I'd never ventured traditional macarons before this for fear that I'd screw up the batch and waste a lot of expensive almond meal. When I read about a success someone had using much-cheaper flaxmeal instead of almond meal, I immediately tried it, and it worked! With flax, these macarons have the same lovely chewy texture, but with some added graininess that I think makes them feel a bit more wholesome and homey--still very decadent with a filling of rich chocolate ganache! —Erika
15 macarons (~30 shells)
cream of tartar
your favorite frosting, for filling (I used a simple chocolate ganache)
Line a baking sheet with good-quality parchment paper.
Whisk together the granulated sugar and cream of tartar in a small bowl. Sift together the powdered sugar and flaxmeal (if you don't have a sifter, you can also use a blender to blend the ingredients.)
Add the egg whites to a clean medium-sized bowl (make sure there are no traces of grease!) and beat them on low speed until foamy. Slowly sprinkle the sugar mixture over the egg whites as you beat. Increase the speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form.
Gently fold in the flax mixture until completely incorporated, scooping from the bottom and rotating the bowl as you fold. Don't overmix or your macarons will turn out flat.
Add your batter to a piping bag with a round tip or just a plastic bag with the tip cut off. Pipe small, uniform circles of batter about an inch apart (they should only spread incrementally, if at all). Let rest at room temperature for an hour to allow the tops to dry out a bit--this will help create that macaron "foot".
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 12 minutes. I piped approximately 1 to 1.5-inch circles and 12 minutes was perfect for me. If yours are larger or smaller, keep an eye on them and adjust the baking time accordingly.
Let the macarons cool completely. You can pipe or dab dollops of frosting on one shell, then top with another shell.