Raising little foodies is always an adventure, to be sure. They never fail to surprise me with their likes, loves, and requests. I love to hear them talk about food destinations they want to visit, and their favorite chef (Rick Bayless, for the record), because nothing of the sort was even remotely on my radar as a kid. Caroline’s fifth birthday party was this weekend and she had just a few items that were simply required on her menu, one of which was macarons.

The party was art themed, so brush stroke macarons were an obvious choice. I have seen beautifully decorated macs many times in the past, but the one time I previously attempted them, things didn’t quite work out. Thankfully, this go round was much more successful! This isn’t really a recipe but rather a simple technique to take your plain macs over the top. Basically, there are two basic methods for coloring the cookies. First, using edible markers is a great option. The second option is to mix gel coloring with a very small amount of almond or lemon extract and paint the color onto the cookies. I played around with both techniques a bit and ended up preferring the texture provided by using an actual paint brush so that is what I used for all of the macs pictured here. I’m sure I’ll use the edible markers in the future though, depending on my needs and the look I’m going for. The main thing to remember either way is that you want to use as little liquid as possible. If the shells get too wet, they will start to dissolve in that area.

I played around with a few different color palettes in my brush stroke macarons but this one with deep fuchsia, magenta, teal and violet were by far my favorite. I could stare at these beauties all day.


If you have ever had the desire to make some pretty painterly macs yourself, I urge you to give it a try. Just when I thought I couldn’t love macarons more, these changed it all!  Full party details to come over the next week or two in a few different posts. I think you’re going to love this one!




  • Angela

    These are rad.

  • These look so pretty! I wouldn’t want to eat them because they are so cute haha

  • Lydia

    I can’t even begin to express how much I love these! Nicely done Annie!

  • Annie

    Thank you friend! You are so sweet :)

  • Liz N.

    I love this Warhol-esque take on these macarons. I need another reason to use my macaron tower and those gel colors. I have an artsy girl friend who is celebrating a birthday later this month and I may have to borrow this idea! Looking forward to the next post about Sweet Caroline’s birthday party. Always an inspiration, Annie!

  • Annie

    Thanks Liz!

  • Melissa Brooker

    those are beautiful Annie! and i have to agree with your favourite colour palette, just gorgeous! I hope to see more about Caroline’s 5th birthday! She is such a beautiful little girl and i LOVE your party posts!

  • Vanessa F.

    So glad you tried this! I’ve been contemplating the idea myself lately, so it’s helpful to read about someone else’s foray into painting macs

  • Gorgeous! Such a great idea…love the party idea as well…I have been wanting to throw my daughter an art party once she gets a little bigger…can’t wait to see pictures and how everything turned out!

  • Annie, this is absolutely incredible. You are such an inspiration in your astonishing ability to juggle a full time career, a popular food blog, and not just raise two beautiful children, but also throw them the most wonderfully detailed parties to boot (not to mention all your knitting!). My little boy will turn 1 next week and time and time again I question if it’s possible to have a full time job in the lab and still make time for food blogging and other things I enjoy that make me feel like “me” without sacrificing quality time with him, but every time I see a new post pop up from you, I’m reminded that yes, somehow it is possible. Thank you for being such an inspiration in all areas of life.

  • Annie

    Julie, you are too kind! I so appreciate your kind words and that I can provide some inspiration for you! There is no right answer to the work/family/”me” time balance and it certainly differs for everyone, but as long as you are doing things you truly enjoy and not doing them out of some sense of obligation or idea that you “should”, you’ll find a way to strike the balance that works for you. Keep up the great work!

  • These are so pretty!! And I love that they’re not much more complicated than regular macs, though the finished product would say otherwise!