Easter Macarons

 

You know what I love?! Easter!!! Not only are the pastel colors and blooming flowers just the cutest, but it really is the most important holiday of them all. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter spent with family and friends, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Also, I hope you make these macarons because macarons are always the best, and these ones are oh so cute. I chose to stick with a vanilla shell for all of these and just switch up the food colorings. The filling could be absolutely anything your heart desires: buttercream frosting, a jam spread, chocolate ganache…the possibilities are truly endless.

Whichever flavor you choose, your guests are sure to be impressed by your mad pastry skills. However, French macarons tend to be a bit on the tricky side. When I first attempted these, they were an utter disaster. I had expected my pastries to turn out like those from Laduree, but it took tons of research and trying-and-failing to finally perfect my own recipe. While practice is always what makes perfect, I have come up a few tips that help to make these bad boys wonderful regardless of how experienced you are with macarons.

  1. Use stainless steel cookie sheets. Do not use a stone or thick sheet; if you do, the cookies will not be able to cook all the way through.
  2. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together to get all that you can through the sieve. Run whatever was too clumpy the first time through a food processor and sift again. Repeat this process until the flour & powdered sugar mixture is all fine.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the egg white mixture. This will give the egg whites strength and make them more voluminous.
  4. After piping the macarons onto the baking sheet, let them sit for 15-30 minutes or until you can touch the top of them without the batter sticking.

egg macaronsEaster Macarons

yields: 12-24 cookies, depending on size    prep time: 1 hour     cook time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:

For the macarons:

  • 1 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caramel extract (can also substitute vanilla extract)
  • optional: 2-3 drops of GEL food coloring (do not use liquid as it will mess up the texture)

For the royal icing: 

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup water
  • optional: 2-3 drops of GEL food coloring**

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F and prepare two baking sheets with silicon mats. If you do not have silicon mats, parchment paper will work fine.
  2. Blend powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor (be sure not to do it to fast or it will create unwanted moisture and make the two stick together instead of a fine, dry powder) and sift through a sieve. If some of the mixture is too clumpy to go through the sieve, blend it in the food processor a second time.
  3. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly add the granulated sugar until stiff, shiny peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Sift the almond flour mixture into the egg whites and gently fold the mixtures together with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the food coloring and extracts. Be careful to not over-mix; only stir until the flour mixture is completely dissolved by the egg white mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe the batter into rounds on the baking sheet leaving an inch between each round.
  6. Let the cookies sit for about 15-30 minutes, or until they are no longer sticky to the touch, before putting them into the oven.
  7. While you are waiting for the cookie batter to set, prepare your royal icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg white and powdered sugar at low speed. Add the water. Once everything is fully combined, speed the mixer up to medium-high and mix until shiny, stiff peaks form. About 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring as desired and set aside.
  8. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, turning the baking sheet around halfway through.
  9. Let the cookies cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
  10. Fill with your favorite filling (frosting, jam, ganache, etc.), decorate with the royal icing like Easter eggs or baby chicks, and enjoy!

*Separate the royal icing into different bowls in order to make different colors for decorating

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