For the Macarons
1 1/3 cups (4 ounces) Almond Flour
2 cups (8 ounces) Confectioners Sugar
5 Egg Whites (5 ounces)
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) Sugar
1 Tablespoon Rose Water
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Pink food coloring (optional)
For the Rose Buttercream
4 ounces Sugar
2 ounces Egg Whites
7 ounces Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 Tablespoons Rosewater
Fit a large pastry bag with a plain round tip.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, trace circles onto your parchment about an inch apart. You’ll use this as a template when you are ready to pipe your macarons. Flip your parchment paper over so that none of the pencil lead gets onto your macarons.
For the Macarons
Sift together the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer beat the egg whites until frothy, then while continuing to whisk, slowly add in the rose water, food coloring, and salt. Beat until the whites hold a stiff peak.
Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and add in the dry ingredients. With a large rubber spatula begin to fold the ingredients together. At first, the whites and almonds will seem hopelessly incompatible but in the face of adversity, we must persevere. Keep folding, and don’t be afraid to get aggressive with the batter. We are actually trying to knock some of the air out of the egg whites.
This act of stirring the meringue and almond flour together is called macaronage and is the most important part of making macarons. Despite the host of problems listed in many a book and website on how to make macarons, this is the point of no return; if you mess this up there is no coming back. With that said, don’t be afraid. The worst that can happen is you won’t have a perfect looking macaron; they will still taste delicious and their ugly little forms will act as the incentive to make another batch.
Undermixed Macaron Batter
The batter will still be quite stiff, and if you drop a spoonful of the stuff back onto the batter it will sit there never incorporating. This means it needs to be mixed longer.
Overmixed Macaron Batter
After a lot of mixing, macaron batter can become quite runny. If you drop a spoonful of it back into the mix at this point it will ooze into the rest of the batter in a matter of seconds. At this stage, the macarons will never hold their form. They can be baked, they may even develop feet, (the little ruffles at the bottom of a perfect mac) but you probably won’t be able to wrangle the batter into perfect little circles.
What you’re aiming for is a batter the texture of lava. It should ooze, but slowly, and when dropped back into the bowl sit on top of the batter for about 20 seconds before disappearing into the rest of the mixture.
Transfer about half the batter to your pastry bag. Don’t be too eager to fit all the batter in at once, the less batter in your bag the more control you have.
Using your parchment template as your guide, pipe out the batter, stopping before the macarons reach the edge of the circle. The batter will spread the rest of the way on its own.
When you’ve filled every circle, grab your baking sheet firmly in both hands and bang the sheet against the counter. This allows any air pockets lurking within your macarons to come to the surface and pop, ensuring you have smooth tops.
Although it is tempting to throw these straight into the oven, show some restraint. Allow them to rest uncovered, for about an hour before baking. This allows a skin to develop. By the time you’re ready to bake, you should be able to touch the macarons without leaving an impression.
About ten minutes prior to baking, preheat your oven to 300℉. Bake the macarons for 15-16 minutes rotating your pan halfway through. Even if you have a convection oven, be sure to rotate the pans. These cookies have a tendency to take on a golden hue quickly, especially if you’re making a light colored macaron.
Once baked, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool thoroughly on the pans. While they cool, make the buttercream
For the Rose Buttercream
Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk together until the amalgam reaches 160 ℉ on an instant-read thermometer. Or when a small amount rubbed between your fingers no longer feels gritty. That is a sign that it’s reached a temperature hot enough for the sugar to dissolve into the eggs, and that’s really all we want.
Transfer the eggs to the mixer and beat until the whites have reached stiff peaks and have cooled. Check to make sure they are cool enough by feeling the bottom of the bowl. It should no longer feel warm.
With the whisk attachment still going, add in the room temperature butter, piece by piece. When all of the butter is incorporated, keep mixing. After a soupy, lumpy, curdled-looking stage, you’ll achieve the silky perfection that is Swiss meringue buttercream. Add in the rose water and food coloring. Mix until fully incorporated.
Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe about a teaspoon of icing onto half the meringue cookies.
Top with the other halves and voila, perfect rose macarons!