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These whimsical macarons with vanilla buttercream filling are flavorful, colorful, and of course fun! Perfect for a birthday or any celebration, these macarons are guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face!
Important tip: For incrased macaron success, pleast take the time to weigh and/or measure out all of your ingredients and have them organized and ready to go before you start mixing. While this is a good tip for any recipe, it’s especially helpful the first few times you make these macarons as you are getting your bearings around the recipe.
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine almond flour and powdered sugar. Run the food processor for about 30 seconds until sugar and flour are nicely combined. Sift through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
Place room temperature egg whites into a stainless steel mixing bowl (I don’t use my stand mixer for this, I think it’s a little easier to just bust out the hand mixer). Turn beaters to medium speed and whip until bubbles start appearing and it becomes frothy and opaque. Slowly sprinkle in superfine sugar to incorporate into egg whites. Turn beaters to high and whip until medium stiff peaks and meringue is nice and shiny. If you would like to add color to the shells, now is the time!
Once meringue is ready, take the bowl with the almond flour and sugar mixture and add half to the meringue. Fold and scrape the mixture with a rubber spatula until flour is incorporated, then add the rest. Add spinkles. Continue scraping the bowl and folding the mixture until batter falls off the spatula in thick ribbons (yes, this is an insane description, but it’s everywhere and truly is the best way to describe it). The mixture should settle into itself in a few seconds after falling off the spatula. Do not overmix.
Note: This is a great time to search Youtube to watch someone making macarons so you can see for yourself exactly how the batter is supposed to look!
Once batter is nice and ribbony, prep the piping bag. I like to shove mine into a large plastic tumbler, and pull the edges of the bag around the outside like a teeny trash bag. Pour the batter into the cup, and once it’s done, pull up on the bag to let the batter fall to the bottom. At this point, you can fit the piping bag with a tip if you want– but I am a big fan of the Wilton 16-inch Disposable Decorating Bags and then I just cut the tip off the bottom of the bag.
Once batter is ready to roll, twist one end of the pastry bag and hover over your prepared baking sheets. Keeping the bag straight up and down, pipe even circles into rows with the batter spaced about 1 inch apart. For evenness, I like to count in my head “one, two” while I pipe to make sure I am making the same size. There will be variation– that’s ok! Remember this is FUNfetti.
Once batter is piped and things are looking good, give the sheet a good 4-inch drop onto the work surface. This gets out any pesky bubbles that might be lurking under the surface, threatening your macaron glory. I do this a couple of times. Sprinkle with, well, sprinkles. Set aside to dry.Put them on a counter and set a timer for 15–20 minutes to let the batter set up. You’ll know they’re ready for the oven when you can barely touch one and your finger comes away dry.
While macarons are drying out, preheat oven to 300ºF and make sure racks are set to the upper middle and lower middle positions.
Once the macs are ready (see? Having so much fun now we are calling them by nicknames!), place in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. At the 6- or 7-minute mark, rotate and swap the position of the sheet pans to ensure even cooking. You’ll want to stick around and not leave the kitchen during this time. Don’t become too distracted! You don’t want the macarons to brown at all. Overcooked macarons are no bueno.
Once macarons are done, remove from oven and set to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Once cool, carefully remove from the parchment paper (sometimes I use an offset spatula to make sure I am getting them off just right). Set them aside to cool completely, and match them up into pairs by size.
For the buttercream:
Take room temperature butter and place in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Turn mixer to low speed until butter is creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue mixing on low. Once fully incorporated, add sprinkles, salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. Turn mixer to medium high and whip until fluffy. Taste. Add more sprinkles if you’re feeling crazy.
Using the same mini-trashbag over a plastic tumbler technique, fill a pastry bag with the frosting. Cut off the tip and pipe onto the underside of the macarons, carefully pressing together to make an adorable sandwich.
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