With Mardi Gras just around the corner, you may be thinking "I'm not going to be in New Orleans, so why celebrate?" This is the wrong way to think about it.
Every holiday is an excuse to bake, right? So here it is.
In 1872, a group of businessmen created the King of the Carnival, Rex and also chose the Carnival's colors (purple, green and gold) to honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff's family colors. Purple stands for justice; gold for power; and green for faith, as explained on the official New Orleans Mardi Gras website. You can read more about the history of the Carnival and the endless list of wacky and fun traditions of Mardi Gras on the website.
But back to baking. There are a lot of ways to honor the purple and green flare, but macarons allow for a lot of variation in filling, and give you a chance to represent the colors of the holiday.
Macarons are a bit of a daunting task, and they seem like they are items that should be left to the professionals, but they really just require a bit of care, not too much time, and a really simple and short list of ingredients! So why not wow your friends and Mardi Gras party guests with this smore recipe. (You can also change up the filling to whatever you like--perhaps a simple jam filling or even peanut butter)
Purple and Green and Yellow food coloring
Dark chocolate baking chips
1. Prepare the macaron batter
2. Divide the batter, dying one portion purple and one portion green
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
4. Line baking sheet with parchment
5. Put each color into a separate piping bag, and pipe 3/4 in rounds onto the pan 1 in apart from each other until both colors are run out (try to do an equal amount of each color rounds so the sandwiches have pairs)
6. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F
7. Bake as macaron recipe describes
8. Put a small amount of mini marshmallows in a microwave bowl with a splash of milk and microwave for 10 sec at a time until you are able to stir it with a spoon to a smooth consistency. Add yellow food coloring.
9. Put a small amount of baking chips in a bowl with a generous splash of milk and microwave until you can stir smooth. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional).
10. Take all of the purple halves and spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache onto each. Do the same with the marshmallow for the green halves
11. Match like-sized pairs of green and purple macaron shells with filings to create festive smores flavored sandwiches!
Note: The picture does not show colored marshmallow filling but the added yellow will really make it perfect for Mardi Gras!