Lemon Macarons

 Lemon Macarons

March 20: World Macaron Day and First Day of Spring

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When Mum gives you homemade lemon curd, make macarons! That is exactly what we did to observe World Macaron Day. So we added lemon flavoring and a sunny shade of yellow to basic macaron shells and filled them with Mum’s homemade lemon curd. Take the opportunity to make lemon macarons as they are a wonderful way to welcome the spring season.

Recipe

(Adapted from TeaTime magazine – January/February 2010)

For the lemon macarons (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • yellow food coloring (we used AmeriFoods brand lemon yellow food paste gel color)

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.

Lemon Macarons

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. Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar mixture until the consistency “flows like magma.” Stir in the lemon extract.

Lemon Macarons

Tint the macaronage with yellow to make a sunny shade of lemon. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. 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 15-20 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 lemon curd filling.

Lemon Macarons

For the lemon curd

Lemon Curd

Directions

To complete the macarons, spread lemon curd between two shells. Sandwich them together and repeat the process for the rest of the shells. Refrigerate the macarons to set. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Lemon Macarons

Notes

  • Search our site for more macaron recipes. Or click on our MacAttack page to see our macaron gallery. Happy World Macaron Day!
  • Dale Carnegie coined the famous quote: “When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make a lemonade” (see variations of the phrase at the Innocent English website). With this statement, he meant to encourage others to turn a negative into a positive position and to take the opportunity to change a disadvantageous situation into an advantageous one.
  • Thanks to Highlander’s Mum for the lemon curd and recipe.  Store-bought instead of homemade lemon curd may be substituted for the lemon macaron filling.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. for the ground almonds from Germany.
  • See our Food Flops page for our lemon macaron mess.
  • This post is our entry into the MacTweets monthly challenge #27 for World Macaron Day. Take a look at all the lovely macs on the site!
  • HI Cookery is proud to partner with M5 Cake to make macarons this month. See our lemon macarons paired with the strawberry macarons that we made together below and on their site.

macarons

Chambord Macarons

(Raspberry Liqueur Macarons

with Raspberry Jam Filling)

Chambord Macarons

October 16: National Liqueur Day

“Pinkarons” for October’s MacTweets

Our Chambord macarons are a treat

Filled with raspberry jam so sweet

Pink and pretty enough to eat

Pray that breast cancer can be beat!!!

Chambord Macarons

A look into our liqueur cabinet might give the impression that we are lushes. But we bake with booze more often than we drink it—honest!  We have an assortment of alcohol on our shelves, but it is the raspberry liqueur in a little ball-shaped bottle that was our most pricey purchase. So we use the spirit sparingly—and splurge only to make special occasion foods. Packaged in a pretty orb, Chambord is the luxurious ingredient that we use to bake into brownies, cakes and now macarons.  It is worth using raspberry liqueur in a recipe for “pinkarons” to observe both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Liqueur Day.

Chambord Macarons

Recipe

For the Chambord (raspberry liqueur) macaron shells (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup water
  • red or pink food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

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.

Chambord Macarons

Mix in the Chambord (raspberry liqueur). Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar mix until the consistency “flows like magma.” Tint the macaronage with red or pink food coloring until a desired shade of “light raspberry pink” color is reached. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet.

Chambord 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 15-20 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.

Chambord Macarons

Spread raspberry jam as a filling (we used Smucker’s brand seedless red raspberry jam). Serve immediately as the jam softens the shells.

Chambord Macarons

Notes

Fall Fiesta Macs

[Chocolate-Cinnamon Macarons

with Dulce de Leche

(Caramel) Filling]

Fall Fiesta Macarons

September 15-October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

So long to summer and hello to Hispanic Heritage Month! We are celebrating the change of seasons with a fall fiesta and making macarons with Latino flair and flavors. Living so close to the “South of the Border,” we are trying to learn more about the cultures and cuisines of Central and South America before we move elsewhere again.

Our Mexican-inspired macaron shells are made with chocolate (from the Aztec Nahuatl word xocolātl) and cinnamon* and filled with delicious dulce de leche (literally it is translated in Spanish as “sweet of the milk” or “milk candy” and is popularly known as caramel). These cute cookies can be autumn alternatives (or additions) to cinnamon buns, candy apples, pumpkin pies, spiced ciders and gingerbreads on a harvest table. Make chocolate-cinnamon macarons with dulce de leche filling and have a fabulous fall fiesta during Hispanic Heritage Month!

Fall Fiesta Macarons

Recipe

(Adapted from Macaroons)

For the chocolate-cinnamon macaron shells (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (we used C&H brand)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (we used Nestle Toll House brand)
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white (we used C&H brand)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)

Directions

Sift the almond flour/meal with the powdered sugar. Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon until well combined. Grind in a food processor in batches to remove any lumps (optional).

Fall Fiesta Macarons

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.  Mix in the vanilla.

Fall Fiesta Macarons

Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar-cocoa powder-cinnamon mixture and blend until the consistency “flows like magma.” Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet.

Fall Fiesta 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 15-20 minutes. Watch the “feet” develop, but be careful not to 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.

Fall Fiesta Macarons

Spread dulce de leche (we used Nestle La Lechera brand) as a filling. Refrigerate the macarons to set. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Fall Fiesta Macarons

Notes

Piña Colada Macarons

Pina Colada Macarons

July 10: National Piña Colada Day

“If you like piña coladas…and are not much into health foods,” then you’ll love piña colada macarons! We flavored basic macaron shells with desiccated coconut and coconut extract and then tempered its sweetness with pineapple cream cheese for a perfect piña colada cocktail cookie. “Escape” and indulge in this great summertime snack. These macarons are a terrific tropical treat for a non-alcoholic National Piña Colada Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita)

For the macarons (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract

For the filling

Directions

In a food processor, grind together the almond flour/meal, powdered sugar and desiccated coconut. Sift to remove any lumps. 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).

PIna Colada Macarons

Whip the egg whites until peaks form. Pour the simple syrup into the beaten egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy. Stir in the almond flour/meal-sugar-coconut mix until the consistency “flows like magma.”

Pina Colada Macarons

Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. 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.

Pina Colada 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.  Spread the pineapple cream cheese on one of the macarons and sandwich with another. Refrigerate to set the filling. Serve chilled like the cocktail itself.

PIna Colada Macarons

Notes

  • See the lyrics of and listen to “Escape (The Piña Colada Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes on YouTube.
  • We bought the desiccated coconut from the About Australia online store.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons

Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons

July: National Ice Cream Month

America is experiencing a freak heat wave this summer. Temperatures are at a record high, even in the northern part of the country (it is even more sweltering in southwest Texas where we live!). Time to cool off with ice cream—better yet with ice cream AND macarons or ice cream macarons!

But with so many ice cream flavors to choose from, how can we please the palates of finicky family and friends? Neapolitan ice cream has three popular flavors conveniently packed into one tub: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. So at least one of those should satisfy their taste buds.

Our tri-flavored/tri-colored macarons are inspired by the freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream that Islander is always crazy enough to buy whenever she visits the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The amusing “astronaut ice cream” is crisp and creamy—almost like a macaron!

Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons

We filled our chocolate and strawberry macaron shells with real vanilla ice cream (but with a special lactose-free brand because of Islander’s delicate digestive system) and, as a non-melting alternate filling, with Tahitian vanilla buttercream for a brown-white-pink palette. These Neapolitan ice cream macarons are our entry into this month’s MacAttack challenge with the “ice cream dream theme.” And they are a sweet treat to beat the heat and celebrate National Ice Cream Month in July!

Recipes

  • For the chocolate macaron shells

https://hicookery.com/2011/04/11/hi-macs/

  • For the strawberry macaron shells

https://hicookery.com/2011/02/27/strawberry-macarons/ 

  • For the vanilla ice cream filling

Breyer’s brand lactose-free vanilla ice cream

  • For the alternate Tahitian vanilla buttercream filling

https://hicookery.com/2010/11/10/tahitian-vanilla-cupcakes/

Directions

Make the chocolate and strawberry macaron shells. Match by size and pair a chocolate with a strawberry macaron shell. Quickly spread vanilla ice cream on one of the shells and sandwich with another. Freeze immediately to firm up the filling. Serve chilled.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons

Alternatively, generously fill a chocolate macaron shell with vanilla buttercream and sandwich with a strawberry macaron shell. Refrigerate to set.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons

Notes

  • Look at the list of the 15 most popular ice cream flavors on the Food Channel site. Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry and Neapolitan are in the top five, according to the International Ice Cream Association.
  • There are other flavors of the freeze-dried ice cream, including mint chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip. A freeze-dried ice cream sandwich is also available.
  • Try our lactose-free vanilla milkshake recipe on June 20 (National Vanilla Milkshake Day). Search our blog for other recipes containing ice cream.
  • The final photo above shows our Neapolitan macarons filled with Tahitian vanilla buttercream. It was too hot to fill and photograph the shells with the vanilla Lactaid ice cream on yet another scorching summer day in southwest Texas!!!
  • “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Check out more macaron ice cream dreams at the MacTweets site.

Papaya Macarons

Papaya Macarons

June: National Papaya Month

Islander’s Daddy is like “Princess Pupule,” the muse of the tacky tourist Hawaiian song of the same title, when his papaya trees bear a lot of fruit. Listen to the first few lines of the lyrics:

Princess Pupule has plenty papayas

She loves to give them away

And all of the neighbors they say


Oh me-ya oh my-ya you really should try-ya

A little piece of the Princess Pupule’s papayas…..

Yes, the sensually suggestive song sounds so  pupule (crazy)!

Daddy had planted two papaya trees in the front yard (he once had a tall one growing on the other side of the house but that got uprooted during a hurricane). They produce “plenty papayas” when in season so he is generous when sharing them with the neighbors, co-workers and friends—which is a good thing because Islander, her brother Kahuna and Mommy just get sick of eating the fruit for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacktime every single summer day!!!

Papayas

Now that Islander lives on the mainland, she misses the fresh fruits from the variety of trees growing on the grounds of her childhood home in Hawaii.

National Papaya Month gave her an opportunity to make macarons with a fruity flavor (also the theme of MacAttack challenge #20). So Islander puréed papaya to make a tropical-tasting buttercream and placed dried papaya pieces in the filling between basic macaron shells.  These papaya macarons are deliciously unique and exotic. But since there are only Highlander and Islander in the house right now, like “Princess Pupule,” we have “plenty papaya” macarons and we like to give them away to share our aloha!

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)
  • 1 cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • orange and yellow food coloring (we used Wilton brand orange concentrated gel icing color and AmeriColor brand yellow soft gel paste)

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).

Papaya Macarons

Pour into the egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy. Mix in the vanilla. Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar until the consistency “flows like magma.”

Papaya Macarons

Tint the macaronage with orange and yellow to make a “papaya” shade. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. Let the discs air dry to develop a thin skin for at least 30 minutes.

Papaya Macarons

Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 15-20 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 papaya purée buttercream filling.

Papaya Macarons

For the papaya purée buttercream

  • 2 tablespoons papaya puree
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • dried papaya chunks, chopped into ¼-inch bits

Directions

Slice a papaya in half and reserve the seeds for another recipe. Scoop out the fruit into a blender and purée the papaya (alternatively, if the fruit is soft and ripe, mash into a strainer over a container). In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with a pinch of salt. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar until well combined and fluffy.

Papaya Macarons

Mix in a tablespoon at a time the papaya purée. Add a little more powdered sugar to the mix to reach a spreadable consistency. Refrigerate if necessary to firm up the filling. Meanwhile, chop up the dried papaya chunks into tiny bits, about ¼ inch.

Papaya Macarons

Put the filling in a pastry bag outfitted with a large round tip. Pipe out the filling on the underside of one macaron shell. Gently press dried papaya pieces on the filling and sandwich the macarons together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the filling set. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Papaya Macarons

Notes

  • We might sound biased, but Hawaiian papayas are much sweeter and more flavorful than all the other varieties of papayas we have tasted!
  • Read historical notes about the song, “Princess Pupule,” and see more lyrics from the Square One website.
  • The sample of the song above is from the Maile Serenaders’ “Let’s Hula” compact disc.
  • Save the seeds! Make a salad dressing. See our blog recipe post for Papaya Seed Dressing.
  • June is also National Mango Month. See our blog recipe post for Mango Cake inspired by another Hawaiian song, “Drop, Baby, Drop.”
  • Mahalo (thank you) to Mommy for taking pictures of Daddy’s papaya trees and fruits.
  • Mahalo to Lisa L. for the vanilla from the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Mahalo to Jamie S. and Deeba R. for hosting this month’s MacAttack challenge. See all the “fruits of our labor” and more macarons contributed by talented chefs on their MacTweets blog.


Orange (Basketball) Macarons with

Triple Sec Chocolate Ganache Filling

Orange Macarons 

May: National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs

Long before we lived in Texas, we were fans of the San Antonio Spurs because of Center David Robinson. We admired “The Admiral” for his athletic talents, philantropic efforts and service to his country as an officer in the United States Navy (Islander is a Navy brat). Having won several awards and championships in his 14-year basketball career with the Spurs, Robinson retired from the NBA in 2003 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. Once in a while, we would see this legend sitting courtside at the games cheering on his former team.

The Spurs won four NBA championship titles in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, and made it to the playoffs again this year (19 out of 20 times so far) but unfortunately did not advance to the next round. Nevertheless, we still support the “Silver, Black and White” team and like all the hoop-la! Whether watching them on TV or at the AT&T Center, we enjoy the Spurs’ energetic games with Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan leading the other skilled players.

We made macarons in the spirit of the Spurs and as part of MacAttack Challenge #19 for a sporty snack. The “basketball” shells are flavored with orange essence and filled and decorated with Triple Sec (orange liqueur) chocolate ganache. Here’s a tip (off): the Triple Sec represents our hope for more Spurs three-point shots—on the court and not just in a glass!

Have a ball while watching the NBA playoffs this month with orange macarons.

Spurs Basketball Macarons

Recipe

For the orange macarons (Italian meringue method)

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (fresh, unpasteurized and aged overnight at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white (we used C&H brand)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract or essence
  • orange food coloring (we used Wilton brand’s orange concentrated gel icing color)

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).

Orange Macarons

Pour into the egg whites and whip again until stiff and glossy. Mix in the orange flavoring. Fold in the almond flour/meal-sugar until the consistency “flows like magma.”

Orange Macarons

Tint the macaronage with orange to make a “basketball” shade. Pipe one-inch discs on a parchment paper on top of an insulated baking sheet. Let the discs air dry to develop a thin skin for at least 30 minutes.

Orange Macarons

Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for about 15-20 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 Triple Sec (orange liqueur) chocolate ganache filling.

Orange Macarons

For the Triple Sec chocolate ganache filling

  • 1 bar (125 grams) orange-flavored dark chocolate [or 4 squares/4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)]
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec

Directions

Break the chocolate bar into small pieces to melt. Heat the whipping cream and add to the melted chocolate. Stir until smooth.

Orange Macarons

Add the Triple Sec and mix well. Remove any orange peel pieces. Let cool to thicken but not harden. Whip the ganache to a spreadable consistency. Fill a pastry bag with a large round tip (Wilton tip #12). Pipe in the filling and sandwich the macarons together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the filling set.

Orange Macarons

Using the leftover chocolate ganache, change the pastry bag tip to a small round one (Wilton tip #3). Pipe a cross then curves to make a “basketball” design. If decorating both sides of the macaron shell, cool to set the chocolate before piping the other side. Refrigerate the macarons and bring them to room temperature before serving as a sporty snack.

Orange Macarons

Notes

  • The final photo above was styled by placing three “basketball” macarons on Highlander’s Spurs tee-shirt. The orange hue contrasted nicely with the team’s colors.
  • Islander was neither a lettered athlete nor a perky cheerleader. But she was a hard-driving tutor and mentor to basketball, football and baseball players and wrestlers at the academic services center in our university’s athletic department many years ago.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. for the orange-infused chocolate bar from Málaga, Spain. The bittersweet bar balanced out the sugary shells of the macarons for a winning combination of flavors.
  • For an overdose of orange flavor, add ½ – 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest to the ganache filling before whipping to a spreadable consistency.
  • Insert sticks into the cooled macaron filling to make “basketball” pops. These are perfect party favors for game day gatherings!
  • Even Big Elmo roots for the San Antonio Spurs (see photo set below). Thanks to our friends Edgar and Patty R. for giving him the #1 fan glove!
  • Search our site for more macaron recipes. Or click on our MacAttack page to see our macaron entries. Visit the MacTweets blog, hosted by Jamie S. and Deeba R., to learn more about each month’s macaron challenge.
Spurs Scenes