"I want them for every table."
And so, she shall have them. Specifically, bowls-full of macarons in assorted colors and flavors. I was giddy at the news and my mind was flooded with inspiration for buttercream fillings; mimosa, lemonade, blackberry, buttermilk, bourbon, mint julep - southern flavors that would do justice to the the location of the nuptials.
I had just one concern. I haven't made macarons in months, so a few practice batches were in order.
Luckily, I still have the knack!
Although macs are already very feminine and dainty, a strand of sugar pearls makes them look even more elegant - almost like they are meant for fancy jewelry boxes instead of the dessert table. I found this idea in a UK-printed magazine simply called "Wedding Cakes".
The task of pressing sugar pearls into buttercream one-by-one is a little tedious and time consuming, but just one or two pearl-donned macs can make an entire bowl look dressy. I can handle that.
Need help with your mac-making technique? Find my batter folding video here.
Tiffany Blue Macarons with Orange Blossom Buttercream
Makes about 15 sandwich cookies [click for printable version]
3/4 cup almond flour - I like Hodgson Mill
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup extra fine sugar
Sky blue gel food coloring by Wilton
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Sift almond flour and confectioners' sugar together 2-3 times. Set aside.
- Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and gradually add extra fine sugar. Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Sift flour mixture over whites with a fine sieve. Discard any lumps or coarse bits that remain.
- Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula -using short strokes at first -until just combined . The batter will be very stiff. Place a small amount of Wilton Sky Blue gel food coloring on the end of a rubber spatula. Normally powdered food coloring is used, but a small amount of gel does not disturb the batter. I would not recommend liquid food coloring.
- Use bigger folds once batter loosens. When batter is ready, it should fall from the spatula in a thick ribbon.
- Transfer mixture to a piping bag. Pipe 1 or 1 1/2" rounds on the parchment lined baking sheets. Let piped macarons stand uncovered for 15 minutes to form a crust.
- Decrease temperature to 325 just before placing the baking sheet in the oven. Bake pans one at a time for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
Note: After first batch has baked, oven temp should be increased to 375 then decreased to 325 just before the 2nd baking sheet goes in.
Orange Blossom Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Orange blossom water to taste
- Cream butter and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If mixture is stiff, use 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream to loosen.
- Add orange blossom water in small drops (a little goes a long way!). Beat until flavor is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer icing to a piping bag and pipe on half the macaron shells - don't use too much icing! You don't want the icing to be taller than the pearl dragees. Sandwich with remaining shells.
- Using a new pair of tweezers (or baking dedicated tweezers) press a line of pearl dragees into the buttercream.