Smoked Salmon and Sesame Seed Macaron

You've heard of macarons for dessert, but as an appetizer? Your friends will be every bit as intrigued. This savory take on the traditionally sugary recipe combines sesame seed-spiked batter with a center of smoked salmon, shallots, and creme fraiche.

  • Yield: Makes about 75

Photography: YunHee Kim

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2011

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, ground in spice grinder, plus whole seeds for decorating
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • Smoked-Salmon Creme Fraiche

Directions

  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar, almond flour, and the ground black sesame seeds in a food processor until well combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in a mixer bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, and add granulated sugar about 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth and shiny.

  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco No. 802), and pipe 1 1/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Sprinkle whole sesame seeds on the tops of half the cookies. Tap the bottom of each baking sheet on a work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, until a crust forms on top of the macarons.

  4. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, 10 to 11 minutes.

  5. Let macarons cool on baking sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, lift parchment and spray water onto hot baking sheet underneath; the steam will help release them.)

  6. Just before serving, assemble macarons: Spread chopped salmon on the undersides of the plain cookies (about 1/4 teaspoon for each). Place creme fraiche in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip, and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon onto the underside of each sesame-seed-topped cookie; sandwich it with a plain one.

Cook's Notes

To store macarons, stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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