Rain makes me sad.
Rain makes me lazy.
I can do snow. I can do cold.
But cold rain? Yeah, no thanks.
Instead of being depressed, I decided to do something happy. Like, um, bake? … Yes, bake with... SPRINKLES!
Who wouldn’t be happy after baking with sprinkles?
I’m not the biggest fan of cake mixes. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I’ve used a cake mix to make a cake. I wouldn’t feel complete after baking a cake if I wasn’t covered in various types of flours, powders, and frostings. However, one exception I allow for cake mix use is when making cookies. In the States you can find Funfetti Cake Mix, and this stuff makes out-of-this-world-cookies!
I used to make these cookies when I was living in Montreal for a group of friends of mine. For some reason, they went crazy over them. Perhaps it’s the sprinkle crunch, or the rainbow of colour happiness, or maybe it’s just the fact that sprinkles always go on top of the cookies or cake, not baked on the inside, so it is slightly rebellious! I’d bring up some boxes of Funfetti mix to Montreal after visiting my Mom in North Carolina, then go crazy making these cookies. I’m pretty sure they were standard at any big house party.
You DEFINITELY don’t find funfetti in France. It is very, very un-French. But, I have a weird obsession with sprinkles/confetti/sparkles, so, obviously, I thought it would be a great idea to throw sprinkles in my standard macaron mix to bake:
Funfetti Macarons – What you need:
- 100 grams of aged egg whites (I leave mine on the counter in a sealed container for 24 hours)
- 110 grams of almond powder
- 200 grams of confectioner’s sugar
- 50 grams of caster sugar
- ¼ cup sprinkles
Funfetti Macarons – What you do:
Sift the almond powder and confectioner’s sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy, then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar while beating until stiff peaks form. Don’t overbeat your batter at this stage! The egg whites are perfectly stiff when you can just flip the bowl over without the meringue (also known as stiff-peaked egg whites) sliding down the bowl.
Scrape all of the meringue into the almond powder/confectioner’s sugar mixture. Quickly fold in the meringue at first, then once the batter begins to become incorporated, slowly fold the two mixtures together. Again – no overbeating your macaron batter! Try to count your stirs to 40 or fewer.
Once the macaron batter is well combined, add ¼ cup of sprinkles. Fold the sprinkles into the mixture in 10 stirs or fewer.
Scoop all of the macaron mix into a pastry bag and pipe macarons out on to a parchment lined baking sheet. Tap the baking sheet onto the counter a few times to make sure that there are no air bubbles in your macarons. Leave the piped macarons alone for an hour to rest. During this stage the tops will harden a bit so the macaron doesn’t crack while it’s cooking.
While you’re waiting, preheat your oven to 140-150c.
Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes (depending on size), rotating the pan half-way through the cooking time.
Allow the macarons to rest for a minute or two after you remove them from the oven. Pop them off the baking sheet and place them onto a cooling rack until completely cool. They should come off really easily, if they stick, put them back into the oven for a few minutes.
This made 34 cookies, or 17 macarons once sandwiched together.
Since the idea behind this macaron is a “funfetti cake/cookie”, I used a pretty standard vanilla birthday cake frosting. It was delicious together!
Vanilla Frosting Filling – What you need:
- ½ cup margarine or butter
- 2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons of (almond/soy) milk
Vanilla Frosting Filling – What you do:
Beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well. One cup at a time, beat the confectioner’s sugar into the mixture. Add the milk (use 1 tablespoon for a thicker frosting, 2 tablespoons for a thinner frosting), and beat until everything is well combined and creamy.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto one macaron cookie, and sandwich together with another cookie.
Mmm…macarons! Yes, they’re more tasty than the Funfetti cookies and/or cake!
Even better news: Eventually the rain cleared up, and I was able to make it to the new exposition at Musée du Luxembourg. Ahh, Eugene Boudin, you complete me.
Baking soundtrack – Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I don’t know if it’s my obsession with my new Nikes… but I’ve been quite silly lately. Enjoy…
Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXsxAaCUPQk
Tiga – Shoes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TppnYXQsLDQ