These gorgeous little summertime macarons gave me the run around Wednesday. I tried the recipe three different times and they were all a disappointing fail. I'm always disappointed when my recipes don't turn out, but for it to happen three times in a row I nearly threw in the towel for baking. I finally sat down and thought about it. What am I doing wrong? I used pasteurized egg white beaters and I thought well maybe that is one of the issues. So, I made a note for this morning to use regular eggs.
Then it hit me. That morning when I was making almond flour, the almonds sort of wanted to clump and stick. I was concerned that my almond flour was going to turn into almond butter so I added a bit of flour. It completely ruined the entire three batches. DO NOT, I repeat do not put any sort of all purpose flour into the almond flour. It will be the death of your cookies. I promise!
On the other hand, I now have a lot of meringue type cookies. I made lemon and fruit punch flavored. I am definitely going to give the fruit punch ones a try again. I'm thinking of using this meringue cookies I goofed up as a recipe. So, if anyone else has faulty macarons, they will have another recipe to make with them.
It's so funny. I made these bright, beautiful, summertime macarons and I step outside and it looks like a dark, dreary, winter day. As my aunt said at 6:20 a.m. via text message, "it's raining cats and dogs." It was so dark in my sun room where I shoot all my photos, I had to setup everything out on the porch step. The pictures look a lot brighter out there today.
These flavors are amazing together. Holy cow, you need to try these. They are sweet, but have a zing! It shouts summertime treat. I managed to get all the lemon flavor I needed from the zest of a lemon. I was worried I should have used some lemon extract, which I didn't have. Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have and hope it works. In this case, BAM! it did!
If you're wondering why my french macarons have speckles like a robin's egg, I shall tell you. Instead of buying slivered almonds to grind up, I bought sliced almonds that had the skins on them. They were cheaper and worked just as well. As much as I bake, I have to go with the cheapest way.
I also made lemon buttercream. It's so sweet and tart. I figured I had the lemon juice available, I might as well give it a try.
Lemon Macarons with Mixed Berry Buttercream
- 4 large egg whites room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 drop electric yellow gel paste food coloring
Mixed Berry Buttercream
- ½ cup blackberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup salted butter room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Get out two baking sheets and cover them with parchment paper. I make a circle template for myself and flipped the parchment paper over so the ink wouldn't be touching my batter.
- I couldn't find almond flour so I made my own. I placed 1 and ½ cups of almonds in my food processor. I turn it on high until everything was somewhat fine. I sifted the almonds and placed the coarse almonds back into the food processor and repeated the process. Once I got enough almond flour, I placed what I had sifted back into the food processor on high for another 3 minutes. I sifted it once more and discarded any coarse pieces.
- In a mixing bowl, place your egg whites in. With the whisk attachment on high speed, whip until the white are at a soft peak. It would only take 2-3 minutes.
- At this point, with the mixer still going, slowly add in the granulated sugar. Keep mixing until the egg whites come to a stiff peak. Turn the mixer off.
- In a separate bowl, sift the powdered sugar, almond flour and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add in the lemon zest to the dry ingredients and whisk it.
- Slowly add a small portion of the dry ingredients into the stiff meringue. Fold it in with your whisk until it is incorporated. Continue to add in small portions. I would do thirds. If you over-mix the batter, the macarons will come out somewhat flat. Like mine. If you under-whisk them they come very fluffy.
- Once you have all the batter combined, it should be thick. It will still have a little movement though.
- Add the batter into a piping bag with a round tip. Pipe your circles of batter.
- After you piped all your macarons, let them sit for 1 hour or until the tops are no longer sticky.
- Place them in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
- Once they have cooled, unstick them from the parchment paper and match your shells so the tops and bottoms are the same size.
Mixed Berry Buttercream
- In a saucepan, add in the raspberries, blackberries, and granulated sugar. Turn heat on medium and mash the berries to get the juice flowing.
- It will take 10-15 minutes for the berries to release all the juice.
- Strain the berries and discard the skins and seeds. I reallly love blackberries and really hate the seeds.
- Let the mixed berry juice cool to room temperature.
- Place the butter in the stand mixer and turn on medium. Use the paddle attachment. Once the butter looks light and airy, add in the powdered sugar. I normally add 1 cup at a time and keep the mixer on low.
- Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer on high and let it whip for 3-5 minutes. The buttercream will be light and fluffy.
- Optional - at this time, I took out ¼ of the buttercream for my lemon buttercream.
- I added about a ¼ cup of mixed berry juice into the remaining buttercream and let it mix on low until combined. I bumped the speed up to high and let it whip another minute or two.
- I squeezed half a lemon into the other buttercream and mixed it up.
- Put the buttercream in a piping bag and pipe the filling on one half of your macaron.
- Carefully place the top on without applying too much pressure. Otherwise, your top will break.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)
Enjoy the Lemon Macarons with Mixed Berry Buttercream!