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I'm sharing these margarita macarons with my friends over at Domino® Sugar but before we get into that... you know what holiday is right around the corner, right? Every food lover’s dream: Cinco de Mayo!
The one day a year when we can stuff ourselves full of chips, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas… It’s a little bit of a foodie nirvana.
Of course, there is historical significance to the day (it commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862) and in Mexico, the day is ceremonial in nature. In the U.S., it has become a celebration of Mexican-American culture and like most holidays that celebrate heritage, people enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo with authentic food and drink. Since margaritas are a classic Mexican cocktail, it stands to reason that you should conclude your Mexican feast with these margarita macarons!
I’ve been playing around with Domino® Golden Sugar in my kitchen for the past few months, and I’ve been loving how it performs. If you haven’t tried it yet, it's a less processed alternative to granulated sugar that still works cup for cup in baking! It has the most beautiful golden color and a slight hint of molasses in the flavoring. I’ve thrown it at a lot of recipes recently, and they have come out amazingly! I started with these Salted Caramel Swirl Cheesecake Bars, but this week I put it to the ultimate test, with one of the most finicky recipes I know - French macarons.
Macarons are known to be tricky to make. You can make one change and the whole batch can just completely fail on you, so I figured that this would be a great test for the Domino® Golden Sugar, and it worked perfectly! So get this recipe for Margarita Macarons pinned, then let’s get baking, because, dude, these are SO DELICIOUS… you have to try them.
French vs. Italian Macarons
The only difference between these two macaron methods is in how the meringue is made.
The French method calls for whipping the egg whites with granulated sugar to make the meringue. The Italian method calls for boiling sugar to be poured into and whisked with the egg whites – similar to what you’d do with Italian meringue buttercream.
The French method is simple and less time-consuming, so it’s generally my preference (and the method we'll be using here!).
How to Make Margarita Macarons
If there’s one thing to know before making French macarons at home, it’s this: these cookies are not simple. Impossible? Absolutely not. Requiring BOTH patience and practice? Yes.
That’s why they’re so expensive in bakeries and restaurants! These are quite finicky little cookies, as I've said before. I’m not saying this to intimidate you! I’m saying this to prepare you for a macaron journey. If they don’t come out perfect the first time (they rarely do), know that they will still taste delicious! Looks aren’t everything!
Here are the basic steps to making macarons:
- Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar and discard any bits that won’t pass through the sifter.
- Whip the egg whites and Domino® Golden Sugar (or granulated sugar) to a stiff meringue.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue using the macaronage technique.
- Pipe the macarons onto your baking sheet.
- Bang the baking sheet on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons dry at room temperature until dry to the touch. (DO NOT skip this step.)
- Bake the macarons and then cool completely.
- Match up by size, and fill to make cookie sandwiches.
Check out my Ultimate French Macaron Guide for an in-depth breakdown of the macaron-making process.
The Tequila Lime Buttercream Filling
Let me tell you about a frosting that doesn’t include cream. And that’s weird for me considering that heavy cream is always my secret to the best frostings/icings on the planet. Standard ingredients here– softened butter that is whipped until silky smooth and fluffy. Confectioners’ sugar added 1 cup at a time to really smooth things out and add even more fluff. Next up? 3, 2, 1… TEQUILA! Only 1.5-2 tablespoons total.
Because if you’re not adding tequila to your frosting, you’re doing it wrong.
For the lime flavor in the frosting, you technically have two options.
- Lime extract or lime oil. These are special ingredients that you’d have to order. Additionally, you'll have to taste as you beat it in and add more as you find necessary. I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up from there. Lime extract or lime oil has an incredible amount of concentrated flavor.
- Lime juice and lime zest. This is my preferred method, personally. Beating the lime zest with the butter and adding 2 teaspoons of lime juice help to incorporate that delicious lime flavor without going overboard.
PS: this is not a salty or heavily tequila-flavored frosting, which I imagine would taste completely horrible. You’ll mostly taste sharp but sweet lime with a hint of tequila.
How To Store Macarons
There are several different ways to store macarons, pick what works best for you:
- Refrigerate the fully assembled macaron: Fully assembled macarons usually stay fresh 2-4 days after they're made.
- Refrigerate the shells only: Macaron shells usually stay fresh 4-6 days after they're made. Assemble and serve before this date is up. After filling, they can stay fresh for another 2-4 days.
- Freeze the fully assembled macaron: After filling the macaron, let it mature for 12-24 hours and then freeze. On the day before serving, thaw macarons a few hours in advance. From this point on, they will stay fresh for another 2-4 days.
- Freeze the shells only: After baking and cooling off, the shells can be frozen in an air-tight container and will last for about 3 months. On the day of assembly, transfer them from the freezer to the fridge a few hours in advance. Once thawed, they can be assembled as usual. From this point on, they will stay fresh for 2-4 days.
Notes & Tips for Making Margarita Macarons
- The measurements listed are by weight. You have to use a scale for macarons. They are incredibly finicky and temperamental, so the ingredients have to be precise.
- Wipe down your bowl. Before whisking, make sure your whisk and bowl are sparkling clean and grease/oil-free. Any traces of grease will not let your eggs whites whip to stiff peaks. I like to wipe my bowl down with a paper towel and some lemon juice before starting.
- When zesting the lime, try to only get the green part. The white part of the lime peel can make your buttercream taste a little bitter.
- The number of macarons you make can vary depending on the size you make your macarons. I make mine about an inch and a half in diameter.
- An extensive list of macaron tips can be found at the bottom of my Ultimate French Macaron Guide. (Click 'jump to recipe' and scroll up)
This post is sponsored by Domino® Sugar. All opinions are 100% my own.
Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
For the Macarons:
- 120 g almond flour room temperature
- 120 g Domino® confectioners sugar
- 100 g egg whites (approx. 3 large eggs)
- 100 g Domino® Golden Sugar (or granulated sugar)
- Green gel food coloring (do NOT use liquid coloring)
For the Tequila Lime Buttercream Filling:
- 55 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 240 g Domino® confectioners sugar
- 25 g tequila
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- pinch of salt
To Make the Macarons:
- In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour & confectioners’ sugar and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Continue to beat until your whisk begins leaving visible trails in the foamy egg whites.
- Once you can see trails, gradually add the granulated sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue forms. Add green gel food coloring, if using, then beat on high until stiff peaks form. (Be sure not to over-whip your egg whites otherwise you risk drying them out.)
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward then press the flat side of your spatula through the middle against the side of the bowl. (The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold.) Continue folding until the batter gets to a lava-like consistency.Pro Tip: The figure 8 test is a great way to check your batter’s consistency; pick up the batter with your spatula and let it flow down into the bowl while drawing the figure “8”. If it can do that without the batter breaking, immediately stop folding.
- Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag with a medium-sized round tip.
- Holding the piping bag at a 90 ̊ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Feel free to print out a macaron template if you’re worried about size/uniformity).
- Holding the baking sheet with both hands, carefully bang the sheet firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. (If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack your macaron shells.)
- Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all the batter (usually about three sheet pans worth.)
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 30 minutes or until a skin has developed; on a humid day, it might take an hour or more. To see if they're ready to be baked, lightly touch the shells. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. (Don’t forget to remove the macaron templates, if using, before baking!)
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C) and position the oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake the macarons, one tray at a time, for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the baking process.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and cooling completely on a wire rack. (If the bottoms are a tiny bit sticky, keep them on the tray to cool off for an additional 10-15 minutes. If, however, the bottoms are already brown, they peel off cleanly, or they appear over-baked, then carefully take them off the tray immediately to cool down.) Repeat the baking process with the remaining sheet pans.Pro Tip: It’s always better to over- rather than under-bake your macarons as the maturation process can typically salvage ones that are over-baked.
To Make the Tequila Lime Buttercream Filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and lime zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the confectioners' sugar, tequila, and lime juice and beat until well combined. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for an additional 3-5 minutes until the buttercream is fluffy. If needed, add in a little more lime juice 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If the buttercream is too runny, add powdered additional sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Transfer the tequila lime buttercream into a pastry bag. Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size and then fill the macarons, gently sandwiching together. Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and bring back to room temperature before enjoying.
- Macarons are best enjoyed the next day after they mature in the fridge (since the flavors will be absorbed into the shell). If your shell is hard/crunchy/over-baked, letting them mature will also cause the shells to absorb the moisture from the filling and soften up / give them their signature chewy texture.
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