Spring has officially sprung! Spring Equinox happened, and we are officially in the season of pastels! The air is so crisp, the flowers are blooming everywhere, there are cherry blossoms all over the area, and I can see the little leaves sprouting on the trees. What a happy season it is! I love that there is more daylight in the evenings. Mornings are still a drag to get up, especially on weekdays when we all have to get up early.
This past weekend I had my friend Jenn over, since I was making Easter Chick Macarons and she wanted to see how I make them, and my method. So, since Easter is fast approaching, Funnily we have many common tastes! We both love Shania Twain, and we like baking fruit pies/tarts rather than chocolatey desserts! 🙂 So I was making Easter Chick Macarons cause I thought that they would be fun to decorate especially with my kids and they look so cute! Also, I had this flavor combination in mind that I wanted to implement, Lemon macaron shells flavored with lemon extract with a meyer lemon buttercream icing on the outside, and a tiny dollop of raspberry curd on the inside. Very springy, very delicate, and bright in flavor :). I love the little baby chicks she made with no feet hehe, and those little curls on their head! A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!
Macaron making can be intimidating. It is very important to follow the exact steps and measurements so as not to mess it up. The best way would also be to watch a video online to see the macaronnage step, where you have to whip the batter to make sure it is incorporated just the right amount. If it is under whipped, your macarons can be dome shaped. If it is over whipped, your macarons will be too flat. Also, it is important to let them rest for half an hour to form a skin, which will prevent cracks and help them rise and develop feet.
We had a fun time baking and making these cuties! The decorating was the funnest part where my kids got involved and my son made some emoji macs, and my daughter made a family of chicks with twins and mom and dad! Super cute! I will be making emoji macs in the future now 😉 As I was thinking about the photo shoot, my daughter came up with the best idea, to shoot the mini chicks as if they had just hatched out of the egg shells! It was brilliant! I loved the idea, and that is how I shot the minis, iIn the cracked egg shells, and I loved how the pictures turned out ! 🙂 Below is the family of chicks with a daddy, mommy and baby! 🙂
My kids really inspire me to make cute creations, and inspire my shoots as well. We talk about cooking, eating, shooting, and they will provide their own mini opinions which are fun, and make so much sense! They love to take the creations to school and make their friends envious 🙂 They want to do their own styling once I finish a shoot and take their own pictures ! It is really adorable to watch. The next gen?! 😉
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag me #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post below!
Well, enjoy the spring vibes, and the crisp air outside along with the pretty blooms 🙂
- 7 ounces confectioners sugar
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- few drops of yellow color
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
- 4 cups confectioners sugar ( the buttercream should not be runny, it should be firm, but pipeable at the same time)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6 tbsp cold unsalted Butter Sticks cut into cubes
- 1 cup raspberries
- For the icing:
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- food coloring
- Blend the raspberries in a high speed blender. Strain it through a fine to medium sieve to discard all the seeds.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the raspberries, lemon juice, granulated sugar, eggs and lemon zest until combined. Now on low heat, keep stirring the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon. After a minute, add in the butter and stir constantly till it is all combined. Keep stirring for a total of 5-7 minutes until the curd is thick enough that it sticks to the back of the wooden spoon. When you run your index finger through the back of the wooden spoon, the sides should remain. Switch off the stove.
- Strain the curd through a fine sieve into a glass bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap to not form a layer on the top. Cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 310 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse one-third of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour, until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioner’s sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture three times into a large bowl. Set aside.
- To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla and lemon extract and the drops of yellow color and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for atleast 5-7 minutes. You can remove and turn the whisk and the meringue should hold.
- To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Make sure that the entire almond mixture is incorporated. This step is very important. If you overwhip the batter will be too runny so do not overwhip. It should flow like lava, slowly but form ribbons.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Do this step atleast 5-7 times. If they have a tip, gently pat it down with your wet finger. Let stand at room temperature for 30-40 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.
- Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes.
- Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 30 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, meyer lemon juice and vanilla to a whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes. Use a pastry bag to pipe the macaron shells on the outside rim, one at a time. Add a tiny dollop of raspberry curd in the middle and top with another macaron shell gently.
- For the icing:
- In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and water, into a medium consistency paste. It should be slightly hard, not runny at all. Separate them out into as many colors as you wish to do, into small bowls.
- Add the desired food coloring, and mix well. Put each color into a ziplock bag, by placing the bag in a small glass and lining the glass with the plastic bag. Add in the icing. Close the bag and twist to keep it ready. Do the same for all the colors and keep the bags ready.
- To decorate each macaron into a snowman, slightly cut the tip of each ziplock. Best tip is to practice on a paper towel or a paper with the tips ever so slightly cut off. Practice your design. Keep another paper towel nearby, to clean after each piping to ensure the design is clean.
- You can use a toothpick to spread the icing, or keep the design clean.