Celebrate Valentine's Day, (or any day really) with these sweet tart inspired macaron cookies!
When I think of Valentines day I always think about the class parties we used to have in elementary school. Everyone had to bring little valentines cards for everyone in the class and it always came with candy (obviously).
Thinking back on all of the candies that I used to get, I think sweet tarts were always my favorite. I mean how can you deny a sweet and tart combo? Also I was a sucker for anything tart and sour.
This memory was the inspiration behind these sweet tart macaron cookies. But what exactly is the sweet tart flavor?? After a ton of different flavor experiments...I finally figured it out.
What is the Sweet Tart Flavor?
If you're an OG sweet tart lover like me, you probably remember the way they used to come. Little disks of pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple all stacked and wrapped up together into a long stick.
Each color corresponds to the appropriate flavor:
- Blue- blue punch
- Pink- cherry
- Purple- grape
- Yellow- lemon
- Green- I believe was lime but I think they changed it to green apple!
Now, how do we achieve the sweet tart flavor with so much going on???
Easy...COMBINE THEM ALL.
But how do you even get all of those flavors together?
Sweet Tart Flavored Buttercream Ingredients
- Butter- I think this one speaks for itself 😉
- Powdered sugar- without the sugar it would be a butter frosting! (ew)
- Grape Koolaid- part 1 of our sweet tart flavor
- Lemon Koolaid- part 2 of the sweet tart flavor...and also what gives it that tarty ZING that you get when you eat a real sweet tart!
- Cherry Koolaid- part 3
- Strawberry Koolaid- part 4, the final flavor of our sweet tart!
You can find all of these koolaid flavors at pretty much any grocery store. You want the packets of dry mix! I think I bought all 4 for about $1!!!
Get the Basic Recipe for the Macaron Shells
If you didn't already know this, most macarons are made with an unflavored shell! That means that you can use the exact same recipe for multiple different macaron flavors.
The only difference in the macarons themselves is the filling in the center, and any coloring added to the shells! If you've never made macaron shells before, no fear! Check out this guide on how to make macarons!
Sweet Tart Macaron Cookies
- 124 grams powdered sugar about 1 ¼ cup
- 140 grams almond meal about 1 ⅔ cup
- 110 grams sugar about ½ cup
- 107 grams egg whites, room temperature about 3 large eggs
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 drop yellow gel food coloring, americolor
- white non peril sprinkles
Sweet Tart Buttercream
- 1 ¼ stick butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch salt
- ⅛ tsp cherry koolaid
- ⅛ tsp grape koolaid
- ⅛ tsp lemon koolaid
- 1.8 tsp strawberry koolaid
- In a medium bowl, scale the 140g almond meal and 124g powdered sugar. Sift both of them into a larger bowl and discard any large pieces. Set aside.
- In a stand mixing bowl, add the 107g room temperature egg whites and begin whisking on medium speed (speed 3-4) for 1-2 minutes. When the whites get foamy, add the cream of tartar.
- Very slowly, begin adding the 110g sugar by the spoonful, sprinkling it into the whites as they whip. When all of the sugar is added increase the speed to medium high (speed 5-6). Whip for about 5-6 minutes, then add the yellow food coloring. Continue mixing on medium high for 1-2 minutes more or until stiff peaks form.
- Add the whipped egg whites to a large bowl.
- Add ⅓ of the almond meal/sugar mixture to the whites. Fold very gently with a spatula until combined. The add the next ⅓ and fold to combine. Continue until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Using your rubber spatula, scrape the batter against the side of the bowl. Every few scrapes, pick up the batter and let it fall into the bowl. The batter should flow slowly in ribbons. Try to make a figure 8 with the batter. If it falls without breaking, its ready!
- Line an upside down pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and fill a piping bag and round tip with the batter. Pipe directly over the top of the parchment. When the pan is full, rap and drop the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. You can use a tooth pick to pop any bubbles that come to the surface. Sprinkle some white non peril sprinkles on top of the shells
- Preheat your oven to 300. (If your oven in on the hotter side, lower temperature might be better ie: 275-285)
- Allow the macarons to sit out to dry and form a skin. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the level of humidity in your house. They are ready to bake when the shell can be touched without it sticking to your finger or leaving an impression.
- Bake each tray for about 13-14 minutes. The macarons are done baking when you gently touch the top of the shell, it should just barely budge from the foot. Allow to cool completely before filling!
Making the Sweet Tart Buttercream
- In a mixing bowl, add the room temperature soft butter and mix it on medium with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes.
- With the mixer running on low, add the powdered sugar a little at a time by the spoon full. Combine completely before adding the next spoon full.
- When all of the powdered sugar is added, turn the mixer to high and whip for 3 minutes, or until the buttercream is super light and fluffy.
- Add the koolaid flavors to the buttercream and mix until combined completely.
- Fill into a piping bag and pipe onto each macaron shell.