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Lemon Macarons

These lemon macarons are definitely a bite of sunshine!  They have lemon buttercream inside and the outer cookies have the perfect amount of lemon.  They are the perfect lemon sandwich!

Truthfully, I had to make a few batches when I was first learning to make macarons.

You must be precise in measuring ingredients.  And the batter has to be folded not stirred.

It has to be at the right stage of fluffy and mixed.

Personally, I think the batter can be just a little undermixed and still turn out well. 

Overmixing the batter can result in hard vanilla-wafer type cookies, rather than the chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside hallmark of a perfect macaron.

The batter is folded just right when it is a little bit fluffy.  If overfolded, it becomes more like a liquid.  

Unfortunately, just a couple of extra “folds” of the batter can change it from a perfect stage to a thick, runny-liquid stage.  Once you finish the batter and place it on the baking sheet, you must wait for the macarons to dry out until you can touch them without them sticking to your finger.  You cannot skip this step.

Macarons are well worth the trouble it takes to master them.  Keep them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.  For long-term storage, I have kept them airtight in the freezer for six months and they were still delicious.

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Lemon Macarons
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.17
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cookies Ingredients
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Cookies Ingredients
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.17
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Directions for Cookies
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar, discarding any almond pieces that will not sift. Then sift again. Set sifted ingredients aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with the mixer’s whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form. To check for stiff peaks, detach and turn the whisk upside down. The peak is stiff if it stands up straight without collapsing.
  3. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon juice and a squeeze of yellow food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute until bright yellow.
  4. Add half the almond flour/sugar mixture to the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture, running the spatula clockwise up around the sides. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Fold until mixed and keep folding until the batter is ready to test by picking up a dollop of batter onto the spatula and dropping it back into the bowl. The dropped batter should take 30 seconds to flatten back into the bowl batter. If not, fold again, test, and repeat. Once your test dollop smooths out in 30 seconds, STOP folding. If over folded, the mixture will be runny and will make hard, flat cookies.
  5. Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a large round tip or a quart bag with the corner cut off.
  6. Pipe the batter onto the macaron mat in the indentations or pipe 1.5-inch rounds an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Be sure to pipe the macarons perpendicular (or straight up and down). If piped at an angle the macarons will not be round.
  7. Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
  8. Let the macarons dry out 60 minutes to form a skin on top. Test by touching. If no batter sticks to your finger, they are ready. If not, let them sit a little longer and test again.
  9. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Bake the macarons for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack. Keep a check and do not let them brown or they will lose their bright yellow color and overcook. They are done if they feel hard and you can detach one easily from the paper.
  10. Cool completely. Then carefully remove cookies from the parchment paper. They break easily so pull the paper or mat away from the cookie.
Directions for Buttercream
  1. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  3. Pipe or spread frosting on half of the macarons and then add the other half to make a sandwich cookie. Macarons are best the next day.
  4. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 5 months.
Recipe Notes

To ensure consistent size, draw around a small drinking glass on parchment paper and then turn the paper over so markings don’t touch your cookies. Pipe batter into circles.  Or purchase a macaron silicon mat with printed circles or indentations to contain the cookie batter.

It takes a while to fold the macaron batter to the right consistency.  Usually, my arm gets tired from all the folding.  The 30-second batter test means that a dollop of batter dropped into the bowl will slowly melt back into the batter.  It takes about 30 seconds for it to flatten out and incorporate back into the batter.  If it takes longer than 30 seconds to melt and flatten, then it is not ready.  Fold a little more.

This recipe was updated on March 25, 2020.

This recipe was adapted from Sweet and Savory by Shinee.

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