Lucinda Hamilton from Cocolicious in Cranbrook shares her festive recipes for Snowman Macarons to inspire family fun in the kitchen this Christmas...
Makes: about 60 shells
Macaron recipe: 200g icing sugar
3 egg whites
40g caster sugar
Vanilla Buttercream recipe: 125gunsalted butter
at room temperature
250g icing sugar
1 splash of milk
1 tspvanilla bean paste
You will need:
a piping bag fitted with 1cm nozzle
a baking tray lined with non stick baking parchment
draw yourself some snowmen templates on the baking paper
Tip the icing sugar and the almonds into a food processor and blitz together for about 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and very fine.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Keep whisking, whilst slowly adding the caster sugar, until the mixture is thick, white and glossy.
With a large metal spoon fold the ground sugar and almond mix into the egg whites. The mixture should be thoroughly incorporated and smooth, this generally takes about a minute of continuous folding action. When the mixture is ready, it should drop from the spoon in a continuous smooth mass.
Spoon the mixture into the piping bag fitted with the correct nozzle and pipe evenly sized rounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Do the body first and the head second. Leave enough space between macarons as they will spread out a bit.
Important. The next step is very important as, if forgotten, you will not get the 'pied' at the bottom of the macaron: Tap the bottom of the baking sheet sharply, ONCE, on the work surface to expel any air bubbles. (I just lift the whole baking sheet slightly above the work surface and let it drop down.)
Leave the macarons to dry out for 20-30 mins. Whilst the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 150°C.
Before baking make sure they are dry. They should not be sticky, tacky or wet when tested with your fingertip.
Bake the macarons for 11 minutes. You may need to turn them halfway through the baking if your oven tends to be hotter on one side. The tops should be crisp and the bottoms dry.
Once ready, remove from the oven and immediately transfer the whole baking sheet from the tray onto a wire cooling rack. Once cooled remove carefully from the baking sheet.
Vanilla Buttercream recipe:
Beat the butter and vanilla paste until creamy and pale. Gradually add the icing sugar and milk, beating well until buttercream is very soft and light.
Add any colouring or flavouring that you wish.
Pipe a small quantity of buttercream onto one of the macaron shells and sandwich with the other.
Store in airtight containers until ready to serve.
N.B.: Macarons can be frozen too, but make sure they are thoroughly thawed before serving.
Enjoy an array of tasty Cocolicious goodies, including festive cookies, macarons, cakes and biscuits, at Wealden Times Midwinter Fair this November (20-22) 2014 at The Walled Garden, Bedgebury Pinetum, where Loulou and her talented team will be running the special Tea Tent. For more info. see
Midwinter Fair 2014 and
Published: Photographs:David Merewether Recipes:Lucinda Hamilton Recipes Type:Baking