My daughter is obsessed with France. She loves French culture, food and especially desserts. While she asked for a trip to Paris for her birthday, she happily settled for a visit to Laduree in Beverly Hills. This adorable French bakery is known for its authentic patisseries and macarons. The original Laduree in Paris was created in 1862 and is one of the world’s best-known sellers of premium macarons.
After a deliciously decadent brunch with the richest hot chocolate we’d ever tasted, it was time for the main attraction: macarons!
After selecting a variety of flavors to bring back home, we burned off our brunch with some shopping along Rodeo Drive.
The Recipe Redux theme for February is The Academy Awards: food to serve at an Oscar viewing party. Since the Oscars are held in LA, our sweet trip to celebrity-filled Bevery Hills came to mind and thought it would be fun to recreate those delicious macarons.
Macarons are a meringue-based dessert made with egg white, sugar, almond meal and food coloring. While all of the ingredients are necessary to create the perfect classic macaron texture of a smooth, crisp shell and chewy, sweet center- we were able to improve upon the typical macaron recipe by substituting artificial colors and flavors for natural versions. This is a much healthier option, especially for children. While our color was not as deep, the flavor was exceptional.
These decadent sweet treats are a fancy cookie to set out for parties, with all-natural ingredients for a slightly more wholesome version of the classic french dessert.
- 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 c almond meal
- 4 egg whites room temp
- 1/3 c granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp pure lavender extract
- 1/2 tsp lavender food coloring, all-natural optional
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter softenened
- 4 tbsp strawberry puree
- 2 c powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with silicone mat.
In a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar with almond meal until a fine powder is formed. Sift mixture 3 times, set aside.
To make the meringue: In a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium until foamy. Then, gradually add in granulated sugar.
Once sugar is incorporated and mixture is thick, add the cream of tartar, lavender extract and coloring.
Increase mixing speed to high, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Carefully sift the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time over the egg white mixture and fold using a large spatula. Once the two mixtures are evenly incorporated, check that the consistency of the batter is slightly firm and should slowly drip from the spatula.
Transfer batter to pastry bag fitted with large round tip and pipe 3/4-inch rounds into each heart shaped cavity (or just pipe into round shapes on a regular silicone mat, spaced 2-3 inches apart from each other)
Gently tap bottom of sheet pan to release trapped air. Let stand at room temp for 15-30 minutes
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until macarons are crisp and firm. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 3-5 minutes
For strawberry filling: beat the butter and strawberry puree with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk on medium until butter is fluffy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until a thick, fluffy filling forms.
Once cookies are cooled spread filling between 2 cookies with a small round piping tip and press together gently until filling reaches the edge of each cookie
Store in an air-tight container at room temp for to to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Our lavender color faded upon baking, so experimenting with other colors/amounts to get your desired hue is recommended. However, they still were full of flavor!
This was such a fun dessert to make with kids and would make the perfect addition to your party table. Not to mention, making our own was much for affordable than the $3-Plus dollar per macaron price in the store. Bon appetit!