Ooh la la, c’est magnifique! These delicate French Macarons are perfect for a special Mickey or Minnie Mouse party.
Prep Time:1 hr
Cook Time:2 hrs
Total Time:3 hrs 0 min
What You’ll Need
- FOR THE ALMOND COOKIES:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sifted almond flour or meal
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
These seasonally inspired meringue treats make thoughtful presents. Wrap a stack in a piece of colored cellophane for a small party favor or pack a whole batch in a box for a more substantial gift.
For sugarplum cookies, when the sugar and egg white mixture is almost stiff, add a teaspoon of almond extract, then if desired, 5 drops each of red and blue food coloring (Step 3). Replace the buttercream with plum jam (Step 8), spreading the jam with a spatula or butter knife. You’ll need 1/2 cup per batch.
For chocolate cookies, add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder to the almond mixture (Step 3). When the meringue cookies have dried, lightly sprinkle them with more unsweetened cocoa powder (Step 6). Replace the buttercream with melted chocolate chips (Step 8), spreading the chocolate with a spatula or butter knife. You’ll need 1 cup of chocolate chips per batch (follow package directions for melting).
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine
How To Make It
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set them aside. Tip: Use a dab of water, oil, or butter to secure the paper to the pans.
- Over a small bowl, separate the egg whites from the yolks. If any yolk slips into the bowl, scoop it out with an eggshell half so that the whites will beat properly. Discard the yolks. Let the whites sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Sift together the almond flour or meal and the confectioners’ sugar into a medium-size mixing bowl. In a second bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the egg whites and the salt until foamy, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer’s speed to high and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 1 minute more.
- To make the meringue, gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture with a rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate them.
- Place some of the meringue in a pastry bag fit with a 3/8-inch round tip, or a ziplock plastic bag with a corner snipped. Beginning at the corner of one cookie sheet and holding the bag perpendicular to the sheet’s surface, squeeze out enough meringue to make a 1-inch disk. Pull the tip away from the disk with a quick circular motion to avoid making a peak (a misshapen cookie can be gently molded with a wet finger). Continue piping the cookies, spacing them 2 inches apart and refilling the bag as needed, until all the meringue is used.
- Gently tap the bottom of each cookie sheet against the countertop to further flatten the cookies (they should be about 1/4-inch thick), then allow them to sit at room temperature until dry to the touch, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 325˚. Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow each pan to cool on a wire rack.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the buttercream in a medium-size bowl until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Fill a clean pastry bag with the buttercream (alternately, use a snipped plastic bag, or a butter knife or spatula).
- When it’s time to pipe your meringue onto the cookie sheet, instead of making a single round mound, make three mounds. One large one an inch wide, and to small ones on the sides for Mickey’s ears.
- Raspberry Buttercream:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners suger
1 cup fresh raspberries
Press 1 cup of raspberries through a fine mesh sieve to extract 4 tablespoons of juice. Whip a 1/2 cup of unsalted butter until pale and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until combined. Add the raspberry juice and continue to blend until combined. Put the buttercream into a pastry bag or zip lock sandwich bag to pipe out the buttercream onto the cookies.