Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bake It - Ornament Macarons

I love baking cookies with my family during the holidays. It is one of our traditions to make huge batches of different cookies and give them away to neighbors and friends. However, I tend to make the same things year after year: sugar cookies, gingerbread men, spritz, peppermint marshmallows... This year I tried to freshen things up a bit and throw in a few new cookies. These macarons are one of them.

My sister is a pastry chef and used to sell her macs and farmers markets around town. After seeing her make several batches, I decided to give it a shot all on my own. While they didn't turn out exactly how they are supposed to, they were actually okay. Yes, I did it! For my first try, I made plain old white macarons filled with a dark chocolate ganache. They were so plain, that I figured I needed to spruce them up a bit. So I used royal icing in an assortment of colors to pipe fun designs on them and turn them into ornaments. SO MUCH BETTER!

Here is how I did it, so that you can make a few of your own:

  • Plain white macarons (if you can't make them yourself, just buy some from your local bakery)
  • Royal Icing (I use this recipe)
  • Food colors in your choice of colors
  • Twizzler Pull and Peel for the ornament loop
  • Piping bags with small tips or use this tutorial to make your own from parchment paper
For my icing I decided to buck traditional colors and go with my new favorite color combo of red, mint, turquoise, and pink. Most of these colors were just plain gel food colors with the exception of the mint color which I made by mixing a small amount of turquoise and lime green food color.

Once I had my supplies, it was time to turn the macs into ornaments by inserting a small 2-3" piece of pull and peel licorice into the middle of the macaron to create the "ornament hook".

Once that was done, I simply piped my designs onto the cookies. A little tip, the smaller the piping tip the more intricate you can make your design (that is why I like to use the folded parchment for my piping bags). For some I did just dots or stripes while others had a combo of dots, chevrons, stripes. I love the assortment of all the designs. By using the same colors on all the macs, they all look cohesive even though there are different designs on all of them.

While traditionalists might be offended by me adding royal to the tops of the macarons, I absolutely love them! Talk about almost too cute to eat! If it wasn’t a macaron fan before, I certainly am now. And now that I am familiar with the process, I can try my hand at actually adding flavors and colors to the macarons while making them. Don't you just love them?!

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