French Macarons are an addiction of mine and I was going broke paying €2,75 each at Ladurée so I decided to learn how to make them myself. These are time intensive for a very small yield, but they are so worth it.
FRENCH MACARONS: LEMON WITH LEMON BUTTERCREAM
~ 24 completed cookies
FRENCH MACARONS -
150 grams Almond Flour
200 grams Confectioners Sugar
3 Egg Whites, room temperature
50 grams Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice*
Lemon Extract (amount depends on brand)
Yellow Food Coloring (amount depends on brand)
*1/2 teaspoon lemon juice per egg white OR 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
150 grams Butter, softened
75 grams Confectioners Sugar
1 Lemon, Zested (~1 Tablespoon)
1 Lemon, Juice (~3 Tablespoons)
Sift almond flour and confectioners sugar into a large bowl. You will have some almond pieces remaining in the sifter - discard. Mix with a fork until all combined.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites being very careful not get any yolks in the whites. Discard the yolks or set aside for another recipe if needed. Place egg whites in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat until frothy.
Slowly add the white sugar, salt, and lemon juice (or cream of tartar). And beat until you have stiff peaks.
Add in flavoring and food dye to the desired amounts and give it one more good beating until all incorporated. Note: while cooking the color gets more pale, so start with the batter that is darker/more intense than what you want as a finished cookie.
Sift for a second time the almond flour / confectioners sugar mixture on top of the meringue. Gently fold until the mixture acts like lava.
Fill a piping bag with the cookie mixture. Use a 1/4" nozzle to pipe the cookies on to 2 parchment paper lined trays. Bang trays on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
Let trays sit for a minimum for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
Preheat the oven to 145C (Fan-Heating) / ~300F
Bake one tray at a time in the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. When done remove from tray and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the second tray.
Cool completely before adding filling.
To make the filling, bring butter up to room temperature. Add the softened butter to the stand mixer and cream with the flat beater attachment until the butter is faded in color and smooth.
Add in the confectioners sugar to the butter and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add in the lemon zest and juice. If the buttercream is too thin add confectioners sugar once tablespoon at a time until the proper consistency. Place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.
Once all of the cookies and the filling are cooled, use a pipping bag with a 1/4" tip to add the filling to the half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top of the frosted cookies.
Place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before serving to assure they are fully set.