There are many strategies for getting kids to try new foods. Kids are adaptive and learn the tricks fairly quickly. That’s why you’ve got to mix things up now and then. I am not above bribery. A tried and true method to get kids to eat dinner involves dessert. It’s classic to withhold dessert unless the kid has cleaned their plate. At our house we don’t require that but that the kids do a “good job” on their meal. We keep the serving sizes small for new foods so it’s less stressful for them. Sometimes all that is required to taste a new food to qualify for dessert. None of these strategies work unless you’ve got a dessert that they’ll want to eat. Macarons have quickly become that motivation at our house.
My kids really wanted some colorful macarons so I gave them the choice of strawberry or blueberry for flavors. These were inspired by MacTweets Mac Attack #17. While the colors didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped the flavor was delicious.
To make these you’ll need some powdered blueberries which is easy to make yourself if you have a Trader Joe’s close to you. Buy a package of freeze-dried blueberries, dump the entire package into a food processor and run it until the berries are pulverized into powder. You won’t be able to get them all crushed but since you’ll be adding them to the dry ingredients through the sifter the large pieces will be sifted out.
Add 3 tablespoons of the blueberry powder to the dry ingredients for the Basic Almond Macaron recipe from Pastry Pal. Continue preparing the macarons using the instructions in the Master the French Macaron guide.
The color of the piped batter was promising even though my daughter described them as gray. I turned on the ceiling fan in my kitchen to speed the drying of the cookies. Another trick that I used was to smooth out any peaks on the piped batter. I dipped my finger in cool water and then gently smoothed out the tops of the cookies immediately after piping them. I’m still working out how much to beat the egg whites.
After the cookies were baked the color was not as bright. I added half of a teaspoon of ground ginger to the butter cream filling which was a nice compliment to the blueberries.
I saved about half of the cookies unfilled in the freezer. I’ll let you know how they hold up. My daughter has been taking macarons in her lunch for school since I’ve started making them. So far this was my fourth batch. Batches #2 and #3 were not perfect but still tasted great.
Those two batches that didn’t quite work out motivated me to keeping trying. I didn’t want my first batch to be a fluke.