I know that I said that I'd blog about the Southern Dinner Party in my Mini Moon Pie post, but since the Olympics ends today, I decided to do an Olympics themed post instead. But don't worry; the Southern party photos and details will definitely come another day.
But before I talk about the Olympics, I first want to let you all know that I'll be starting medical school at the end of this month! I'm super excited :D. And I intend to keep this blog running even after school starts. That's partially the reason I've been MIA here this past month. I'll be living in the dorms for my first year, which means not having my own kitchen, so I've been baking like crazy, taking advantage of the kitchen at home, preparing back-up posts in case I really won't have access to a kitchen in the coming months. So hakuna matata :).
Back to the Olympics. Did you all watch them? My favorite events are always gymnastics and swimming but this year I've discovered that I also like pole vaulting and synchronized diving. I set out to bake something simple but Olympics themed and somehow ended up making Olympic ring macarons :P. Technically these are more meringues since they didn't form feet, but since I used a macaron recipe, I'm going to stick to calling them macarons. I also made individual rings with the leftover batter and they ended up with feet, so go figure. Keep these in mind for Sochi '14 and Rio '16!
your favorite macaron recipe
red, blue, yellow, green, black gel food coloring
your macaron filling of choice
Copy and paste the image above into a word processor like MS Word (you should get at least six copies of the image to fit on one page if you stretch the page margins). Print it out and set it aside for now.
Prepare the dry ingredients (powdered sugar and ground almonds) for your favorite macaron recipe. Divide the mixture evenly into five bowls. Whip the egg whites and sugar according to your recipe. Divide the mixture into five, placing a portion into each of the five bowls of dry ingredients. Add a few drops of the gel food coloring into the five bowls, one color per bowl.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients according to your recipe and you should end up with five different colored macaron batters. Place each into a plastic piping bag. Tear a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet and place it on a flat surface, placing the olympic ring print-out underneath as a stencil.
Cut a small hole at the tip of each piping bag and follow the print-out to pipe the different colored rings. Tear out more parchment paper when you run out of space. Once you've used half of the batter, flip over the print-out and continue piping out olympic ring macarons with the ring colors going in the opposite direction for the bottom of the macarons.
(As an alternative, you could pipe out individual ring macarons. Instead of the print-out, place a sheet covered with 1-inch diameter circles underneath your parchment paper and pipe out rings, basically circles with a round empty space in the middle.)
Let the macarons dry for a few hours, until a skin forms on each and they're smooth to the touch. Then bake according to your recipe. Definitely watch the macarons carefully because the rings are thinner than the traditional round macaron so the oven time will need to be cut shorter, possibly by half the time. And also it's also likely that the macaron feet won't form.
Cool the macarons on a wire rack. Make the macaron filling of your choice (I used an almond buttercream). Place in a piping bag, pipe onto your cooled macaron shells, and top with another shell.