If you’re anything like me, it’s been ages (okay, months) since you’ve set foot in a Disney park and at times, coping can be difficult. There’s only so much trips to my local Disney Store and reading food reviews online can accomplish in terms of filling that void. Enter days of being stuck at home due to perennial summer storms. Boredom strikes. There’s a carton of eggs and a nine-pound bag of almond flour in your fridge. (I realize not everyone impulse-buys specialty flour at the bulk foods store, but I digress.) It’s time to put an end to this humdrum, Disney treat-less life. It’s time to make Millennial Pink Mickey macarons.
If you’ve never made macarons, fear not. These little treats are lauded as the epitome of French pastry, but at the end of the day, they’re just glorified almond cookies. With just a little faith, trust, and pixie dust, you’ll be rewarded with delicious, if not practically perfect treats. So round up a mixer, some bowls, spatulas, baking trays, parchment paper, a pencil, some sandwich bags, a metal piping tip, gel food coloring… okay, wait. Here’s a link to the recipe I used. It’s an old Disney family recipe from 2014, but it served as a good backbone to the project. Let’s get started!
I took a Mickey-shaped cookie cutter and a pencil and traced shapes 2 inches apart, making 3×3 rows for a total of 9 Mickey outlines. (Someone with more foresight would’ve made some room for a 10th Mickey outline for an even number of cookies.) I then sprayed my pan with non-stick cooking spray and placed the parchment paper on it, pencil-side down.
Prep a sandwich bag with a metal piping tip . You don’t really need the metal tip, but it’s available in most mass-merchandise or craft stores for under $2, and helps achieve a more rounded shape. I used a Wilton tip 1A.
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together per recipe instructions. Getting powdered sugar everywhere is a normal part of this process. Now, we move on to the meringue…
A few notes on meringue:
Most recipes will tell you to age your egg whites. I didn’t do that and my whites still whipped up beautifully.
Add the sugar in parts. Add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar, too.
It took a solid 12 minutes for my meringue to reach “stiff peak” mode, so do not be discouraged and just keep swimming… er, mixing!
Then add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. For dye, I strongly recommend gel food coloring over liquid food coloring. My technique is to slowly add teeny tiny little wads of pink gel coloring while still mixing the meringue, then wait, see what the color payout is, and add more or stop accordingly. If it comes out a different shade of pink, consider yourself on par for setting the trend for the next new Minnie ear headband.
Now it’s time for the macronage, a fancy word for mixing the wet and dry ingredients. Fold the meringue and almond/sugar mixture together. I called in the help of my neighbor, who worked as a pastry chef, and in her words, you’re to keep mixing/folding until the batter resembles “LIQUID HOT MAGMA.” (She sent this with a Dr. Evil gif.)
I ended up having to whip up an extra egg white because my batter seemed too dry. If you live in a particularly hot and/or dry climate, I recommend upping the total number of egg whites to three.
Next, pour the batter into the prepared sandwich bag. You will find yourself questioning your life choices at this point, especially if you find that your batter is on one side of the kitchen and the prepared baking sheet is on another. Persevere!
Using your outlines, pipe the Mickey shapes as best you can.
Let your piped macarons rest at room temp for about 30 minutes until they develop a skin. I would preheat the oven at this point, but to 300˚ F. The recipe says 325˚, but unless you live in Arendelle, 300˚ would be a safer bet in terms of not browning your precious pink creations. Pop them in the oven once they’re ready, and if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll cry as you helplessly watch them crack from the oven window.
Let them cool completely before matching up the cookies in similar-sized pairs and slathering them with buttercream. I made an elderflower buttercream filling with 1/2 c. unsalted butter, 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. elderflower syrup, and a splash of cream.
Thank the Phoenicians, you’re finished! Proceed to enjoy with some coffee or tea.
Making these macarons gave me a renewed sense of love, respect, and appreciation for the Disney pastry department. In fact, they make the macarons available throughout WDW seem reasonably priced, given the work required. However, getting to enjoy these delicious, homemade cookies in the comfort of my home, away from summer crowds makes them priceless, and a great rainy day activity, to boot! Give macaron making a try and get hands-on insight into the culture of Disney food. You may just find yourself channeling your inner Remy!