Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the holidays :). I'm currently trying to get all my holiday cookie photos edited, but hopefully I'll have them up soon. This year I made a variety of cookies for Christmas and then a few more sweets to celebrate New Year's Eve last night. I'll start with posting my New Year's desserts, then move onto my Christmas cookies.
For this New Year's Eve, I really wanted to make some black and white macarons. Today I'll present my black macarons, and in my next post, I'll share my white macarons. Other than black and white, I also associate New Year's Eve with a ton of glitter and confetti, which inspired my manicure from last night: mixed rainbow glitter (Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday) over black nail polish (Chanel Black Satin). In turn, my manicure became the source of inspiration for these macarons.
I knew I wanted to make these macarons glittery and rainbow, since I figured that would contrast well with the black color, sort of like how fireworks show up so well with a dark night sky. So, I decorated them with the edible equivalent of glitter and confetti: shimmer dust and sprinkles. I also wanted to try something new, so rather than just cover the macarons with nonpareils, I ended up spelling out "NYE" and "2014" on the macarons to make them just a bit more fancy. These were definitely the perfect dessert for celebrating New Year's Eve.
New Year's Eve 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
black gel food coloring
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). Add in the black food coloring and mix a few more seconds.
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. 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 blackberry 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.
adapted from about.com
2.5 oz blackberries (about 12)
1 tbsp powdered sugar
4 oz white chocolate
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp corn syrup
Puree the blackberries in a blender and then press the puree through a sieve. Mix the puree with the powdered sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until boils and thickens to the texture of ketchup.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-proof bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Pour the heated cream over the white chocolate and mix. Add in the thickened blackberry puree and corn syrup. Mix until even. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let cool to room temperature. Move the mixture to the refrigerator to chill for a few hours.
Decorating the Macarons
sugar cookie icing
black gel food coloring
gold pearl dust
Color the sugar cookie icing with the black food coloring. Use a toothpick to trace out "NYE" or "2014" on a macaron shell with the black icing. Sprinkle rainbow nonpareils over the icing. Shake off any excess sprinkles. Use a different toothpick to push off excess sprinkles and neaten up the sprinkle letters. Repeat with the other macarons (you only need to decorate one shell in each matching pair of macaron shells).
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 decorated macaron shell.