Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Independence Day!

by elyn_ryn

Macarons are a treat anytime, but red, white, and blue macarons are like fireworks. They steal the show! These macarons are vanilla with a cream cheese filling.  The vibrant red and blue colors are achieved with food coloring.  See the recipe notes below for the food colorings I used.

I like to use a mat to make macarons, even though you can make them without one.  The mat I use has cavities to contain the batter in perfect circles, which makes a rounder cookie.  Most professional macarons seem perfectly round which means bakers have had a lot of practice!  Another way to make macarons without a mat is to pull off a sheet of parchment paper and pen or pencil-draw circles on it by tracing around a small (about 1-inch) object such as a lid.  Then turn the parchment paper over so that your batter doesn’t touch the pencil markings.  Yes, the circles will appear through the paper.

Once the cookies are piped onto the baking mat, you can start to make the filling while the macarons cure. or dry out.  I allow 45 minutes for drying.  You will know they are dry by sticking a finger on the top of one.  If the batter sticks to your finger, they are not ready.  If they don’t stick to your finger at all, they are ready for the oven.

Sometimes I make the shells one day and do the filling and piping the next day.  One mistake I have made after baking the shells is putting them in a ziplock bag.  Because the bottom sides of the macarons are sticky, unlike the tops that have been cured by drying, they stick together and are very hard to separate.  Usually, this damages some of the cookies. I would suggest placing the cookie shells in rows and place a sheet of wax paper between them.  But you must seal them in an airtight container.  Macaron shells dry out quickly and become hard and brittle easily.  They should be chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Piping the batter with a pastry bag gives a thick layer of filling in each macaron.  If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can spread the filling with a knife or spoon.  Sometimes this is a better way to go when you don’t like a thick filling.

Macarons have a short shelf life so it is best to eat them within a couple of days.  Freeze any leftovers.  I have left them in the freezer for six months and longer and they have tasted fine and kept the chewy texture.

Experiment with different filling flavors and types of filling.  A solid filling works best which means that whipped cream is not a good option because it becomes runny and makes the cookies soggy.

Macarons can be temperamental, but they are fairly easy to make once you get the hang of it. But be careful because they might just upstage you at your own party

Print Recipe
Red, White & Blue Macarons
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
mini cookie sandwiches
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
mini cookie sandwiches
Ingredients
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Directions for Cookies
  1. Sift the almond meal, powdered sugar and salt together, discarding any large pieces left over. Using a kitchen scale, divide the dry ingredients into 2 bowls.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. With the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Then add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated into the egg whites. Then beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Using a kitchen scale for accuracy, divide the meringue between two mixing bowls. To the first bowl, add the red food coloring. To the second bowl, add the royal blue and violet food coloring. You will need to add a substantial amount to give the macarons a vibrant color.
  4. Add one bowl of the almond meal mixture to the red-tinted meringue. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. This will incorporate the food coloring as you fold. Add more food coloring as needed. Continue to fold until the batter becomes smooth. Test for readiness by scooping up the batter and dropping it back into the bowl. It should form a long ribbon and the ribbon should incorporate back into the batter in about 10 seconds. It takes a little while to fold the batter, but do not stir or it can deflate the batter and this will make hard, flat cookies and not the chewy cookies you want. Once the batter is ready set aside.
  5. Repeat the process for the other bowl of meringue containing the blue food coloring by adding the divided dry ingredients and fold until the ribbon stage.
  6. Add the red batter to a piping bag and the blue batter to a piping bag, each with a round tip. Pipe red batter onto the macaron mat, being careful to stay in the circles. Spread the batter to fill the entire circle. Repeat with the blue batter. If you do not have a macaron mat, use a sheet of parchment paper. Tracing around a 1-inch round jar or another round object, draw (with a dark pencil or pen) circles an inch apart to fill up the parchment sheet. Then turn over the sheet so you don't put the batter on the markings. You will be able to see the marks on the sheet. Fill the drawn circles with batter. Be very careful to make round shapes or your cookies will be jagged.
  7. Let the macarons sit for 45 minutes, or until you can touch the top of the cookie batter and it does not stick to your finger. Do not skip this step.
  8. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake macarons for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep a check on the cookies so they do not brown or they will lose their vibrant colors.
  9. Cool and then peel the cookies off the mat (or parchment paper) by pulling down on the mat as you lift the cookies.
Directions for Filling
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium high until well mixed and creamy.
  2. Add filling to a piping bag with a round tip and pipe filling on half the cookies. Then place the other cookie half on top to form a cookie sandwich.
Recipe Notes

I used Christmas Red gel paste from LorAnn Oils and Flavors and Wilton's Royal Blue and Violet gel paste. LorAnn Christmas Red is a nice patriotic red color that does not turn brown.  You will need to use a lot of food coloring to achieve deep colors.

Macaron recipe adapted from Baking a Moment. Click on the name to see those macarons and find other tips.

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