Sunday, March 18, 2012 / 38 Comments / , , , ,

Easter Egg French Macaron Cookies Filled with Nutella {Gluten Free Cookies}

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Well, I had plans of posting pictures from my littlest sweetie's second birthday party. A beach party with mermaid cupcakes topped with white chocolate sea stars. Only that party didn't happen. Instead we spent a rainy weekend inside. Just the four of us eating a mini chocolate ganache cake and opening presents. And you know what? It was perfect. We love love love spending time with our amazing group of friends and their kids, but sometimes it's a nice change to skip the production and just have simple family time. At 2 years old, L didn't know the difference anyway.

B (4) is over-the-moon excited about Easter, and particularly about dying and decorating eggs. So I thought we would sweeten up the rainy day with some delicious and fun egg decorating.

The easiest, and in my opinion yummiest, filling for French macs is Nutella.

This turned out to be a great activity that kept B busy for an hour. She used clear decorating gel and then sprinkled on pastel sprinkles and sanding sugar. 

Mummy's favorite decoration?

Dreamy whites with a sprinkle of edible gold leaf of course! Edible gold leaf is available at Sur la Table. Warning: it's not cheap, but it is fabulous.

Easter Egg French Macarons filled with Nutella 
makes about 10

1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread such as nutella 
To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated. 
Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 2 inch egg shapes or ovals onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes. 
Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. 
To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. With nutella, I like to pipe an outline at the edge as seen in photo above. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. 
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
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