Mango-Saffron Henna Macarons

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This is my fourth and final recipe for the Diwali box collaboration with my friend Hetal of Milk and Cardamom! Hetal and I came up with this idea for a Diwali box. In the US, with time and pressure always for families, it is hard to celebrate and make Diwali boxes. The Diwali box has plenty of sweet and savory ideas that you can make for your near and dear ones for Diwali! 🙂 These recipes are make ahead recipes that can be then put together into Diwali boxes. Diwali is a time for celebration, sharing, family time, love and laughter. Diwali brings color and light to the home and to our hearts. Both of us will be making 3 sweets and 1 savory dish to share with you – one each day, and we will share the final Diwali box next week! 🙂 We are so excited to share all these goodies with you!! I hope you enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed making them and photographing them.

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If you know me, I love making macarons, there is something so therapeutic about making the meringue in the stand mixer, about mixing the batter with the dry ingredients, and making swirls to see if the batter consistency is right, and so relaxing to finally pipe them onto the baking tray. It is also weirdly relaxing to bang the tray against the kitchen counter, lol, a gazillion times! And then watching the macarons grow feet! It is all a fun process. It is also therapeutic to make royal icing in different colors and pipe designs on the macaron shells!

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Henna is so popular in India and has grown to be popular in other parts of the world too! Henna, known as Mehendi in India, is a beautiful art. I love the designs that brides put for their weddings. They are so intricate, and beautifully done. The women who do the mehendi work professionally are so talented, and need a steady and fast hand to get it done right. It takes around 6-8 hours to do bridal mehendi. The bride has to sit in one place and her mom or a relative will feed her while she is getting her mehendi done. It is hard to sleep as well, because once you apply the mehendi, you have to leave it overnight, unwashed, so that the color comes out dark and beautiful. They say, the darker the color on your hand, the more your husband will love you 😉 It is a popular myth!

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For the Diwali box, I wanted to make henna macarons, where I put henna designs on top of the macaron shells. Making henna designs on a macaron shell is pretty challenging, and it took me a few practices to get it somewhat right. It was a lot of fun though, and extremely relaxing. I also did it when my kids were asleep and I had the kitchen all to myself! 🙂 I went with bright colors on the shells for the henna design instead of the usual henna green color! As a kid I would love having henna put on my hands, and honestly I simply love the smell of henna too! My mom had bought me henna design books and I would practice henna designs on my hand and my mom’s hand. It was a lot of fun. My mom would actually make the henna cones for pipping, herself! She was really good at it!

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The macaron shells have freeze dried mango powder in them. I bought the freeze dried mango from Trader Joe’s. They have a vast variety of freeze dried fruit which are great for macarons or any other baked goods! I made two types of buttercream : 1) Mango-Saffron Buttercream 2) Guava-Cardamom Buttercream. The mango-saffron buttercream has mango puree, that my dad got for me from India. My sister in law freezes the freshly pureed mango, from a particular variety called Payaree, which is my absolute favorite kind of mango. My dad got it for us and my kids absolutely love it. It is sweet yet tart enough, and that was the mango that my mom bought the most, when we were kids. This mango puree is absolutely delicious, and irresistible! I added saffron to it as well and it gives it a wonderful floral taste.

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The guava buttercream is made with guava puree or guava paste, from a brand called Goya. You can get it from Amazon or from a Mexican grocery store. I also added a touch of cardamom for a floral touch. I grew up eating a lot of guavas, and they are so sweet in India unlike the guavas here! Both the buttercreams work well in the macarons. The recipe for the buttercream is to use either MANGO-SAFFRON buttercream OR GUAVA buttercream for the entire batch of macarons. I have simply given options/recipes for both the buttercreams. I was very happy with how the macs turned out!

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Hetal made these fun rose meringue kisses, that have a slight hint of rose flavor in them. She painted them with India colors of orange and green and elevated them with some gold on it. Meringue kisses are so fun to make and make for a very cute foodie gift and they look adorable in the Diwali gift box too! You can get her recipe from her blog!

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Now for the final reveal of the Diwali box, that we will take place on Tuesday next week! We could not be more excited to share the finale with you! Hope you all have  fantastic weekend, and that you have enjoyed the 8 recipes in all that we have shared between Hetal and I!


Have a wonderful weekend!









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