Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Festive Macarons

More macarons Sylvia? Really?

Yes, I know. I'm going crazy over macarons this year. I made some more to bring to a holiday party and I'm loving how I can customize and decorate these delicate cookies.
French Meringue Macarons
Recipe from Macarons
(Makes about 40-50 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. Separate your egg whites 2-3 days before baking. Cover and store them in the refrigerator. 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.
  2. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. If you have a food processor, put both ingredients in to create as fine as a texture as possible. This helps create smooth macaron shells.
  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, turn the mixer off.
  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 circles on the parchment paper.
  6. Carefully tap your tray against the table or counter to eliminate air bubbles.
  7. After piping, add the sprinkles on top. Let the macarons rest in room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 300°F (325°F for non-convection oven, although convection oven are preferred for macarons).
  9. 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.
  10. When they're done, let them cool for 5 minutes and then gently peel the macarons off the parchment paper.
If you need some  macaron tutorials or visuals, check out the three videos that Mardi of eat. live. travel. write. made. She shows the three main stages of making macarons: whipping the egg whites, folding the batter, and piping the macarons. Chances are, one of those sections are where most people get stuck!
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 the vanilla 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.
  7. Fill a piping bag with the pastry cream to pipe.
Top tier: I made holly using three red confetti sprinkles. For the holly leaves, I used two tree sprinkles.
Bottom tier: I simply placed red, green, and white confetti sprinkles on the macarons - this one is the easiest as they'll look festive no matter what.
You can go an even simpler route and place one festive icon in the middle of the macaron, here I chose the Christmas tree.

Something even easier, add some coloured sugar sprinkles in a line or waves. I did a few in red, green, and white which creates a nice shimmer and adds a crunchy texture to your macaron.

A tip, do not use jimmies or nonpareils, the colour on these will bleed off and smudge the look or design you're going for. Probably any kind of sprinkle that looks glossy will not work, stick to the matte ones! Happy macaron designing!