week 51: hannah’s pick – French Macarons with Buttercream Filling

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i’ve wanted to make macarons ever since i tried my first one at Ladurée this summer. i loved the light crunch of the shell, the soft chewiness of the inside, and the slightly sticky sweetness of the filling. of course we had to try and make our own macarons! it wasn’t easy–there’s a lot more technique to making them than i’d expected and we definitely hit a few bumps in the road, especially when it came to getting the feet of the shell. but it was really cool for me to get to try something completely new that went beyond just mixing ingredients together and sticking it in the oven. hopefully the next time we make macarons we’ll get them just right! 🙂
-hannah

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For the Shells:
Shells:
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup extra fine sugar
Sky blue gel food coloring by Wilton

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Sift almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together 2-3 times. Set aside.

Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and gradually add extra fine sugar. Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.

Sift flour mixture over whites with a fine sieve. Discard any lumps or coarse bits that remain. Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula -using short strokes at first -until just combined . The batter will be very stiff. Place a small amount of Wilton Sky Blue gel food coloring on the end of a rubber spatula. Normally powdered food coloring is used, but a small amount of gel does not disturb the batter. I would not recommend liquid food coloring. Use bigger folds once batter loosens. When batter is ready, it should fall from the spatula in a thick ribbon.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag. Pipe 1 or 1 1/2″ rounds on the parchment lined baking sheets. Let piped macarons stand uncovered for 15 minutes to form a crust. Decrease temperature to 325 just before placing the baking sheet in the oven. Bake pans one at a time for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

For the Buttercream:
Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. If mixture is stiff, use 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream to loosen. Transfer icing to a piping bag and pipe on half the macaron shells – don’t use too much icing! You don’t want the icing to be taller than the pearl dragees. Sandwich with remaining shells.

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source: adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

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