These sweet Almond Macarons with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream are the perfect treat to savor and share.
Almond Macarons with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 24 macarons
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- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar*, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Red food coloring
- 1 cup Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)
- To a medium mixing bowl, add egg whites, and let sit at room temperature, uncovered, for exactly 3 hours.† Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a pencil, draw 1 1/2-inch circles, 2 inches apart, on parchment paper. Turn parchment paper over; set aside.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine almonds and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, pulsing until finely ground. (Do not overprocess, or nut butter will be created. The nut particles should stay separate and dry, not clump together.) Add remaining confectioners’ sugar, and process until just combined. Set aside.
- Using a mixer at medium-high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Egg whites will be thick, creamy, and shiny.) Add vanilla extract and desired amount of food coloring; mix well.
- Add almond mixture to egg whites, folding gently until well combined. Let batter sit for 15 minutes. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe batter into drawn circles on prepared baking sheets. Tap baking sheets vigorously on counter 5 to 7 times to release air bubbles. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking; this will help develop macarons’ signature crisp exterior when baked. (Macarons should feel dry to the touch and should not stick to finger.)
- Preheat oven to 275°. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheets, then remove to airtight containers. Refrigerate until ready to fill and serve.
- Place Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream in pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe mixture onto flat side of macaron, and top with another macaron, flat sides together, pushing down gently and twisting slightly so that filling will spread to edges. Repeat with remaining macarons and filling.
- *To measure confectioners’ sugar accurately, spoon lightly into a measuring cup, and level, using a straightedge. Do not pack or scoop sugar into cup, as this will negatively affect final product.
- †Aging the egg whites in this manner is essential to creating perfect macarons.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 5 cups
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- 5 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg whites and sugar. Using a mixer at medium speed, whisk together. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture registers 140° on an instant-read candy thermometer. Remove mixture from heat. Using a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat at high speed for 10 minutes, or until mixing bowl is cool to the touch and meringue is tripled in volume.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Using mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat mixture at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Use immediately.
From “Recipe For Romance” on page 33 in the January/February 2014 issue of Victoria.