Mardi Gras Macarons Recipe

These colorful macarons are inspired by the Mardi Gras King Cake tradition. Be sure to let guests know that one cookie will have a baby surprise inside and that they'll have to make the Mardi Gras macarons next year.
Purple and green macarons with gold filling.

Colorful Mardi Gras Macarons

For this years Mardi Gras, skip the King Cake and for something different. Heather Baird from Sparkle Bakes creates colorful Mardi Gras macarons inspired by the King Cake tradition.

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Ingredients

For the macaron shells:
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup extra-fine sugar
violet and green gel food coloring


1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
gold sanding sugar
violet gel food coloring

Special materials:
one plastic Mardi Gras baby (available at cake supply stores)
artists' brush

Directions

For the macaron shells:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
3. Sift almond flour and confectioners' sugar together 2-3 times. Set aside.
4. Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy.
5. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
6. Reduce speed and gradually add extra-fine sugar. Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
7. Sift flour mixture over whites with a fine sieve. Discard any lumps or coarse bits that remain.
8. Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula — using short strokes at first — until just combined.
9. The batter will be very stiff. Divide batter into two bowls and place a small amount of green food coloring in one bowl and violet in the other. Note: Normally powdered food coloring is used, but a small amount of gel does not disturb the batter. I would not recommend liquid food coloring.
10. Fold each batter until it loosens considerably. When batter is ready, it should fall from the spatula in a thick ribbon.
11. Transfer each color of the mixture to a piping bag.
12. Pipe 1" or 1 1/2" rounds on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
13. Let piped macarons stand uncovered for 15 minutes to form a crust.
14. Decrease temperature to 325 degrees F just before placing the baking sheet in the oven.
15. Bake pans one at a time for 10 minutes, turning halfway through (Image 1). Note: After the first batch has baked, the oven temperature should be increased to 375 degrees F then decreased to 325 degrees F just before the second baking sheet goes in.

For the buttercream:
1. Cream butter and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer.
2. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If mixture is stiff, use 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream to loosen.
3. Add vanilla. Beat until flavor is thoroughly incorporated.
4. Transfer icing to a piping bag and pipe onto the green macaron shells; sandwich with the purple shells. Place the baby between two shells (Image 2).
5. Place the gold sanding sugar in a small bowl and roll the edges of the sandwich cookies in the sugar.
6. Place a little violet gel food coloring in a condiment cup and thin with a few drops of water.
7. Load the artists’ brush with violet coloring and brush over macaron shells.
8. Keep macarons refrigerated in an airtight container (Image 3).

Yield: 15 sandwich cookies

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