Recipe: Colorful Macarons
Close-up of colorful macarons resting in straw nest and Easter eggs on light background
ElinaManninen - Fotolia

Make your own macarons

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup ground almonds

3 medium egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Food coloring

FILLING:
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup powdered sugar

Food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve.

Place egg whites in the bowl and mix on medium-high. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue.

Add half of the sifted almond mixture, and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not over mix the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is mixed in, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.

Using the flat of the spatula, push down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and push down again. You will need to repeat this 10-15 times until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula.

Pour batter into a pastry bag or a gallon-size zip lock bag: just snip a teeny bit from one of the bottom corners. Twist and clip the top of the bag to avoid overflow. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds circles.

Holding the baking sheet in both hands, tap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. The macarons should not be sticky.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard.  Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.

When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling.