January 15, 2014

Bow Tie Macarons

Here are the other macarons I made for NYE! As I mentioned in my last post, I made black & white macarons for NYE. The black sprinkle macarons in that post were definitely more New Years specific and more time consuming to decorate, so for my white macarons, I wanted something simpler that would take less time to decorate, yet still be cute and classy.


Like how the black macarons were influenced by my New Years manicure, these macarons were inspired by my New Years Eve dress (actually, to be more accurate, the dress I was going to wear… I'm ridiculously indecisive, so I came prepared with 3 dresses and ended up wearing something black instead :P… while this bow dress ended up as the background for these photos, lol). Half of my white macarons were decorated with bows, and the other half were covered with rainbow sprinkles for a pop of color, both designs perfect for any party or celebration!


Bow Tie Macarons 
adapted from A la cuisine

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds
3 egg whites, aged at room temperature for 48 hours
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Tape two sheets of blank printer paper together to form a large sheet about the size of your parchment. Trace 1-inch diameter circles onto the now large sheet of paper to form a stencil. Set aside for now.

Mix the powdered sugar and ground almonds together. In a clean bowl, add your aged egg whites and salt. With an electric mixer, beat on low until frothy. Turn up the mixer to high and slowly add in the granulated sugar as you continue to mix till the whites are stiff peaks (when you lift up the mixer, there should literally be stiff, shiny peaks).

With a spatula, gently fold in the powdered sugar/nut mixture until incorporated. Place a plain piping tip in a piping bag and fill the bag with your macaron batter. Now take that circle stencil and place it under a piece of parchment and use as a guide as you pipe out your macarons. When done, slide out the paper, place it under your other parchment, and repeat. Let your macarons dry for a few hours, until the tops are completely dry.

[To keep your macarons shells white colored while baking, the top heating element of your oven needs to be covered before preheating the oven. This can be done in one of two ways. Make sure your oven is completely cooled down before attempting either method.

Method #1 (the one that I used): Move your top oven rack to the highest position. Cover the entire rack with sheets of aluminum foil so that the rack you'll be putting your tray of macarons on below is completely shadowed. The point is so the heat from the top heating element won't directly touch your tray of macarons while baking.

Method #2 (I haven't tried this yet, but theoretically it should work): Your oven absolutely has to be cool to attempt this so you don't burn yourself. Use aluminum to wrap the entire top heating element of your oven.

Try whichever method you prefer. I still need to test out the second method, but it seems easier than the one I tried. Btw, the second photo in this post shows the difference between the coloring of the shells. On the right is a slightly tanner macaron from my first batch, before I played around with Method #1. The macarons on the left and in the other photos are the white macarons that are from the later batch, after I perfected my method of covering the oven.]

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake your trays one at a time for 8-10 minutes or until the macarons are set on top. Let them cool on the parchment on a cooling rack. When cool, carefully peel the shells off the parchment.

Pair all the macarons up by matching size. Decorate one of the macaron shells as indicated below. Fill a piping bag with almond filling (recipe below), pipe filling onto the non-decorated macaron shell in each pair, and sandwich the filling with the decorated matching macaron shell. Once done, refrigerate the macarons to let the flavors meld.

Almond Filling
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 tsp almond extract

Cream the butter and powdered sugar. Mix in the almond extract.

Decorating the Macarons (Bow Ties)
sugar cookie icing
black gel food coloring
gold pearl dust (optional)

Color the sugar cookie icing with the black food coloring. Use a toothpick to trace out two triangles on a macaron shell to make a bow tie shape. Repeat with other macaron shells. Let the icing dry. Then trace a small rectangle to cover where the two icing triangles touch to finish off the bow tie.

Let the icing dry before filling the macarons. If using the pearl dust, after the icing dries, use a clean paint brush to brush a small amount of pearl dust on each icing bow tie.

Decorating the Macarons (Rainbow Sprinkles)
sugar cookie icing
rainbow nonpareils

Spoon some uncolored (white) sugar cookie icing onto the macaron shell. Spread the icing out to cover the top of the shell. Sprinkle some nonpareils onto the shell. Repeat with the other macaron shells. Let the icing dry before filling the macarons.

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    1 cup finely ground almonds
    3 egg whites, aged at room temperature for 48 hours
    a pinch of salt
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