Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snowmen Macarons

This Christmas, instead of going out and buying sweets, I decided to make them for my colleagues. This was the weekend to make them as some of my coworkers start their holiday next week (including myself)!

I knew I wanted to make macarons again, they're quite the hit in our area, we've even celebrated birthdays with macarons instead of cupcakes lately! Now, to look for festive macaron ideas, I browsed a number of blogs before coming across these from Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes (an amazing blog - go check it out). Ridiculously cute, right?

French Meringue Macarons
Recipe from Macarons
(Makes about 48 snowmen macarons)

2 3/4 cups of almond flour
2 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of egg whites (from 6-7 eggs)
A pinch of salt
3/4 cups of granulated sugar.
  1. The first step in making successful macarons is to age your egg whites. Yes, we know, this sounds odd, but follow these strict instructions! So separate your egg whites 2-3 days before baking. Store them in the refrigerator - covered. Two hours before you start making your macarons, take the egg whites out of the refrigerator, uncover them, and let them come to room temperature. That's not too difficult! Just keep this in mind during your planning stage.
  2. Next, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. If you have a food processor, put both ingredients in to create as fine as a texture as possible. This helps create smooth macarons.
  3. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk the egg whites with the salt. Pour the granulated sugar in three stages. Dumping it all in can deflate the egg whites, so you want to add a little bit at a time. When the egg whites reach stiff peaks, you're done!
  4. Fold the sifted almond flour and sugar with the egg whites. You want to end up with a smooth batter that creates a ribbon when you lift it up from your spatula.
  5. When the batter is ready, fill your piping bag and pipe the body of the snowmen on parchment paper. Then go back and add the head of the snowmen. Carefully tap your tray against the table or counter to eliminate air bubbles.
  6. Add three silver dragées for buttons as the macarons are resting. Let them rest in room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 300°F (325°F for non-convection oven, the cookbook recommends using a convection oven because of the even distribution of heat).
  8. Bake your first tray of macarons for 14 minutes. After the first five minutes, open the oven doors to let out some of the steam.
  9. When they're done, let them cool for 5 minutes and then gently peel the macarons off the parchment paper.
Snowmen with silver buttons and feet!

Phew! Adding the decoration on top of the macaron batter was a first, so I'm glad that worked out!

After the macarons were cooled and rested, I used my handy orange edible ink pen to draw on the carrot noses.

Then, using the black edible ink pen for the eyes and mouth.

Look at them! I filled these bad boys with vanilla pastry cream!

Vanilla Pastry Cream
Recipe from Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(Makes enough to fill each macaron, with leftovers)

2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  1. Flatten the vanilla bean and slice it open with a sharp knife. Peel the bean open and scrape the seeds out with the knife. 
  2. In a small pot, bring the milk with the vanilla bean with scrapings to a boil, set it aside to cool for 10 minutes; remove bean. 
  3. Fill a large bowl with cold water (or ice). 
  4. In a medium sized pan or small pot, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. 
  5. Place the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil, whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes. Set the bowl in the ice bath or cold water and stir until the temperature reaches 140°F (60°C) on an instant-read thermometer. 
  6. Stir in the butter. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Here's the second tray!

Gosh, they're really cute.

I only did a round macaron for the back of the snowmen. I think I should have made the full body for the back too.

Next time!

Here are some happy snowmen frolicking in the snow.

These ones don't look as happy.

Nor do these, a big snowstorm would mean getting covered up!

To package up my snowmen macarons, I went to find cute little take-out boxes. There were so many festive boxes to choose from, but I thought these Santa ones were really eye-catching!

Carefully tucking the macarons in with parchment paper. Everyone gets five! Is five enough?

I had extra snowmen macarons, so I placed them in sandwich bags and twist-tied them. It wasn't difficult to find homes for these ones in the office.

Disclaimer: This year, A Baked Creation is partnering up with Robin Hood®, who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of their annual Holiday Recipe Collection. They were kind enough to send us a baking package and it included the silver dragées!

So glad we could put them to good use already! Here's to the first of many baking memories this season!

12 comments:

  1. Love the idea! Cheers for that and happy holiday to you :)

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  2. These are just about the cutest macarons I've seen! :)

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  3. Wow wow wow wow! It is so wonderful! Such a cool idea!^^ And I have Christmas mood when I see it! Well done:)

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  4. Quick question: at which oiint in the baking did you inserted the silver buttons?
    Thank you so much!

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  5. Oh my gosh, these are ridiculously adorable! I need to give macarons a try...

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  6. These are so cute, I absolutely love them.

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  7. these are sooo cute! what a brilliant idea!!! so much effort and what fabulous photos!

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  8. Cutest cookie I've seen this Christmas!! I'm gonna make them this week. So stinking cute, and you know those Macarons are soooooo dang tasty. Good mix. Thanks for the fun idea:)

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  9. Adorable! Macarons scare me but these would be worth giving a shot just so I can draw on the cute little faces!

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  10. I saw these on FG and just had to come tell you that they are the cutest things I have ever seen!!! Love this idea :) Happy Holidays!

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  11. Aim Aris, happy holidays to you too! :)

    ThisGirlBlogs, aww thanks! :)

    Isis, I'm glad you're in a Christmas mood now! :)

    Hi Mike, I placed the silver buttons on after piping the macarons out and before they went into the oven. Hope this helps!

    Ashley, do it! I'll be happy to help and answer questions along the way!

    Natalie, thank you!

    julianaloh (@bilbaobab), many thanks!

    The Clawsons, yay! Can't wait to see them!

    Janine Eshelbrenner, give it a try!

    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen, thank you! Happy holidays to you too!

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  12. Awesome macarons. We are always looking for new ideas.

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