sugar? (Stop judging me.)
Are vegan cookies yummy? (Usually)
Are vegan cookies fun to make and look at? (Yes!)
Is aquafaba magic? (You betcha!)
Aquafaba??? (It’s a vegan thing.)
Aquafaba is the liquid drained–and usually discarded–from a can of chickpeas. (It is NOT the liquid leftover from soaking dried chickpeas.) And even if it is a vegan thing, everyone should know about it, because it’s so useful and fun. (If you like playing with your food.)
Oh, you thought things like macarons and lemon meringue pie were only for non-vegans. You were wrong, you lucky, lucky thing!
Vegan Raspberry Lemon French Macarons
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons aquafaba*
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
- ½ cup superfine/castor sugar**
- 5 drops vegan red food coloring
- 3 drops lemon oil
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 9 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan "Butter" Stick, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 3 drops lemon oil
- 5 drops vegan red food coloring
- 25 raspberries (or red raspberry jam to taste)***
- Prepare your Aquafaba. You will get the amount of aquafaba you need from a large, 25-ounce can of chickpeas. Drain 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of aquafaba from the can into a small saucepan. Reserve the chickpeas for another use and discard any extra chickpea "juice." Bring the aquafaba to a simmer and reduce the liquid until you have ½ cup. Pour it into a covered container to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
- Sift the almond flour and castor/superfine sugar into a bowl, and mix the two ingredients well together using a fork. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the (reduced, cold) aquafaba, cream of tartar and salt on high until it resembles frothy, whipped egg whites, about 3 minutes. No liquid should remain in the bottom of the mixing bowl and soft peaks should hold steady.
- Gradually add the castor sugar to the whipped aquafaba while the mixer is turned on. Add red food coloring and lemon extract, continuing to whisk on high for another minute. The resulting mixture should be a thick, glossy meringue. Turn the mixer off and remove the bowl.
- Add half the almond flour/castor-superfine sugar mixture into the meringue, and fold gently with spatula until it is incorporated. Add the second half of almond flour/castor-superfine sugar mixture, and fold it into the batter. There is no need to be too gentle with this, but don't go crazy either. Fold until the mixture resembles thick lava. At the right consistency, a dollop of batter will gradually smooth out on a flat surface into a nice round shape, with only small peaks forming on top. The batter should NOT be at all runny.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle with macaron mixture and pipe into 1½-inch to 2-inch rounds (depending how big you like them) on a silpat or silicone-baking-paper-lined mat. Leave about 1 inch in between each cookie, as they will spread slightly upon baking.
- Once piped, smack the baking sheet down on the kitchen counter to eliminate any air bubbles in the piped, unbaked cookies. Leave the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies to rest in a cool area for 2-3 hours. They are ready to bake when they turn from glossy to matt and you can gently touch the surface of the shells without stickiness.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Bake each tray of macarons individually (ONE TRAY AT A TIME) for 28-30 minutes, without opening the oven door. Smaller macarons or ovens may take slightly more or less than 30 minutes. This may require trial and error, but I find 30 minutes is a good estimate.
- Once 30 minutes is up, leave the macarons in the oven for another 15 minutes without opening the door. After 15 minutes, open the oven door slightly and leave macarons in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove tray from oven and leave to cool thoroughly before peeling macaron shells from the baking sheet.
- Repeat baking process with remaining baking sheets of unbaked macarons.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the softened, vegan "butter" with the powdered sugar, lemon extract and red food coloring until fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Set the bag aside.
- Wash and dry the raspberries.
- To assemble, place the cookie shells on a kitchen counter or tray with the bottom side up (rounded side down).
- Pipe a ring of buttercream around the base of a macaron and place a whole raspberry in the empty circle inside your buttercream. Alternatively, you may use raspberry jam (1/8 teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon-sized dollop of jam in the middle of each cookie).
- Store macarons in a box in the refrigerator. The cookies should keep for a few days.
- Macarons are best served at room temperature or at least 10 minutes out of the refrigerator.
**You may not be able to find "castor sugar" or "superfine sugar" in your grocery store. You can get the right sugar consistency here, by running regular, granular sugar through a mini food process or high-speed blender for several seconds until it appears powdery.
***If you do not have fresh raspberries, you may use raspberry jam. Each cookie will require ⅛ teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon-sized dollops of jam.
A Little Advice: With Pictures
THIS is what happens when you whip up chickpea juice (aquafaba) straight from the can! (This recipe calls for you to cook down the aquafaba before putting together your cookies. That’s just for this recipe.) Even if you throw the aquafaba into a blender for whipping, it will turn out approximately like this (in appearance anyway). If you like, you may stop right here and plop it onto your coffee for a latte-like treat. And no, it really doesn’t taste like anything. But if you taste a hint of chickpea–I know some people are very sensitive tasters–add a little powdered sugar to taste and just see what happens then! Goodness!!!
This is after I added sugar:
This is after I added the almond flour and more sugar:
Here’s how to fill ’em!
I did these cookies three times, on three different baking days. The first time, I didn’t add enough food coloring:
This time, I added enough food coloring, but I didn’t let the cookie “shells” dry enough time before baking. Let the piped shells sit around for a good 2-3 hours while you do other stuff. They’ll turn out much better!
Here, I hit magic, doing everything in the recipe as instructed. And by the way, my inspiration (with alterations came from My Crazy Vegan Kitchen and a recipe called Raspberry Rose Vegan Macarons (Using Aquafaba).
I’m standing in front of a rhododendron bush.
I’m taking a bite right in front of the rhododendron bush.
I just realized I have very little occasion to type the word rhododendron.
I think I did pretty well!
Also, I love macarons.