Captivating Confections: 24 Hand-Picked Macaron Recipes
Macarons! We LOVE these dainty French confections around here. With endless flavor combinations — the caramel, candy cane and eggnog macarons featured in recent roundups barely scratch the surface — they are such a great canvas for your imagination to run wild. Plus, they can be made into gorgeous place cards or favors with the simple addition of flowers and baker’s twine.
1. Classic French Macaron with Vanilla Buttercream Filling: Bookmark this page for a detailed how-to guide — and recipe — for making classic, vanilla buttercream-filled French macarons. (via Food52)
2. Harmonie Macaron Cake: Look to this giant almond-pistachio macaron filled with strawberries and whipped cream when you’re in need of an elegant alternative to strawberry shortcake or angel food cake. (via SprinkleBakes)
4. Hazelnut Macarons with Chocolate Frangelico Ganache: Hazelnuts and almonds team up in this macaron shell recipe. An added layer of nuttiness is found in the Frangelico-spiked ganache filling — perfect for any Nutella fans out there! (via The Baker Chick)
5. Chocolate Raspberry Donut Macarons: Do these macarons totally remind you of Homer Simpson’s favorite donuts? Simply piping the batter in a circle to create a donut shape, along with a thin royal icing glaze and sprinkles introduces a whole new, absolutely adorable presentation! (via The Blonde Buckeye)
6. Lavender Macarons with Lavender-infused Chocolate Ganache: A chocolate ganache filling tempers the floral, lavender flavor in these macarons. (via Buttersweet Symphony)
8. Lemon-Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake: What a cheerful cake — macarons are not only perched atop the frosted cake, but also hidden inside between the layers of lemon-blueberry cake, buttercream and lemon curd! (via Sweetapolita)
10. Pão de mel Macaron: The flavors of a traditional Brazilian gingerbread-type cake are echoed in these macarons. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves provide a warm spice profile to the shells, a lovely pairing with the dulce de leche filling. (via Technicolor Kitchen)
12. Real Strawberries and Cream Macaron: Pulverized, freeze-dried strawberries lend a delicate strawberry flavor and ballet slipper pink hue to these macarons — no extracts or food coloring here! A fluffy vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream completes the strawberries and cream effect. (via Cake on the Brain)
13. Clementine Macarons: This time of year, clementines abound at the grocery store. Put a few of the sweet citrus fruits to use in this recipe; as a bonus, they’re a perfect treat to make for Chinese New Year! (via The Pleasure Monger)
14. Valentine’s Heart-Shaped Macarons: What a heartfelt treat for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. Italian meringue is piped into heart-shaped shells that are then filled with an indulgent, white chocolate-raspberry ganache. (via Ai Love Baking)
15. Smoked Salmon and Sesame Seed Macaron: These savory macarons are a delightfully unexpected appetizer choice — perfect for New Year’s Eve served alongside glasses of Champagne! (via Martha Stewart Weddings)
16. Pistachio and Grapefruit Macarons: Pretty pink grapefruit zest-enhanced shells are filled with a citrusy, white chocolate ganache with a slight bitter edge courtesy of Campari. (via Cannelle Et Vanille)
18. Pierre Hermes Ispahan Macarons: Rose-lychee cream fills these macarons inspired by the famous Ispahan macarons at Pierre Herme. (P.S. If you don’t feel like baking and find yourself in San Francisco, b. Patisserie’s grande macaron is another gorgeous take.) (via The Baked Road)
19. Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Macarons: Blood oranges and Meyer lemons come into season soon, these macarons are a terrific way to celebrate these shining stars of the citrus family! (via One Vanilla Bean)
22. Almond Macarons with Almond Buttercream: Almond flavor is doubled down in these macarons, a favorite combination of yours truly (the sweet wedding almond macaron from ‘lette is my all-time-fav). (via Heo Yah Yum)
23. Balsamic Strawberry Butter Cake: Buttery yellow cake is layered with a strawberry-balsamic buttercream, which also serves as the filling for the heart-shaped macarons on top! (via Raspberri Cupcakes)
Are you a macaron-making pro? Do you have a favorite source — be it a bakery, friend, etc. — for these confections? Don’t be shy, spill in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com