I totally meant to have this recipe up and posted 6 days ago, but I was in vacay mode pretty much the minute I stepped onto my first plane. Sorry!
I’m back now, unpacked, semi-organized (I had the forethought to deep clean my apartment before I left so I came back to a pristine home and a bunch of struggling plants) and I guess ready to get back to real life. Kind of. I could have used an entire month of vacation, to be honest. At least my real life has been pretty good lately!
So, these macarons. I made them as part of a variety pack for my mama as a belated Mother’s Day gift. They’re Fourth of July themed, as you can see from the red, white, and blue vanilla buttercream stars piped in between the two cookies. As a fun surprise I also added some pop-rocks to the mix! When you bite into the macaron itself, you get a popping, firework sensation right in your mouth!
Fourth of July Firework Macarons
for the macaron shells
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
for the buttercream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8th tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp heavy cream
red and blue food gels
1 packet of strawberry poprocks
sift 1 cup of powdered sugar and 3/4ths cup almond flour into a large bowl. whisk to combine, then set aside.
add the egg whites to a metal mixing bowl and start whisking on one of the lower settings (I start with a 4 on my Kitchenaid) until the egg whites start to look frothy. add half of the granulated sugar to the egg whites, then increase the speed to a medium (7 for me) until whites start to foam. add the remaining granulated sugar, then increase the speed to high (9 works well) and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.
remove the bowl containing the meringue from the stand mixer. add half of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl containing the meringue, then use a spatula to gently fold meringue around and over until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. add the remaining dry ingredients and continue to fold the batter. avoid over-mixing by going slowly. the batter is ready when it falls off the spatula in ribbons, but isn’t runny.
transfer the batter to a piping bag with a large round tip. pipe small, uniform circles onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper by holding the piping bag at a 45 degree angle to sheet. make sure not to overcrowd the sheets.
once finished with piping the batter, take each cookie sheet and carefully but forcefully bang the bottom of each corner on the countertop, to help release air bubbles in the batter! let the cookies sit for 35 minutes. preheat the oven to 305 F while you wait.
bake the cookies on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. remove from the oven but let the cookies cool completely before touching them.
while the cookies cool, make your vanilla buttercream by creaming the butter in a clean mixing bowl. add the sugar, and mix on low until the sugar is incorporated into the butter but there are still small clumps present. add the remaining ingredients, and mix on medium until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.
divide the buttercream into 3 bowls. add & mix in the red food gel to one bowl, the blue to another, and leave the 3rd bowl containing the white frosting alone. transfer each frosting color to separate piping bags, each fitted with a star tip.
pipe individual dollops of frosting onto one macaron cookie, alternating colors throughout. repeat with half of the shells. sprinkle pop rocks on top of the frosting, then sandwich with another, clean macaron shell. enjoy immediately!
*macarons can be frozen then moved to the refrigerator right before you’re ready to eat them. however, the pop rocks lose effect during this process.