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colorful macarons, pink, blue, teal, yellow.

Beach Macarons

Today I will show you how to make four different designs for these amazing Beach Macarons. They are filled with a delicious Shortbread Buttercream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Keyword beach, macarons
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 20 macarons
Calories 80 kcal
Author camila

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

  • 4 grams egg white powder
  • 100 grams white granulated sugar
  • 100 grams egg whites
  • 105 grams almond flour
  • 105 grams powdered sugar
  • The Sugar Art powder lilac, French blue, Hawaiian blue, coral
  • Americolor gel food coloring sky blue, wedgewood

Shortbread Buttercream

  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup shortbread crumbs
  • 187 grams powdered sugar or more for consistency
  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk

To assemble

  • 1/2 cup shortbread crumbs to sprinkle on top of the filling

Instructions

Macaron Shells

  1. Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare one large piping bag, fitted with a round tip, I used a 1/4” diameter tip. Also leave 2 piping bags set aside, without the ends cut. Set aside.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  3. Measure out all of the ingredients.
  4. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour. Set it aside.
  5. Whisk the sugar and the egg white powder (if using) in a bowl, and place it over a pan with barely simmering water.
  6. Add the egg whites to the sugar and whisk the mixture until frothy and the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
  7. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because you don’t want the whites to cook.
  8. Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.
  9. Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  10. With the whisk attachment, start whisking the syrup on low (speed 2 KitchenAid) for about 30 seconds.
  11. After 30 seconds I’ll increase the speed to 4 and let the meringue whip for another couple of minutes here. Now I will finish whipping my meringue on speed 6 for about 10 minutes or so. Some people like to whip their meringue at a higher speed, and some people like it to be at a slower speed. I know of people who whip their meringue for a long time on speed 4, which can take a little while. And others like a faster speed. It all depends. Experiment with different speeds to find out how it affects your meringue. Generally, a faster speed will add lots of air bubbles to the meringue way too fast, which can create an unstable meringue, or hollow shells. Which is why I like to stay at a medium speed for the most part.
  12. Continue to watch the meringue whip to avoid over whipping.
  13. Once the whites get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to start checking.
  14. Whip until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whisk up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending down to the side.
  15. Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into the stiff meringue.
  16. Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
  17. Fold the dry ingredients with the meringue just until you see no more dry ingredients in the meringue.
  18. As soon as you see no more dry ingredients in the meringue, stop stirring. Divide the batter between two different bowls, or between as many different colors as you’d like to make. I made 4 different batches for the macarons here, and each batch was colored a certain way.
  19. First batch: sky blue, wedgewood and gold gel food coloring by Americolor

  20. Second batch: French blue and Hawaiian blue powder by The Sugar Art.

  21. Third batch colors: lilac, French blue, and coral powders by The Sugar Art.

  22. Fourth batch: wedgewood gel food coloring by Americolor with dark blue food coloring streaks (Brush the inside of the piping bag with gel food coloring and then add the batter in. Watch my video where I show this in detail)

  23. When you divide the batter between the amount of colors you want to obtain, work with one bowl at a time, leaving the other bowls covered meanwhile.
  24. To the first batter add gel food coloring and stir until the perfect consistency is achieved. The batter should be flowing slowly and effortlessly off the spatula, you should be able to pick up some batter with the spatula and draw several figure 8s with the batter that’s flowing, without having the batter break up. And even after the batter breaks up, it should still continue to flow off the spatula slowly.
  25. There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
  26. Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
  27. If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out, fold a little bit more, about 3 folds.
  28. Test again.
  29. Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, it’s ready.
  30. You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to over mix. It’s always best to under mix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
  31. Once the first batter achieves the perfect consistency, transfer it to the piping bag. Secure the top with a tie, so the batter doesn’t scape while piping, and to keep the batter from drying out while you work with the remaining batter. Set the piping bag aside.
  32. Now, it’s time to work with the second batter. Color it whatever color you’d like to make the second batter. After adding food coloring, stir until the perfect consistency is achieved, like I’ve explained above.
  33. Transfer the batter to the piping bag. And secure the top with a tie.
  34. Place the large piping bag fitted with the round tip (I used a 1/4” piping tip) in a cup, so this way the bag will be held open.
  35. Using a pair of scissors, snip the ends of each piping bag that contains the colorful batters.
  36. Place the two bags inside the large piping bag. I really recommend watching my video to see how to do this, it’s very easy to understand once you watch the video.
  37. Now position the piping bag over the center of the circle template, and start applying gentle pressure to release the batter. Then pull the bag up twisting slightly at the top.
  38. Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
  39. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles on the surface of the shells.
  40. Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is, how much food coloring you have added, and on the consistency of the batter. You’ll know the macarons are ready to be baked. when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry, and doesn’t stick to your finger.
  41. Pre-heat the oven. I used to use a 325ºF temperature but now I use 310ºF on my large oven, and 285-290ºF on my countertop oven. Also, the macarons baked on my countertop oven do not have to rest, they can be baked straight after piping.
  42. Bake one tray at a time.
  43. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the tray in the oven to bake evenly on all sides. And then continue baking.
  44. I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  45. When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking.
  46. Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
  47. Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.

Shortbread Buttercream

  1. Place about 1 cup of shortbread cookies in a small food processor or blender, and process until you obtain fine crumbs, before the mixture becomes a paste.
  2. Beat the butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 1 minute. With the mixer off, add 1/3 cup of the shortbread cookie crumbles.
  3. On low speed, beat the butter and shortbread crumbs together. Once they are incorporated, stop the mixer, add the powdered sugar and mix to combine.
  4. Add 2 tbsp of liquid (water or milk) only if necessary, if the buttercream seems dry or stiff.
  5. Sometimes you may find that the consistency of the buttercream is already perfect and doesn’t need any more liquid. If the buttercream seems too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar until you obtain a firm, but smooth and creamy consistency.
  6. Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.

To assemble

  1. Pipe some of the Shortbread Buttercream on the bottom shells of the macarons. Sprinkle some crumbled shortbread cookies on top.
  2. Top with another shell.
  3. Let the macarons sit in the fridge overnight before serving.

Storage

  1. Store the macarons in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month though they can get soggy in the freezer because of the curd filling.

Recipe Notes

Vinegar: Before starting make sure to wipe down the bowls, whisks, silicone mats and everything you are going to use with vinegar, to avoid any grease particles of coming into contact with the meringue and batter.
Egg white powder: Egg White Powder is not the same as meringue powder. Egg White Powder is made of only egg whites. They help with getting fuller shells, and specially when adding a lot of food coloring to the batter, because they make the shells dry faster. I recommend experimenting with it if you can find it. I use 4 grams for each 100 grams of egg whites.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel or powder food coloring, not liquid. For the colors here I used Americolor and The Sugar Art.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: it will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven after 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.

Nutrition Facts
Beach Macarons
Amount Per Serving (1 macaron)
Calories 80
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.