These are absolutely amazing. That gorgeous purple color practically tells you everything you need to know about the taste. The lavender is light, almost just a hint really, but it's enough to make these macarons calming and soothing. Have them with your favorite tea at the end of a particularly stressful day, and you'll forget all your troubles immediately.
⅔ cups almond flour
1½ cup powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature, eggs left out overnight
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops of purple gel food coloring (optional)
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup cream infused with ½ teaspoon lavender, then strained
Preheat the oven to 375º.
To begin, process the almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor. This ensures that the powders are very fine and the lumps that form in powdered sugar are worked out. Set the mixture aside.
n medium begin to beat the eggs. Gradually increase the speed to high. When the egg whites start to foam, add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until stiff “bird beak” peaks form.
Add the vanilla extract.
Pour the almond mixture into the egg whites and begin to mix. You don’t have to be too gentle, a little force is actually best. Once the flour mixture is incorporated you begin to macaronage. You want to continue to fold the batter and as you fold it, you spread it out against the side of the bowl. So take your silicone spatula, and run it down the center of the batter, flip the left half over, then smear the whole thing once against the side of the bowl.
Using a piping bag with a round tip, or just the coupler and no tip, pipe out the cookies. You do this by piping straight down, flooding the area, and then pulling quickly up. Try to make them uniform, but don’t worry too much about it. In the end you just match two that are the same size.
In my oven I bake the cookies at 375º for 7 minutes and then open the oven for a blast of cool air. 7 minutes is just when the foot has appeared. I close the door and let them go another 4-6 minutes.
(You are looking for the meringue to be just firm, with no browning at all. In some ovens they burn at 375º and need to bake at 325º.)
Let the macarons cool on the sheet for a few minutes, they should then release easily.
Heat the cream and lavender in a saucepan until it just comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and cover, let the cream infuse for 20 minutes.
Strain the lavender out of the cream and set the cream aside.
Beat the butter until it is creamy, and add the powdered sugar.
Slowly add the cream until you get a consistency you like. I added about ⅓ cup.
If the mixture gets to runny add more powdered sugar.
Match like sized cookies, and pipe the buttercream in the center.
Let the Macaron rest overnight in the fridge, this ensures a perfect texture and a blending of the flavors.