Living in Louisiana right now has us not only thinking about those LSU Tigers, but also Mardi Gras. King day on January 6th marked the beginning of Carnival season. This means that we are all about some king cake. These king cake macarons are a fun way to enjoy king cake this Carnival season. Take it from me, you are going to want to have these macarons in your kitchen.
Macarons aren’t so scary.
I remember first learning about macarons. I knew they were so delicious, but was overwhelmed at the thought of trying to make my own. Only because I heard that they were nearly impossible, like a souffle. Let me tell you, they aren’t as difficult as you may think. Does it take a little patience and tweaking to get it just right? Yes. The humidity in Louisiana taught me this real quick.
The batter of a macaron is a tad bit finicky. This is all due to the fact the batter is made majority of meringue. You don’t want to over mix it or cause it to deflate. The flour-powdered sugar mixture must be sifted because you don’t want to have huge clumps in your batter. Hello-no over mixing! Once you grasp these major concepts, you are ahead of the game.
Another tip I learned was to LET.THEM.SET. You may be anxious to hurry up and bake these bad boys. I know I am every time I make them, but you must have patience here. It is so important to allow the batter rounds to set. The outer surface will become dull and not sticky to the touch. Here in Louisiana, I wait at least 45 minutes before baking. When you have a good shell formed, then the feet can ‘grow’ like they need to during the baking process.
As for the baking temperature and time, this may vary depending on where you live. For me, having the oven set to 300 (275 convection) works best. I have tried higher and lower temperatures. They were a no go for me. Also for the time. I have found that my max cooking time is 12 minutes. I wait until they are starting to turn slightly brown around the edges.
Allow the rounds to cool completely before assembling the macaron sandwiches. The sandwich will consist of 2 baked rounds and an equal amount of filling. You don’t want to have too much filling where it is oozing from the sides (even though I would so love this). Too little filling is also a no go.
Basically, use some common sense 😉
Give me all the macarons and king cake.
Thank you Carnival season for allowing me to enjoy my 2 favorites in one sitting! I could enjoy these all year round, but feel like they are more acceptable right now, lol!
Happy Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras King Cake Macarons
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 egg whites room temp
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp yellow food coloring gel
- green & purple sugar sprinkles
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Set up parchment paper for later use.
- Premeasure all ingredients; this will be a huge savver when it comes to prepping the meringue.
- Prep the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture by sifting them together; set aside.
- Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
- Add the granulated sugar, a little bit at a time.
- Add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Add the yellow food coloring.
- Continue to whip the egg whites until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. Make sure too not overbeat!
- Slowly incorporate the almond flour/powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture
- With a rubber spatula, fold the powdered mixture into the meringue; make sure to not over stir or mix. It will be about 45 folds to get all the powdered mixture incorporated.
- Carefully transfer the batter to a prepared decorating bag ( you can even use a gallon ziploc bag for this step)
- Cut the end of the bag, and pipe about a quater-sized rounds onto the parchment paper lined trays, spacing about 1 inch apart.
- Tap the trays about 4-5 times, trying to release any trapped air. Allow the batter rounds to set for at least 45 minutes. This is a crucial step in the formation of the feet. Here in Louisiana, it will take the entire 45 minutes for the tops of the batter rounds to set enough. (set=touch the top of the batter rounds and the batter doesn't stick to your finger)
- Lightly sprinkle both the green and purple sprinkles on top of the the unbaked rounds.
- Preheat oven to 300 (275 convection) during the setting time.
- Bake the batter rounds for 10-12 minutes, until the edges start turning slightly brown. DO NOT OVER COOK!
- Remove the cooked rounds from the oven, and allow to cool on the counter top.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream Filling
- While the cooked rounds cool, prepare the filling.
- Beat all the filling ingredients until they are all mixed well.
- Transfer to a decorating or plastic bag.
- Apply about a dime-quarter sized amount to one baked round, and place another baked round on top to form a sandwich.
- The longer these macarons sit, the better they taste! Place in an air tight container in the refrigerator for about 7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.