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There is something about french macarons that I love.  I don’t know if it is their yumminess, or the pretty pastel shades they come in, or that they make me think of Paris…but I know they make me happy.  While I am more of a cupcake girl when it comes to desserts, there is just something so simple and lovely about french macarons.  And they make beautiful pictures!

Left:  Via Martha Stewart Weddings  Right: Laduree’ Paris,
French Macarons would be a charming addition to any wedding dessert bar or would make great favors for guests.  Many bakeries specialize in making them for weddings, or it could be a great DIY project for a bride!  My favorite bakery, Vanilla Bake Shop, makes delicious macarons, among many other treats (including the cupcakes for my own wedding).  Last month, Style Me Pretty did a DIY holiday feature where Vanilla Bake Shop shared tips and a recipe for making your own macarons.  For the full feature on SMP, go here.

Tips and Recipe:
Color & Flavor Coordinate: Presentation is key! You eat with your eyes first. Take that into consideration when you are making your French Macarons. Choose three flavor and color combinations that compliment each other and taste delicious.
Personalize: Adding a personalized custom label to your favor is a sweet touch that is simple and inexpensive. A helpful online source is http://www.myownlabels.com/. Chose from a variety of label templates and colors. Cost: approximately .75 per label.

Packaging: Choosing recycled eco-friendly cardboard or clear favor box is a creative way to show off your colorful French macarons. A cost effective online packaging source is http://www.papermart.com/ Cost: approximately .50 per box

Ingredients:
3 ½ cups Powdered sugar
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
3 cupsAlmond meal
6 Egg whites
Pinch Salt
½ cupGranulated Sugar

Helpful tips before you get started:
*Oven temperatures vary. Test this recipe first, before you begin production to ensure the cookies bake perfectly. If the cookies crack on top, your oven might be too hot. Turn your oven down by 5-10 degree’s. The cookie should have a smooth shell top.

*Chose three different food colors for your cookies and decide what flavor will correspond with the color. Example: A pale green macaron filled with mint chocolate ganache.

*Gel based food-coloring works the best. Divide your batter mixture into three separate bowls, and add a different color per bowl. This will allow you to have three different colors and flavors.

*Use a toothpick when adding the food coloring. A little goes a long way.

Instructions:

Pre-heat Oven 240 degree’s
1. Whip egg whites in a mixer with whisk attachment until frothy. Rain in granulated sugar slowly. Whip until the egg white is a soft peak. Add salt, vanilla extract and food coloring.
2. Continue to whip until a medium peak forms. Do not over whip.
3. Sift powder sugar and almond meal together.
4. Fold powder sugar and almond meal into egg white mixture.
5. Fold together until mixture is the consistency of slow moving lava. (About 20-30 seconds of folding.) Be careful not to over mix.
6. Fill pastry bag fitted with #828 tip with macaron mixture.
7. Pipe into small silver dollar size rounds on parchment covered sheet pans.
8. Once all rounds have been piped, allow it to sit out for 30 minutes to dry and create a shell.
9. Bake at 240 degree’s for 9-11 minutes. Rotate halfway through baking process so cookies are evenly baked. Cookie tops will pop up creating a macaron “foot” below the shell top.
10. Allow to cool before piping filling.
11. Fill with your favorite butter cream, preserve, or chocolate ganache filling.  This recipe yields 40 French macaron sandwiches.

Try them at home, or if you are in the LA area head over to the Vanilla Bake Shop and buy some instead!
 

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