When I was a kid, my mother was sort of not too concerned over which cereals were on the breakfast table. Her only concern was that they didn’t have too much sugar or too many weird colors. So when she brought home a box of Trix — maybe it was for someone’s birthday, or it was Christmas, or she’d had a bad day or something — my brothers and I all went into scramble mode to eat as much of it as fast as we could and to get more than anyone else.
Fast forward to today. I AM the mother, and I regularly bring home whatever I want from the grocery store. When I walked down the cereal aisle last week, I remembered that fruity, colorful box that had a place of honor in my memory and thought “I can Mac that.” I’ve written up some tips for you. Remember to save a few bits of that neon, fun colorful sweet cereal to scatter around your serving dish and watch these Macs go!
Using Cereal in Your Macs:
- Use a food processor to crunch up the cereal. You’ll have two kinds left in your food processor bowl: super-fine dust, and bigger bits. Save the super fine dust for blending into the buttercream (see #4, below).
- The bigger bits are sprinkled on your freshly piped shells before baking. Add the cereal to the shells after you have piped, tapped, and released, and all air bubbles are popped. Don’t overdo the sprinkling. Too many bigger bits of cereal are just too much cereal on the shell and can make the shell weak.
- Keep the cereal bits within the diameter of the shell, as any hanging off the edge are extremely difficult to package if you are adding this to your shop pop-up menu.
- Modify the Sweet Mac Shop American Buttercream (below) by adding 2 Tablespoons of the super-fine dust of the crushed cereal. Blend well. It will flavor the buttercream, and coupled with the stylish and delish top shell, you’ve got your breakfast for dessert! (Or dessert for breakfast. Whatever.)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
- Add vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
- Add in heavy whipping cream.
- Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time.
- PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
- Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
- Flavor or color the buttercream to your preference. We make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depening on the amount of buttercream we need. Making one large batch saves time in the long run.
- NOTE: American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and one day at room temperature.
SweetMacShop Macaron Shells
- baker's half sheet pans: high quality baking sheets with rimmed edges
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- parchment paper or silpat baking mats (with macaron template)
- oven thermometer
- piping bag
- Wilton Tip #12
- food scale that will measure in grams or ounces
- scribe (a sharp, pointed tool), or a toothpick
- digital minute timer
- 160 grams egg whites room temperature
- 88 grams granulated sugar
- 256 grams powdered sugar
- 200 grams almond flour
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 285 for steel pans, or 300 for aluminum pans. Preheat for at least 10 minutes.
- Measure out your granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Measure powdered sugar, almond flour together, then use a sifter to combine. This will make them smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
- Place your bowl on the surface of your food scale. Hit the "tare" button to zero out the weight of the bowl. Now measure the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
- Add the clear vanilla extract.
- Place bowl on mixer stand (this recipe is for the KitchenAid mixer), and attach the wire whisk beater. Set timer for one minute. Turn mixer to Speed 4, and slowly add sugar to egg whites, shaking it in a little at a time during that first minute.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 6, and set timer for 2 minutes.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 8, and set timer for 1 and 1/2 minutes (90 seconds). Coloring may be added just before this last mixing. Egg whites should look silky, yet stiff enough to hold the peak.
- Now we'll make the macronage: blend in dry ingredients, by moving a flexible spatula around the bowl, then cutting down through the middle, making sure to scrape the bottom for the flour and incorporate it into the meringue. You know you are done when the batter rolls off the spatula in a continuous ribbon. Batter will be thick...but can flow like a ribbon.
- BAKER'S NOTE: I have several videos of making macronage in my Instagram Highlights.
- Insert Wilton #12 tip into the small opening of your piping bag. Scoop the macronage into the bag, filling only half-way full, leaving room to twist the top closed in order to keep the batter from spilling out the top. Pipe the macrons by applying pressure until the batter flows out and just reaches the inner rim of the marked circle on your mat. Immediately release pressure and swirl tip to incorporate point back into the center of the cookie. See my tips on Instagram Highlights.
- NOTE: if you will be using parchment paper -- search for online -- then download a template of circles and place underneath your parchment paper. You'll remove this before baking.
- Once the full pan is piped, gently (or aggressively--no judgement here) bang the pan down onto the counter to release air bubbles. I usually place a towel on the counter before banging the pan. Use your scribe or toothpick to pop any large bubbles, in order to create smooth shells.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD ONE: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the bottom of an upside-down baker's half sheet. Pipe your circles. Let rest about 5 minutes, bang (see above) then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD TWO: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the inside of a baker's half sheet (like normal). Pipe your circles. Let rest until your finger can glide across the top of the mac without stickiness, often up to 30 minutes. Bang (see above), then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, DO NOT -- I repeat -- do not remove from pan until they are completely cooled.
- This recipe yields 36-42 completed cookies (about 72-84 shells).