Baking, Desserts, Gluten Free

Macarons | Grad Treats

Look at these cute little Graduation Macarons! 😂 With a blob here, a dot there, a simple macaron was transformed into something much more special. Fill them with buttercream, nutella, citrus curd or even jam… the sky is the limit.

I was particularly thrilled with these Grad treats, an adorable way to honour our graduating students 🎓 but it can be redesigned, depending on your occasion.

2020 has been a difficult year with the Covid-19 pandemic, causing chaos to many aspects of our lives. It was especially disappointing for our Highschool and University graduates who missed out on the tradional celebrations. I felt it first hand with 2 of my 3 kids missing out on the fanfare at graduation, but we all did our best to make sure they still felt honoured and these little Grad Macarons happily donned on their caps and joined in on the party!

SHOP: Silicon Macaron Mat (Silikomart 70) | Disposable piping bags | Kitchenaid Stand Mixer (Artisan 5Qt) | Edible Gold Leaf | Almond Meal

Macarons | Grad Treats

Servings 35 Filled Cookies

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 80 g almond meal pre-sifted (¾ cup)
  • 100 g powdered sugar (¾ cup, icing sugar)
  • 70 g egg whites room temp (approx 2 egg whitess)
  • 50 g castor sugar (2 Tb)
  • GEL food colouring as required

Buttercream Filling

  • 125 g butter room temp (½ cup)
  • 125 g powdered sugar sifted (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract

Grad Hats / Face

  • 200 g milk chocolate
  • After Dinner Mint squares
  • Edible gold leaf
  • Black food colouring

Instructions

  1. Pre-sift your almond meal to remove the lumps before weighing out 80g.
  2. Sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal, set aside.
  3. In a clean mixer bowl (wiping down with vinegar ensures the bowl is squeaky clean). On medium speed, briefly whisk the egg whites until it becomes foamy, then gradually stream in the sugar. Whisk to firm peaks (this can take 5-10 minutes).
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a spatula, fold in half of the almond mix.
  5. Add the remaining almond mix along with a few drops of gel food colouring and fold through, pressing the batter against the sides of the bowl to remove any large air bubbles. We want to achieve a densely aerated batter which flows like lava. Stop when when the batter, drizzled over itself melds back into itself after 20 seconds.
  6. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe 3cm dots onto a silicon mat or baking paper lined tray. Tap the tray a few times on the counter to bring up any air bubbles which you can pop with a toothpick. Wet your finger with water to smooth down any peaks.

  7. Optionally, to make them into little people, pipe on liitle dollops for feet and arms on half of the piped dots.

  8. Rest it on the counter for 30 minutes to dry out a bit. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 140C (fan forced).
  9. When the mixture is no longer tacky to the touch, bake for 20 mins or until the tops don’t slide when pushed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  10. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by whipping the softened butter for 5-10mins, scraping down the sides until light and fluffy. 8) Sift in the powdered sugar and on slow, incorporate it into the butter. Add the vanilla and increase speed to high, whip for another few minutes. Transfer to a piping bag.
  11. Match up the cookies into pairs and pipe in the filling.
  12. Refrigerate the filled macaroons for at least 24hrs to allow the filling to soften the cookies. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Add Grad Hats

  1. Break up the milk chocolate into small pieces and melt in the microwave in short spurts, stirring until it is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag.

  2. When the chocolate has firmed up a little, stand the macarons up on theor feet and pipe a 1cm pile of chocolate onto the top of the macaron. Position an after dinner mint on top and finish with a piece of gold leaf for the tassle.

  3. Using a small pointed brush and black food colouring as paint, give them a little happy face!