Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fruity Pebble French Macarons


I have basically turned into a french macaron making machine. This is my 3rd batch in the past few weeks {see here & here}. It didn't help that my local market had almond flour on sale for half off, so I picked up a few bags on my last trip, and got to baking. I also had the remainder of a box of Fruity Pebbles cereal from my colorful marshmallow bars, so I tossed a few on top, as well as crushed some into the vanilla buttercream filling. And while the process may be time consuming, it's actually very simple, and actually therapeutic for me. If there is one thing I am good at, it's following directions and rules. I am a stickler for them, and though I may get poked fun at once in awhile by my friends, I don't mind. Someone has got to keep us all in line, right? Baking macarons are just  a series of rule following, and sometimes you get a little roudy and throw rainbow cereal in the mix.


Fruity Pebble French Macarons

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup extra fine (or granulated) sugar
  • 1/4 cup fruity pebbles
Fruity Pebble Buttercream
  • 1/4 cups (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup fruity pebbles, crushed
Prepare 2-3 baking sheets with silpat, parchment paper, or macaron specific baking liners. Also, place a piping bag or gallon ziplock bag in a large cup with the top folded over the outsides. This will make it easier when you transfer the batter.

Whisk the almond flour and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl. Run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a larger bowl. You may have a little bit of almond flour that is too large to fit through the sieve. Discard. This is a very important step if you want the macarons to be smooth.

In a stand mixer or bowl with a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and add in the superfine sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy, about 5-8 minutes more. When you remove the whisk, the whipped mixture should stand up off of the whisk. 

Fold the egg white and sugar mixture into the almond flour mixture until well combined. The batter should be very fluid and when you lift the batter up with a spatula, it should fold back into itself within a matter of seconds. Lastly, add in the almond extract and mix until combined.

Place the batter into a piping bag or large ziplock bag that you prepared earlier. Cut the tip off, about 1/4-inch. Pipe 1-inch circles about an inch from each other. They should not spread too much, so you can pipe them fairly close together. Once all of the batter has been piped, tap each tray 2-3 times against the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. Then let the macarons dry out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour until they are set and firm to the touch. The length of drying time will vary depending on how humid it is where you are.


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the 1st tray in the oven on the middle to bottom part of the oven (farthest from the heat source) and cook for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cookies will be just beginning to turn golden. Remove and set on the counter to cool for 2-3 minutes until transferring onto a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining trays of cookies.


To make the buttercream; whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Fold in the crushed Fruity Pebbles. Pour the buttercream into a piping back or ziplock bag. Cut the end off of the bag and pipe a small amount of buttercream onto a cookie with the Fruity Pebbles topping, then top with another cookie without the topping. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the freezer. Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving.

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