Chocolate Macaroons with Orange Ganache
- 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1/14 cups slivered almonds
- 3 Tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. egg whites ( about 3 lg. eggs)
- room temperature, whisked to loosen
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate( do not exceed 61@cocao) finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2"
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- Gold dust (optional) available at specialty foods stores and lusterdust.com
Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 325@. Line rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2" cutter to make circles on parchment paper 1" apart.
Pulse 1 cup powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor until nuts are very finely ground(but not to a paste). 60-90 seconds. Add cocoa powder and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar; process to blend well. Sift mixture through a medium mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard larger almond pieces remaining in strainer.(if more than 1 Tbsp. remains, pulse nuts again in processor and re-sift).
Using an electric mixer, beat 1/3 cup egg whites in a medium bowl on medium speed until white and frothy, about 1 min. With mixer on med.low speed, gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar by tablespoons, increase speed to med. high;beat until firm peaks form.
Stir in remaining 3 Tbsp egg whites. Fold meringue into dry ingred. in 2 additions, mixing well between additions.
Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4" tip(Alternatively, spoon into a gallon plastic freezer bag, then cut 1/4" off a corner of bag) Twist top of bag and pipe quarter size rounds onto two sheets. Rap about 4 times on table and let stand until tops appear dry, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until puffed and dry, about 16 minutes. Slide cookies on parchment onto a wire rack. Let cool completely' If any batter is left over use a third sheet with parchment.
Ganache: Place chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Remove from heat; stir in orange zest, cloves, allspice and salt. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and butter; whisk until smooth. Ref. until firm, about 20 min. Spoon ganache into a 1/4" tip. Pipe about 1 tsp. ganache on flat side of 1 cookie, leaving 1/4"-1/8" plain border. Top with second cookie. Layer in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper and ref. overnight.
Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chhilled. Let return to room temperature before serving.