French macarons with lavender buttercream
Pre-heat oven to 290F. Cut parchment paper to a tray, and stack that in another tray. The double method prevents them from cracking / rising too quickly. Cut another parchment sheet and leave out separately- we'll use the same two trays for the second batch.
Sift these two together, removing any large bits. 138 g almond flour 124 g powdered sugar Set that aside.
Whip this at room temperature in a mixer until it begins to foam: 105 g egg whites (not aged) Slowly add this a teaspoon at a time 105 g granulated sugar Stop the mixer when it's stiff and white- if you pull out the whisk and it has a "space needle peak" / pompadour, you're good. Don't overwhip to total stiffness. This is where you would add a drop or two of food color gel like Americolor, but we didn't have any. Whip again real quick to incorporate color.
Pull off the meringue bowl and add in 1/3 of your powdered sugar / almond mix. Slowly mix until just incorporating all the dry stuff. Repeat two more times.
The tricky part is- whip this mixture until it you can raise the spoon and it starts to slide off quickly. It has to flow like lava. You're eliminating air that will otherwise result in hollow shells.
Add that blended almond/meringue dough to a freezer bag and cut off the corner, or pastry bag with a 1/4" tip if you can find one.
Pipe circles onto the parchment paper. Ours made 24 rounds 1.5" apart from each other in a matrix.
These don't need to sit out and "cure", but slam the tray down a couple times so that they even out into circular blobs and all the bubbles come to the surface.
Stick into preheated oven 290°F for 18 minutes
Don't open the oven to check on them until then.
If they have formed "feet" / a pedastal around the bottom, hooray! Let this tray cool for 5 min then pull the parchment onto a cooling rack. Gently put your second sheet of liquid round shells on the double pan (that has now also cooled somewhat) and stick that back in the oven for another 18min.
Buttercream: Clean all your mixer components and get them ready for buttercream. 1 stick of room temperature butter, whip it 1 cup of powdered sugar, mix incorporate that We used a squirt of honey A squirt of lavender paste A dash of rose water Whip fast until all incorporated, adjust sugar or butter if you need more. Again- we didn't have any food coloring but if you do, now's the time to drop in and incorporate with a whip or two. Scoop all of this into all to pastry bag or freezer bag- if pastry bag (we have a small one now with star shape), use a star shape to give texture to the sides.
Remove your shells from the parchment paper once cooled, they should pop off somewhat easily.
Turn them upside down and compare which ones are equally sized, you'll be sandwiching them together.
Pipe half of them with star shapes that you'll eventually squish onto the other sides. If you are alternating colors with your buttercream, this is a good time to do like, blue, red, blue, red, blue.
For a chocolate rye whiskey variation: When making the shells, add 1 tbsp of 100% cacao powder (like Hershey's Dark or Dutch pressed cocoa powder) to the almond flour / confectioner sugar mixture and whisk in. For the filling / buttercream: Over medium heat, pour in 2oz of rye whiskey and 1tbsp of carraway seeds When it's simmering / cooking off the alcohol, whisk in 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. Over medium heat, whisk occasionally and reduce the water down. Mix in 2tbsp cocoa powder, do not overheat. Keep mixing until it's the consistency you want. Add 1 tsp vanilla. When you're happy with the chocolate rye carraway mixture, let it come to room temperature. Add as much to a room temperature buttercream as you'd like (Start with a room temperature stick of butter, whip it, add up to 1c powdered sugar gradually).