French Macaron Cookies

I’ve never met a holiday that I didn’t love to celebrate.  Valentine’s day happens to be one of my favorites.  I love decorating; pulling out all my dishes, plates, teacups pots, and more.  China, silver,  and crystal which I collect and use all the time but especially lend a nice touch to Valentine’s Day.

Today I baked up some treats to share with my family.  I made French Macaron cookies and Red Velvet Heart cookies.  Perfect to say Be My Valentine!

These delectable little treats are worth all the work.  I also like to fill with other flavored fillings to change it up!

French Macarons with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes 24-30 shells or 12-15 macarons

3 large egg whites, at room temperature for three hours

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, Domino’s Sugar

2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract

Red food coloring

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using a pencil draw 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch circle. (Depending on the size you want the macarons)  Turn parchment paper over; set aside.

2. Combine almonds and 1 tablespoon of the confectioners’ sugar pulsing until finely ground. (Do not over process.) Add remaining confectioners’ sugar and process until combined.  Set aside.

3. Using a mixer or medium-high speed beat egg whites until frothy.  Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed until peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract and desired food coloring: mix well.

4. Add almond mixture to egg whites, folding gently until well combined. Place batter into a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip.  Pipe batter into drawn circles on prepared baking sheets. Tap baking sheets on the counter 5-7 times to release air bubbles.  Let sit at room temperature 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking.

5 Preheat oven to 275F.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool completely on baking sheets until ready to fill.

6. Place Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream in a pastry bag fitted small round tip. Pipe mixture onto the flat side of macaron, and top with another macaron, flat sides together, pushing gently down and twisting slightly so that filling will spread to edges.  Repeat with remaining macarons and filling.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3 egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar, Domino’s Sugar

1 cup butter, Cabot Creamery

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In a medium bowl combine egg whites and sugar.  Using a mixture at medium speed, whisk together.  Set the pan over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly until mixture registers 140 on an instant-read candy thermometer. Remove from heat and beat at high speed with whip attachment for 10 minutes.  The meringue should be tripled in volume.

2. Reduce mixer speed to low.  Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Enjoy!

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