For macaron shells:
2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 powdered sugar
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
Yellow gel food coloring (optional)
For lemon curd center:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (make sure you save those egg whites for some not so yummy omelets… OR more macarons!!)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For lavender buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 drops lavender essential oil
1. In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar.
2. In a HELLA big mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. ( fun fact: I have always thought cream of tartar tastes the way bad breath smells.. Dis-gus-ting) Add the granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase to a medium high speed and beat until hard peaks. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract. Now would also be the time to add in your food coloring if you desire a shade of yellow food that is unfit for real human consumption. My opinion? Leave all the fun colors for your filling.
3. Sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture to combine. Key word: GENTLY. If you don’t know how to properly fold, google it. You’ll thank me when your macarons turn out so well. Not to mention, the skill of folding will come in handy in many more situations. The macaron mixture will get thinner as you fold it. Be sure not to over mix it. There is a test to perform to make sure you have achieved the perfect consistency. To test the batter, drop a small dollop of batter into the mixing bowl. Count to 10, the drop of batter should have dissolved into the rest of the batter within the 10 seconds. If the batter does not settle in that time, continue to fold. Once you’ve reached the checkpoint, stop folding IMMEDIATELY!
4. Please transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a big ol’ round tip.
5. Pay the piper by piping out 2-inch rounds about an inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I’m a little pathetic so I tend to use a template that I printed out.
6. Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Little macaron burps.
7. At this point, those macarons are pretty beat. Let them rest for 15-30 minutes. You’ll know the shells are ready to bake when you lightly touch them and no batter sticks to your finger. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
8. Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. Remove one macaron, if the bottom does not stick, they are done.
9. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
10. While the macarons are cooling, prepare the lemon curd. In a medium saucepan, off of the heat, whisk together sugar, zest and egg yolks; whisk in lemon and salt… Add butter and place pan on the stove. Now, turn up the HEAT!! Just not too much, maybe to a medium high heat. Cook, whisking constantly. You’ll know the curd is done when the butter is melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes. DO NOT BOIL! Remove pan from the heat while whisking. Pour the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the curd, like a warm hug. Refrigerate until cool.
11. Make the buttercream while you have nothing else to do. Mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, lavender, and milk. Continue to beat the crap out of the buttercream for 1 minute more. Add more milk as you need to achieve a piping consistency. Transfer to a piping bag.
12. To assemble the cookies. Pipe a thick circle of lavender buttercream around the edge of the cookie bottom. Fill the ring with a decent amount of lemon curd. Give it a hat by finding the perfect mate of a cookie and placing it on top. Voila!
13. Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
14. Last, but not least, post your delicious creations on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @heartofphoebe so I can bask in YOUR success.
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