Elmo Macarons

Elmo Macarons

February 3: Elmo’s Birthday

Islander LOVES Elmo!!! She just can’t resist the Sesame Street star with the bright red fur and big eyes, nose and smile. He exudes energy, optimism, cheer and playfulness—all of which are positive qualities that we need more of, not just in “Elmo’s World” but in ours. Islander has an accumulation of toys, clothing, cups and party decorations (gifts from Highlander, family, friends and even herself!) that rivals any kid’s collection.

In honor of Elmo on his birthday, Islander gave macarons a makeover by piping on his famous facial features to add a peppy personality to the petite French cookies. Elmo is her muse and the inspiration behind the dessert decorations. Pictured below in the visual tutorials are a variety of her beloved Elmo “models” who joined her in our kitchen while making macarons. Happy birthday, Elmo!

 

Listen to Elmo’s Song.

 

Recipe

For the basic macarons (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • ½ cup sugar, granulated white
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • red food coloring

Directions

Sift the almond flour/meal with the powdered sugar. Grind in a food processor in batches to remove any lumps (optional). Whip the egg whites until peaks form. Make a simple syrup to stabilize the egg whites by boiling the sugar and water together until it reaches a temperature of 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer (or until it reaches a soft ball stage). Pour into the egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy.

Elmo Macarons

Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar mix until the consistency “flows like magma.” Mix in the vanilla flavoring. Tint the macaronage with red food coloring. (We used a combination of red liquid drops and red concentrated gel icing color but recommend the latter for a more vibrant hue and less liquid in the macaronage.) Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet.

Elmo Macarons

Let the discs air dry to develop a thin skin for at least 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Watch the “feet” develop, but be careful not to brown or burn the macarons. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Peel off the macarons from the parchment paper. Sort by size and match pairs.  Make the filling.

Elmo Macarons

 

For the chocolate ganache filling

(Adapted from Baker’s Chocolate)

  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares (we used Baker’s brand)

Directions

In a saucepan, heat the whipping cream on medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the chocolate squares. Pour the cream into the melted chocolate. Stir until well combined. Let cool to thicken. Whip the chocolate ganache until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Elmo Macarons

Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe in the filling and sandwich the macarons together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the filling set.

Elmo Macarons

 

For Elmo’s face decorations

  • 1 tube white frosting (for the eyes)
  • mini chocolate chips (for the pupils)
  • 1 tube orange frosting (for the nose)

Directions

Pipe two small rounds (eyeballs) with the white tube frosting near the edge of a macaron. Add the mini chocolate chips (pupils) on the point of the white icing of the eyes.

Elmo Macarons

Complete the facial features by piping in a small round (nose) with the orange tube frosting. Let the orange frosting dry for a few minutes before gently pressing down on any tips of the nose. Refrigerate the macarons to set. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Elmo Macarons

 

Notes

 

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