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. Ridiculously cute, right?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Add three silver dragées for buttons as the macarons are resting. Let them rest in room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
- 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).
- 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.
- When they're done, let them cool for 5 minutes and then gently peel the macarons off the parchment paper.
Phew! Adding the decoration on top of the macaron batter was a first, so I'm glad that worked out!
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
- Flatten the vanilla bean and slice it open with a sharp knife. Peel the bean open and scrape the seeds out with the knife.
- 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.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water (or ice).
- In a medium sized pan or small pot, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk.
- 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.
- Stir in the butter. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
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.
five! Is five enough?
ones in the office.
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!