Introduction: Easy-to-make Macarons With Edible Decals
This recipe combines a simple macaron recipe with edible decals for a unique way to personalize a treat for your next party, shower, luncheon, meeting, or other event. This instructable uses a raspberry-mascarpone filling, but it can be replaced with any filling.
This recipe takes about 2 hours to make and makes about 20 macarons. It can easily be doubled if you need more macarons.
Step 1: Get Necessary Ingredients and Tools
Following are the ingredients and tools you will need.
For the Macarons
137 grams almond meal
125 grams powdered sugar
105 grams egg whites
105 grams white granulated sugar
pinch of salt
food coloring (optional)
For the Filling
8 ounces heavy whipping cream (about 220 grams)
4 ounces mascarpone (about 110 grams; you should be able to find this at Smith's or Super Target)
jam of your choice (we recommend raspberry or strawberry)
fresh fruit that corresponds with the type of jam (optional but recommended)
3 mixing bowls
mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer)
sifter or food processor
2 cookie sheets
wire cooling rack
For the Edible Decals
1 sheet of your image printed on edible paper, or multiple sheets if you're making a large batch of macarons (more details in following step)
hair dryer (you most likely will not need this, but it's good to have just in case)
thin-tipped paintbrush or cake decorating brush (optional)
Step 2: Design and Print Edible Ink Decals
You'll need to prepare a sheet of whatever image you want to apply to your macarons. You can do this in any word processing program. Pay attention to the size of the images—don't make them bigger or smaller than you want the macarons to be. The ones we made were small, so our images were only about 1"–1 ½" in diameter. At that size, you could fit 35–40 images on a normal 8 ½" x 11" sheet.
Getting Edible Prints
Unless you own an edible-ink printer, there are two main ways you can get a sheet of edible-ink prints:
- You can order them online. There are a few websites that specialize in edible-ink prints. The following sites allow you to send in photos or other images and will ship you the prints:
- You can ask a local bakery to print off a sheet for you. This option is much easier and cheaper! You’ll need to call the bakery ahead of time to ask if they have an edible-ink printer and if they sell sheets to the public. The following are two options for people living in the Provo/Orem, Utah area:
- Harmons in Orem: $6/sheet (8 ½" x 11"); bring in a colored printout of the images you want to print, and they will make a copy onto the edible paper.
- Maceys in Orem (The edible ink printer at the Provo Maceys was broken when we called. But the Orem one works great!): $7/sheet (8 ½" x 11"); bring in a colored printout of the images you want to print, and they will make a copy onto the edible paper.
Keep in mind:
- The edible-ink paper should be given to you in a plastic wrapping. Keep the paper in the wrapping until you’re ready to use it (or else the paper will dry out and become brittle).
- Edible paper doesn’t last more than two or three weeks before getting dry and brittle. The sooner you use it after printing your images off, the better.
Step 3: Mix and Refrigerate Mascarpone Filling
Combine the mascarpone and heavy whipping cream in a bowl. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. There is no need to stir the mascarpone and cream in this step.
Step 4: Make Macaron Batter
- With a food processor or sifter combine the almond meal and powdered sugar. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this step. However, your macarons won't be as smooth if you skip sifting.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until they are foamy.
- Add a pinch of salt and the granulated sugar to the eggs.
- Beat the egg, salt, and sugar mixture on low with a hand mixer for 3 minutes and then on medium for 3 minutes.
- Then beat the mixture on high until glossy stiff peaks form. This will take about 12–20 minutes.
- *Optional step: Add food coloring now and mix it on low until the color is incorporated into the mixture. (The color will show through the edible paper, so keep that in mind when deciding on a color.)
- Fold the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Be careful not to let too much air out of the egg mixture.
Step 5: Prepare Cookie Sheets and Pipe Macarons
- Place the cookie sheets on the countertop and then place parchment paper over the cookie sheets.
- Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe 12 circles onto the parchment paper. You can make the cookies any size you want, but a common size is about 1 ½"–2".
- Tap the trays on the countertop to get out the air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for about 25 minutes or until a skin forms on the top and they don’t feel sticky (now is a good time to preheat the oven).
Step 6: Bake Macarons
- While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the macarons in the oven on the middle rack and turn the heat down to 300°F.
- Bake for 6 minutes and then turn the tray 180°. Bake for another 5 minutes. You’ll know they’re done if you can lift one up with a knife and the bottom is smooth.
- Let the macarons cool on the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
Step 7: Prepare Filling and Assemble Macarons
- Take the mascarpone and heavy cream out of the refrigerator.
- Mix it with a hand mixer until it is thick. The consistency isn’t too important. You just don’t want the filling to be too thin and run out of the macaron.
- Take one of the cooled macarons and spread the filling onto the flat side of the macaron.
- Use a ¼ teaspoon to press a hole in the middle of the filling. If you will be using fresh fruit, the teaspoon can make a hole in the cookie to make room for the fruit.
- Put a little less than ¼ teaspoon of jam in the hole you just made. Wash the fruit and place the fruit on top of the jam. If you are using raspberries, just use one per macaron. If you are using strawberries, cut them into small pieces and use one piece per macaron.
- Place another macaron on top and then you’re ready to put the decal on!
Step 8: Prepare Edible Decals
Edible-ink paper is fairly easy to work with if you follow these steps for preparing and applying the decals. (This can be done before or after making the macarons, or while you're waiting for them to set.)
- Cut out the images. Make sure to keep the shiny paper backing on while you cut them out, or else they will be harder to cut. (Tip: circular images look the best on macarons.)
- Peel off the backing. Once you’ve cut out the images, the edible paper should easily come apart from the shiny backing, but if it doesn’t, try using a hair dryer to soften the paper. Once you’ve done this, it should peel off easily.
Step 9: Apply Decals
For the next steps, a small paintbrush would work the best, but if you don’t have one, your finger will work OK too.
- Carefully dab a thin layer of water on the back of a decal (you’ll have to be gentle—too much water will dissolve the paper), and then moisten the top of a macaron as well (the top is the rounded part, not the flat part that was on the cookie sheet).
- Center the decal, water side down, on the macaron, and gently press down on all areas of the decal (make sure your finger is dry when you do this). Because edible paper is designed to be used with wet frosting, it won’t immediately adhere to the macaron.
- Very carefully dab water around the edges of the decal to help it adhere to the macaron. The edible ink will run if the image extends to the edge of the cutout, so be very careful with your water-dabbing.
- After a few minutes, the image will better adhere to the macaron. Avoid covering the macarons in plastic until the decals have had time to adhere and dry (probably an hour or two); otherwise the decals will stick to the plastic and come off.
Step 10: Enjoy!
Once the decals have had time to adhere to the top of the macarons, your macarons are ready! Refrigerate them if you're not serving them immediately, and be sure not to cover them with plastic unless the decals have had time to dry completely (just in case, I would store them in a hard plastic container and avoid stacking them on top of each other).