Monday, August 12, 2013

Kids Bake: Macarons

Make Macarons with your "minis!"

Happy Monday! I'd like to step right back, with you, to creative Mondays.  I hope your week is off to a great start. I don't think that art has to be restricted to paper and pencil alone. Do you? To me, Macarons are edible art. These are 100% kid-made.

The gift of summer gave the kid's time to peruse our favorite recipe books, recipe files and family collections. This is one recipe they made themselves one rainy afternoon. You can, too. I know: Macaron's look too delicate and taste too heavenly to imagine they can be made by kids, but, they can. Free hands in the kitchen --- what's a Mom to do? snap photos, of course ... and, OK... there was a little clean up involved but, it was so worth it. Oh la la, so Delicious!)

We're happy to share our recipe and tutorial with you today. Just continue below and click on the "read more" for the full tutorial and recipe.
Macaron Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
1 cup finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (Approximately 3 extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup finely ground granulated sugar*
Food Coloring
Whisk confectioners' sugar and ground almonds together.

Whisk egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar.*
Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form and add food coloring to make desired color. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

Use a silicone baking sheet or line baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe approximate 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Look at the photo above for the technique we thought worked best: make a circular outline and then fill in the middle for easiest shape. Let stand at room temperature until the outer edge looks "dry" ---- a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.

Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


Jam is the perfect kid-friendly filling. Pictured above: our own homemade raspberry jam.

Filling #1: Jam
A simple and fresh filling for macaron is to fill them with jam. We've made pink versions with both raspberries and cherries.

Filling instructions: Fill a pastry bag with the jam or filling (recipe below.) To fill the macarons, once cool, lay them with their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Macaron's that are filled with jam are best served and eaten immediately. If filled with traditional alternative #2 filling, chill until firm, about 1 hour. (See below for a 2nd alternative traditional filling*) 
*Finely ground sugar if possible called sucre semoule, available in specialy pastry stores or in France.

Filling #2: Creamy (follow the same filling instructions as above)
*Traditional Macaron Filling:
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.

Willowday readers, I'd love to see the creations your mini's make, too! I'd be happy if you'd share these with on facebook and share your creations, too! Happy Making!

Notes from our Macaron Makers Gallery:
The perfect macaron is crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It's important to not over bake them or they will be dry. Let the macaron sit in the fridge for a bit after filling if filled with the traditional filling. The traditional creme filling will give the macaron moisture. People often mistake a dry, baked macaron for being stale, but, it’s not. It’s actually too fresh and hasn’t set for long enough. The perfect macaron should sit for 48 hours once it's been filled. Also, to repeat, that if macaron's are filled with jam they should be served immediately or they become soggy.

Something you might like:
Cherry Garland
The world's easiest Chocolate Chip Cookie: here.
Banana Ice Cream (not pictured) 

Something you might like:52 Handmade Willowday Projects from 2014 (Click HERE)

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  1. yum, this looks like so much fun! my kids love to bake. I haven't tried anything this complex with them yet but will bookmark for later! :) xo julia

    1. I'd love to hear (and see) how these turn out. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Hello, Willowday!
    Funny, this ~ I've been wanting to try macarons for a long time, but the opportunity never arose {and the necessary ingredients are hard to come by here in Ghana}. Hubby went to the capital this week and found a brand-new French patisserie....guess what he brought back for me? A whole package of macarons! Delicious!!!
    Have a lovely day!

    1. What a great coincidence! I'm always so transported when you write.. Ghana... the entire idea just turns my head upside down. If anyone deserves a macaron, it's you! Thank you for sharing. And, if you have the chance to make these they are truly delicious.

  3. I have always avoid trying this cute confectionery because I heard it has a "heavy sweetness" flavor. But when I saw them on a macaron-specialty shop last week, I can't help but take two bites of them! I was surprised to know that they weren't as sweet as people have described them as. Now, I am loving macarons!
    And many thanks for the kids bake recipe, this looks doable for me ;)

    1. This is great to hear, Onel. Yes, they are even lighter if you use a fruit filling (but, need to be eaten immediately.) I cross my heart - the kids made these all on their own and are just delicious!

  4. This look yummy! I think this is good summer bake for our kids.


Thank you!