The Only 4 Ingredients You Need to Make Macarons

You don't have to pay top dollar to dine fancy. Macarons are known for being the sweet, dainty treats that you might find at a cafe in Paris. But that doesn't mean you've got to buy a plane ticket to enjoy these sweet treats. Kristina Guerrero got the inside scoop on how you can make the new holiday staple at home, with just 4 ingredients!

At-Home French Macarons

Ingredients:

7 oz. confectioners' sugar

4 oz. almond flour

4 large egg whites, room temperature

3 1/2 oz. granulated sugar

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Arrange macaron templates on baking sheets and top with parchment paper.

3. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour and set aside.

4. Make Some Meringue: Using the whisk attachment in a stand up mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium speed to soft peak stage.

5. Gradually ad 1/3 of the granulated sugar and whisk for 10 seconds. Repeat until all the sugar is added.

6. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase speed to high, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form and should look like shaving cream.

7. Add 1/3 of the sifted almond flour mixture to the meringue and fold with the spatula. Once incorporated, add the remaining flour mixture, turning, then folding back to the center - but be careful not to over mix!

8. Repeat until the batter becomes shiny and reaches the consistency of slow moving lava.

9. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round tip and pipe 1-inch rounds on parchment lined baking sheets. if desired, sprinkle candy bits or nuts on top of the rounds - but don't add too much, or you'll weigh down your macaron. Firmly tap the bottom of each sheet pan to remove air bubbles and the tail on top.

10. Rest at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes; until top of macaron appears dry and not sticky.

11. Bake until macarons are crisp and firm, about 12-14 minutes. If the top of the macarons look crinkled, your oven temperature might be too hot.

12. Allow macarons to cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. If macarons stick to the parchment paper after baking, sprinkle a smal amount of water underneath the parchment and allow the steam to loosen the macarons.

Get Fancy with Your Flavors: Basic Buttercream

Ingredients:

4 ozs. room temperature unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon flavor extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

1. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the softened butter until light and fluffy.

2. Add the confectioners' sugar to the butter and mix until combined. Add the flavor extract and salt and whip until smooth and creamy.

How to Make Special Flavors:

Peppermint

Add 1-2 drops green food coloring to macaron batter. Top macarons with crushed candy canes or gold sprinkles prior to drying and baking. Add 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract to the basic buttercream.

Cranberry

Top macarons with red or gold sprinkles prior to drying and baking. Puree 1/4 cup of dried cranberries with 2 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons agave until a cranberry paste forms. After piping on buttercream top with 1 teaspoon cranberry puree. Or use prepared cranberry jam or jelly.

Citrus-Vanilla

Add 1-2 drops blue food coloring to macaron batter. Top macarons with silver or white sprinkles. Add 1-2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest to buttercream.

DIY Natural Food Coloring

Use any freeze dried fruit to naturally color and flavor the basic butter cream:

- Pink/Red: Puree 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, then add to buttercream.

- Blue/Purple: Puree 1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries, then add to buttercream.

- Green: Add 1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon matcha powder to buttercream.

- Yellow: Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to macaron batter or buttercream.

When it comes to getting creative in the kitchen, do you prefer to bake or do you prefer to cook? Tell us on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.

Special thanks to Chef Teresa for her recipes - you can find more of her tasty meals at her website, www.chefhansen.com

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