Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday. It is the day of preparation for the fasting for Ash Wednesday (which is Valentine’s day this year). The foods eaten are rich and full of fat and eggs and dairy – many of the things that are often not allowed during lent.
I thought macarons just might fit the bill for a Fat Tuesday treat! A macaron is a confection made with meringue. The cookies are sandwiched with jam or buttercream frosting. They are rich and sweet and delicious!
And these macarons sport the colors of Mardi Gras. Green represents faith, gold (or yellow) represents power and purple represents justice.
So bake up a batch and enjoy!
What you need:
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring
- 1/8 cup butter, softened
- 3/8 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additions – you can add jam, lemon curd or other flavors to the frosting
How to Do it:
Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until it becomes frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Continue beating until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Mix the almond flour and powdered sugar together well. Pour into the egg whites and gently fold in until mixed together.
Stir until the mixture forms ribbons when dropped from the spoon.
Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Add the food coloring and mix gently. Put the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe the meringue onto the parchment in small circles, about 1 to 1 ½ inches around.
Leave the circles to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, or until they are complete dried out.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to cook too long or they will brown. Take them out as soon as they have risen about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Filling –Buttercream frosting
Mix the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla until if forms a smooth mixture. Add the coloring of your choice. Additional flavors can be added as well. I added blackberry jam to the purple and lemon curd to the yellow (my favorite).
Place a spoon of frosting on the underside of half the macarons, then top them with the other half.
Chill for about 15 minutes to set the buttercream.
Makes about 18 to 20 macarons.
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