Lavender Macarons

by angelika on July 29, 2012

I made a rainbow of macarons for our rainbow party, and of all the flavors the lavender was by far my favorite. I’ve never cooked with lavender before, even though I grow it all over my yard. I went out and bought culinary lavender, not being sure what the difference was, and not wanting to risk it with guests. These macarons are filled with a lavender buttercream, which has such a beautiful floral and earthy flavor, I thought it complimented the sweet meringue beautifully. 

Making 6 different macaron flavors seemed daunting when I first considered it, but I made the process easier by making all the base cookies vanilla, so the filling was the flavor. I also split batches, so instead of 6, I made 3. I did not want to be left with a lot of extra cookies, and each batch makes at least 24 macarons. Once I had the almond flour barely worked into the meringue, I divided the batter and worked in the gel food coloring. It was a touch tricky getting the color worked in without over mixing the batter, but in the end I was thrilled with the results. You will have to forgive me, as I did not get the perfect pictures of all the different colors, so some of the step by step posts will be a tad off.  I had wanted to display them all on a croquembouche mold, but I never found one. Maybe for my Solstice party I will fulfill that culinary desire. I’ll post the other flavors throughout this week, but as a small teaser I can let you know that the mint chocolate were my next favorite flavor.  

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.

Make sure to leave your eggs out overnight. This aging is supposed to ensure a more stable meringue. Separate the eggs and put the whites in the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On 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. (If you are adding food coloring you do it now.) 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. So think of starting at 12 o’clock and smearing until about 9 o’clock. Shift the bowl 90º. Then you divide down the center again and fold over the left half, then smear again. Clear as mud? This is the part that you just have to get the feel for, and this is also the part that makes all the difference. Getting this right, will insure your success. It actually isn’t so much how well you macaronage, but how well you recognize when it is ready. You are looking for the batter to fold gently on itself in ribbons when you suspend the spatula. For more detailed instruction and pictures please refer to the Pistachio Macarons with Lemon Curd.

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. Using an air core cookie sheet is best, but you can also use a sheet pan and stack two together. Make sure to line with parchment. It is essential that the cookies not get hot too fast, or they crack. Rap the sheet on the counter 6 times, to remove the air bubbles.

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. They go less on an air core cookie sheet and a little longer on the double stacked sheet pans. 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. My oven tends to run cool, and when I bake I always go to the maximum time a recipe calls for. If your oven is more efficient, turn it down to 325º when you put your cookies in.

Let the macarons cool on the sheet for a few minutes, they should then release easily. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

To make the lavender buttercream, first infuse cream with lavender. Place 1/2 cup cream in a saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon culinary lavender. Bring to a low boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let the cream steep for 20 minutes, then strain out the lavender flowers.

Cream the butter in the mixer, then add the powdered sugar to it on low. Drizzle the cream into the mixer until you get the texture you are looking for. It’s a forgiving process, if the buttercream gets to runny add more powdered sugar, too stiff add the cream. I used about 2/3 cup.

Match the macarons so they are as close in size as possible, then pipe the buttercream into the middle. Let the macarons rest in the refrigerator overnight, this ensures the correct texture and blending of flavors.

4.0 from 2 reviews

Lavender Macarons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lavender Macarons
Author:
Recipe type: dessert, cookie, french macaron
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. (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.)
  9. Let the macarons cool on the sheet for a few minutes, they should then release easily.
  10. ~Lavender Buttercream~
  11. Heat the cream and lavender in a saucepan until it just comes to a boil.
  12. Remove from heat and cover, let the cream infuse for 20 minutes.
  13. Strain the lavender out of the cream and set the cream aside.
  14. Beat the butter until it is creamy, and add the powdered sugar.
  15. Slowly add the cream until you get a consistency you like. I added about ⅓ cup.
  16. If the mixture gets to runny add more powdered sugar.
  17. Match like sized cookies, and pipe the buttercream in the center.
  18. Let the Macaron rest overnight in the fridge, this ensures a perfect texture and a blending of the flavors.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

black hat seo September 11, 2012 at 6:32 am

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Florence March 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thank you for the recipe, can’t wait to try it!

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Luscious75 April 14, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Thank you for your time and effort!!! These macarons are exquisite!!

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59fifty caps cheap April 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us

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www.osfturkey.com May 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

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Tiffany July 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm

How far in advance can I make the macarons(without filling)? I’m trying to prep for a party and have so much to bake that I want to do what I can ahead of time.
Thanks,
Tiffany

Reply

angelika July 11, 2013 at 11:51 pm

You can make the shells about a week ahead of time. Keep them in a ziploc bag in the fridge. You can also fill them and keep them in the fridge for about 3 days before the party. I have heard they freeze well, but I’ve not tried it myself so I hate to recommend it. I usually make and fill the Macarons 3-4 days before the party, and then take them out 30 minutes or so before serving.

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Rebecca January 24, 2014 at 4:21 am

Would it work if I used lavender essential oils?

Reply

angelika March 27, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I don’t think so. Lavender essential oils are not meant for internal consumption, and would probably be pretty strong.

Reply

Charlotte April 21, 2014 at 6:21 am

Hey guys! Is the 375 degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Reply

angelika April 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Fahrenheit!

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