It has been a glorious weekend in Massachusetts and it feels like spring is right around the corner! To commemorate the coming of spring I wanted to step away from my typical chocolate based recipes and make something lighter. These Earl Grey macarons hit the spot, and they're filled with a honey buttercream. Yum!
I have always enjoyed trying recipes that are slightly more difficult to craft. I have tried my novice hand at fondant (it looked like a novice effort, but I was proud) but I lacked many of the tools to continue using it frequently, and my kids didn't care for the taste of it either. Then I stumbled across macarons and I haven't stopped coveting them since. I have never met a macaron I didn't like. Although these cookies can be a little difficult to make I truly believe they are WELL worth the effort. The trick is in the details of macarons. They don't require a lot of ingredients, just a little bit of patience - and a little time.
A few helpful tips:
Let the egg whites age in the fridge for a few days before use. This helps to build good stiff peaks in the meringue.
Blend the almond flour and confectioner sugar in a food processor before sifting it into the beaten egg whites.
Sift the flour and confectioner sugar a small amount at a time and fold into the egg whites.
Have all of the piping equipment and parchment lined baking sheet ready ahead of time so once the batter is mixed you can transfer directly to the baking sheet without it sitting.
After piping your macarons bang the baking sheet multiple times to let out all of the air bubbles.
Let the cookies sit on the sheet for about 40 before baking, until they have a harder shell when touched.
Once these delicious cookies are ready to go into the oven they only take 14 minutes to bake! Rotate the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even baking.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
For the macarons:
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea or 2 tsp of loose tea
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioner sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp gel food coloring (optional)
For the honey buttercream:
1 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp gel food coloring (optional)
- Prepare your piping tip and bag so it is ready when the batter is. Line two baking sheets (or one large sheet pan) with parchment paper. If you're using circle patterns place them under the parchment paper now.
- Place your almond flour, earl grey tea, and confectioner sugar in a food processor. Process on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to over process as the flour won't incorporate as well if it's too fine.
- Add the egg whites to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer. Mix the egg whites until they are foamy, then add the cream of tartar. Continue to mix the egg whites on medium high until they form soft peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract and food coloring at this point. I used Wilton's Cornflower Blue for this recipe. Continue to mix until stiff peaks form. The meringue should fill the inside of the whisk at this point.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Sift a small amount of the almond flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites, about a fifth at a time, and gently fold into the egg whites.
- Once the batter is entirely combined it will take on a "lava" like consistency. Transfer the batter to your piping bag.
- Pipe 2" circles on the parchment lined baking sheet, starting from the outside working in. Keep the piping tip parallel to the sheet, not at an angle.
- Once the macarons are piped remove any pattern paper from the baking sheet and bang the baking sheet on the counter multiple times to allow the air bubbles to escape. If you skip this step you may end up with craters in your macarons.
- Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 40 minutes, until they form a shell when touched.
- After the macarons have sat preheat the oven to 300 degrees farenheit. Place the baking sheets on a rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for seven minutes, then rotate the cookie sheets. Bake for another seven minutes.
- Remove macarons from the oven and allow them to cool before filling. They should have formed little "feet" while baking.
- Now you can prepare your buttercream. Using the same clean stand mixer use the paddle attachment and add the butter.
- Mix on low until the butter is slightly softened.
- Add the honey, cornstarch and food coloring (optional). Continue to mix on medium high for 8-10 minutes until a firm buttercream has formed. I opted not to use food coloring for this recipe because I liked the honey yellow color of the buttercream.
- Once the cookies are cooled piped the buttercream and sandwich them
I used cornstarch in this recipe to help thicken the buttercream, but you could use confectioner sugar. If using confectioner sugar it will make the buttercream much more sweet.
I love the colors and flavors of these macarons. Let me know what you think!