This is the second time I have made french macaroons and I have to say they came out really well.  The french variety are almond and meringue cookies that are sandwiched together with some sort of ganache or butter cream just to name a few.   The other type of macaroon is the coconut kind which I love too but that is not what we are doing today.  The recipe I am using this time was from

bouchon bakery book

.  The previous recipe I used was from martha stewart and I remember those turning out good and not as many steps as this recipe.  But I will say these turned out really well and like it says in the book, baking is all about patience and organization.   There are a few liberties I took with the recipe like I used vanilla extract instead of the bean and I used a star tip when piping my buttercream.  I also added some food coloring which I don't use a lot of at all but wanted to make them pop a little.  I doubled the recipe and turned half the mix pink and the other half green.  I added mint extract to the buttercream filling for the green.  For the pink I just made vanilla, I was tempted to make them strawberry with jam but didn't have time to make the jam.  Enough of my rambling and on to the recipe.

1 3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp Almond Flour

1 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp of powdered sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp Egg whites plus 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp

2 tsp of vanilla extract ( or 1 vanilla bean)

1 cup plus 3 tbsp of sugar

2/3 cup of water

Red food coloring

Green food coloring

Vanilla Buttercream

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp

3 tbsp and 1 tsp of water

2 sticks of butter room temp.

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp of mint extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (convection 350)

For the Macaroons

To make perfect macaroons you can take a sharpie pen and trace small circles on parchment paper, that way you have the exact size for the cookies.  I did not do this step I just guesstimated the size when I piped the cookies and tried to make them all about the same size.  To make the parchment stick to the pan you can spray a little pan spray on the bottom of the corners of the paper.

To make the batter. 

Take almond flour and pulse in a food processor trying to make it as fine as possible.  I added the powder sugar to the flour and pulsed a little bit too because mine had clumps.  After pulsing both together then sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into a large mixing bowl.  Then make a well in the middle of the bowl and place the first part of the egg whites (1/4 cup and 1 1/2 tbsp) along with the vanilla in the middle of the well.  Mix the egg whites and almond flour/powder sugar mixture together until evenly distributed.  Set aside.

Place the rest of the egg whites (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp ) in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Then place water and sugar together in a small pot.  Turn over medium high heat and with a candy thermometer let the syrup come to 248 F degrees.  Meanwhile add a pinch of sugar to the egg whites and whisk them to soft peaks.  When the egg whites have reach soft peaks and the syrup is at 248 degrees turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the syrup into the egg whites.  Then increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes or until they are stiff and glossy.  If the meringue is still warm keep whipping until they cool.   Then fold the meringue into the almond flour mixture a third at a time.  Fold in the egg whites in until the batter is loose but still stiff enough to hold shape.  You may not use all of the egg whites.  Once you have the batter I divided them into two bowls  and to one I add the red food coloring and the other the green ( a few drops of each).  Then place into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip.  Pipe the cookies onto a sheet pan fitted with the parchment paper.  Leave about an inch space around the cookies.  Tap the sheep pan to distribute the batter evenly and help smooth any peaks left by the pasty tip.  Place the cookies in the oven and immediately turn down the oven to 325 and bake for 9-12 minutes until the tops are shiny and crisp.  Let them cool completely.

For the buttercream

This is just very much like making the batter with the exception of add the butter to the egg whites. In a small sauce pan add water and 3/4 cups sugar.  Bring the syrup up to 248 degrees.  Meanwhile put the egg whites and the remaining sugar in the mixer and whip until soft peaks.  Then pour the syrup into the egg whites and whip for 15 minutes or until the mixing bowl reaches room temperature.  Once they are room temperature reduce the speed and add a few pieces of butter at a time.  If it looks like it is breaking just turn the speed up to re-emulsify.  Continue until all the butter is incorporated.  Then add the vanilla extract to the buttercream.  Then divide half of the buttercream and add mint extract to one half.  Place both in to two separate pastry bags ( I used a star tip but typically they use a plan tip).  Pipe a little vanilla cream in half of the red macaroons and pipe the mint buttercream into half of the green macaroon cookies.  Then take the second halves and place on top to make the sandwich.   You can freeze them if wrapped well or enjoy them right away.  My wife loves them cold so you can place them in the refrigerator if you wish.  Enjoy them any way you like them!

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