(recipe via Entertaining With Beth)
Makes ~40 completed sandwich cookies
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar (You can omit if needed, just may take a bit longer to reach stiff peaks but the recipe will still work)
(Eventually you will need to preheat your oven to 300ºF but I wouldn't do that first thing. After everything is mixed and you've piped them onto the cookie sheets is a good time to start your oven preheating.)
1. Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those/snack on them (they're really tasty sweet almond bits!) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty top to your macaron.
2. Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 eggwhites should be room temp. (If you didn't let them sit out prior to starting, just submerge the whole eggs in warm water for 5 minutes.) Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Then add the food coloring. Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.
3. Fold your flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. This part is really critical. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when they bake with no feet, over mix and your macarons will be flat and won't have feet. With this recipe I found that 65-75 turns of the spatula when folding is about the right amount. You want the batter to move like lava when you're done. Watch the video and it'll show you visually what this consistency looks like.
4. Transfer batter to a pastry bag, or if you're fancy like me and don't have one, a ziplock bag. Cut a little bit of the bag's corner off (about a 1/4 inch bit), and pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Once you've filled your cookie sheet, rap the pan on the countertop hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking. Let them sit out for 20 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is when I preheated my oven to 300º F.
6. Only put one tray of macarons in the oven at a time. This will ensure that each tray gets in the ideal spot of the oven. The macarons sitting out waiting for the oven won't mind, as they're supposed to sit out for a while anyway. Bake for 20 mins. If they stick to the tray, they're not done. They should slide right off the parchment paper. If they're still sticking to the paper after 20 minutes, add 5-7 minutes to the cook time and see how they're doing then.
While you're baking all your macarons, you can make the filling! I made both raspberry filling and lime filling, and both are super easy and quick to make:
RASPBERRY or LIME BUTTER CREAM
1/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
~1 cup fresh raspberries, worked through a sieve to extract 3 tbsp of juice
OR 3 tbsp lime juice
1. Whip butter until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar.
2. Add your raspberry or lime juice to buttercream, and whip until combined. For my raspberry batch I didn't quite whip long enought to fully incorporate the juice. I whipped for much longer when I made my lime batch and it mixed up just right. You don't want the juice to separate from the frosting. Transfer to a pastry bag or ziplock. Again, cut a little corner off the ziplock bag, about 1/8 - 1/4 in
3. Take one of the baked cookies and pipe a small mound of buttercream onto the flat side, then grab another one and slightly squish the butter cream between the two. Ta-Da!
If not eating within 12 hours, put them in the fridge. I kept mine in the fridge for 4 days, and I've read that they can stay good refrigerated for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months!