This past week, I found myself craving a macaron making session. Because my husband was traveling last week, I had extra time to myself to think about all things cookies. It’s dangerous! I wanted to fold that delicate batter, pipe them into little rounds and then assemble them into perfect little sandwiches. The pure delight of seeing these delicate cookies take shape in the oven and then assembling them for the prettiest little dessert is almost good enough. But I wasn’t going to stop there. These macarons needed to be painted into beautiful golden bites!
Spring is fast approaching and that means spring holidays! I’m taking a break from mint and green this March, and instead, opting for classy, gold tones. I painted these vanilla macarons with an edible gold dust. Golden macarons scream St. Patrick’s Day just as much as the next green confection, wouldn’t you say?
The delicious flavors of the almond cookies and vanilla buttercream really shine in this recipe while the gold tones highlight the festivities. Macarons are so awesome because they are a perfect blank canvas. If you’d like to add in some green or fill them with a more exciting filling to pay tribute to the holiday, please do! But there is something special about the classic vanilla flavor. It’s so good!
I hope you’ll enjoy making some macaron magic and have fun painting them for the holiday. Vanilla Gold Macarons are the extra pop this St. Patrick’s Day deserves!
Naturally Sweet Vanilla Gold Macarons
120 grams or about 3/4 cup packed powdered Whole Earth Sugar*
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
60 grams or scant 3/4 cups Super Fine Almond Flour (Trader’s Joe’s has an awesome product!)
70 gram Egg Whites, at room temperature (about 2 Large Egg Whites or 3 smallish Egg Whites)
35 grams or about 3 Tablespoons granulated Whole Earth Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Place 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Whole Earth Sugar in a blender with 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Blend until a fine powder. You will use 120 grams for the macarons and the rest will be for the buttercream. In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour and 120 grams powdered sugar. Set the bowl aside. Reserve the rest of the powder sugar mix for the buttercream filling if you choose to fill with that.
In a stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Take the whisk and whisk the eggs and sugar by hand for a few seconds until just combined and slightly bubbly. Fit the attachment on the mixer and beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed (Speed 4 on a Kitchen Aid) for 2 minutes. Set your timer! Increase speed to speed 6, for another 2 minutes. Lastly, increase to speed 8 for another 2 minutes. At this point the eggs should be white, glossy and hold a firm shape. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high (speed 10) for about 1 more minute. Watch at this stage, you may need to beat less than 1 minute.
Next, add the almond/sugar mixture to the eggs and carefully fold into the eggs until you reach a smooth, lava-like consistency. Be very careful not to under or over mix the batter so the cookies will form a nice shape. Please see my Rose Macarons post for more details.
Transfer batter to a piping bag, fitted with a large circle tip. I like to use a Wilton 2A. Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Get a third cooking sheet out so you can double layer the tray in the oven if not using a convection oven. Pipe macarons in small 1 to 1 1/2 inch circles. Once piped, firmly tap the baking sheets against your counter, at least 3 or 4 times to relieve any air pockets in the cookies. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Let these cookies sit and rest for 20-25 minutes. Place macarons on center oven rack. For 1 inch macarons, bake about 17 minutes. For 1 1/2 sized or slightly larger macarons, 18-20 minutes. Allow macarons to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes before attempting to frost. Frost with the following recipe.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/3 cup Butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Powdered Whole Earth Sugar (leftover from macarons)
2 teaspoons Coconut Flour
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Stevia, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, to taste
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the coconut flour and stevia. Mix in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time to desired consistency and sweetness. Add vanilla extract. Pipe onto one cookie and top with a second cookie shell.
For Gold Painted Macarons:
Edible Gold Dust or Paint
Once the macarons are cooled, you can paint the shells. The amount of almond extract and gold paint used will depend on how much gold you’d like on your macarons. You will need 2-3 drops of almond extract for about every 1/4 teaspoon of the gold dust. Add slowly to reach the amount you like/need and paint away!
To keep cookies fresh, store in an airtight container at room temperature. Macarons can also be frozen for up to 4 weeks.