French Macarons are one of my favorite cookies to make for Easter. They add such a beautiful array of colors to my dessert table. I usually make quite a few batches in different flavors/pastels two weeks before Easter, then freeze them until the day of the party. It is always nice to have one less thing to put in the oven and prepare on Easter Sunday!
Many people are too afraid to make Macarons, but what they do not understand is that they are really not that difficult. Unlike many recipes that suggest you age your egg whites, I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter. In fact, I take the eggs directly out of the fridge (or even straight from my chicken’s coop) and whip them up into a very, very stiff peak.
I find that the most important step in the whole process is to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal because it is ground from whole, blanched sweet almonds and doesn’t clump. Once sifted and folded into the stiff egg whites, the batter is smooth resulting in perfectly flat macarons.
I absolutely love the robin’s egg specks on Easter candy, so I thought I would turn these into Robin’s Egg Macarons. To do this, I simply put a but of brown food coloring on a plate. I then took a small clean and unused paint brush and dipped it into the dye. I flicked the brush a few times over the macarons and voila… speckled Easter macarons. Aren’t they cute?!?
French Macarons make wonderful cake toppers too. And since we are on the subject of Easter, a carrot cake is a must! Armed with the right ingredients, carrot cake is one of the easiest cakes to make and very difficult to mess up! Once again, Bob’s Red Mill flour is my preferred baking flour. Their Unbleached All-Purpose Flour is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods. This flour is a must have in your pantry as it is incredibly versatile and perfect for all of your baking needs. Get a coupon here and stock up now! Enjoy!
- Macaron Shell:
- 90 grams egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
- 25 gram (2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 gr (1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons) powdered sugar
- 110 (3/4 cup) Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal
- Although the recipe provides measurements, I find that the macarons turn out much better when the ingredients are weighed.
- Separate your egg whites into the bowl of your mixer.
- Sift almond flour and powdered sugar. This really breaks up the powdered sugar and makes for a smooth shell.
- Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Put your egg whites and gel food coloring (I usually do 2 knife tips worth of food coloring) and beat on medium until it is foamy. Turn your mixer on low and gradually add the sugar and extract. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on high until hard/stiff peaks form.
- Carefully Fold in your almond flour/powder sugar mix into the egg whites gently, until completely mixed.
- Fit your pastry bag with a round tip (Ateco #807 or #809). I put the pastry bag into a tall cup and fold the sides over. It makes it easier to fill.
- Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This enables the shell to harden and will create the “foot” while baking.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees or 280 degrees for a conventional oven. Bake for 18 -20 min, however you need to rotate the pan halfway through the baking process.
- Allow to thoroughly cool before filling.
- Use a matching colored buttercream, chocolate ganache, fruit preserves, or lemon curd to fill your macarons.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month. Defrost 30 minutes before serving.
- Carrot Cake
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Unbleached All-Purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped nuts , optional
- Silky Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 ounces unsalted butter , softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine oil and sugars, beating until well blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
- Sift dry ingredients together and add to batter gradually.
- Beat until smooth.
- Add carrots and nuts. Beat 30 seconds.
- Bake cakes for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
- To make the Silky Cream Cheese Icing, beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Turn mixer to low and beat in powdered sugar, add vanilla.
- Beat on high for 5 minutes.
- Once the cakes are cool, frost.
- Top with colored shredded coconut or edible grass, speckled french macarons, and extra Robin's Eggs.
- Enjoy within 2 days.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.