When I was planning our daughter’s Cat in the Hat birthday party, I wanted to do a dessert table in red and blue. As you already know, there aren’t many naturally-colored foods that come in blue. There are blueberries. And then there are… no, that’s pretty much it. Blueberries.
I also wanted to make macarons (actually, I wanted to buy them but my party budget had other ideas). After doing a little research, it seemed best to opt for powdered food coloring over liquid for such a vibrant colored cookie, so as not to risk disrupting the
temperamental high maintenance delicate moisture balance in the macaron shells.
So I put Kool Aid into delicate, fancy French cookie batter. Because powdered food coloring was nearly $10/bottle.
It’s a little bit of sacrilege topped with a whole load of blasphemy. It’s kind of like… putting Kool Aid in macarons 😛
I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a glass of Kool Aid in at least 15 years. At least. But it has powdered food coloring so it took care of both flavoring and coloring the macaron shells a pretty red and blue (I did add a pea-sized drop of Americolor Red Red to the Tropical Punch and the tiniest drop of Americolor Yellow to the Blue Raspberry Lemonade to get more of an aqua color than light blue). It’s a very, very odd experience to open your oven and get hit with the smell of hot tropical punch but the cooled cookies are filled with a lemony buttercream – fun, fruity, and matched the party’s color scheme perfectly.
And I mean exactly perfectly – I joked on Twitter that I must have been a paint color matching machine in a previous life because my macarons matched the blue Jelly Belly candies perfectly.
I wished that talent carried over into decorating… our old house had 5 different shades of yellow/tan downstairs. And only two of those were supposed to be different.
Tropical Punch Macarons
Powdered drink mix yields a fun, fruity, vibrant-colored macaron.
- 110 grams almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 200 grams confectioners sugar
- 100 grams egg whites (from 3 eggs, separated 24 hours in advance or microwaved for 8-10 seconds)
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 1 envelope Kool Aid
- 1-2 drops food coloring, optional
- 1/2 cup buttercream frosting
- Pulse the almond flour and confectioner's sugar several times in your food processor until thoroughly mixed.
- Place your aged egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk until foamy.
- Add the sugar and turn the mixer to high, whisking until you have a glossy meringue.
- Add the Kool Aid and food coloring, if using, to the egg whites and let the mixer run a few circles through the batter to distribute.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites gently, briskly at first to break up the meringue a bit, until thoroughly mixed. The batter will be a little lumpy but will relax.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe rounds of 1.5 inches along two parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Let sit one hour at room temperature.
- Heat oven to 300. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely and remove from the pan.
- Not more than 24 hours before serving, pipe 1-2 tsp of frosting onto one cookie and top with the other, gently pressing down.
- Store tightly covered and serve the next day.
Yields: 24 filled cookies
Estimated time: 2 hours