- 145g almond flour
- 110g confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder (about ½ cup before crushing)
- 115g egg whites at room temperature
- 130g granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon burgundy gel food coloring (optional)
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Strawberry Buttercream (recipe below)
- Lemon Curd (recipe below)
- STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM
- ½ cup softened butter
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2½ tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries
- 1-3 tablespoons heavy cream (for texture)
- LEMON CURD
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip butter until light and creamy.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until combined.
Crush freeze-dried strawberries in a zip-top storage bag with a rolling pin, then blend into frosting.
Slowly add heavy cream until you reach desired texture. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.
If using for macaron filling, scoop into a piping bag with a 1A tip.
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch and water. Turn the heat to medium-low and gradually add in lemon juice and egg yolks. Constantly stir until thickened. It will thicken somewhat suddenly; remove from heat immediately.
Stir in butter and lemon zest. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
If using for macaron filling, scoop lemon curd into a piping bag with a 1A tip.
Place almond flour, confectioners’ sugar and freeze-dried strawberry powder in food processor and pulse until very fine. Sift twice, then set aside. Prepare a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper (I think parchment works best).
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add in granulated sugar. Add food coloring if using, increase speed to high and whip until egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk, about 3 more minutes. Egg whites shouldn’t move when bowl is tilted.
Pour the twice-sifted dry ingredients on top of the egg white mixture and gently fold together with a silicone spatula until combined. This step is crucial to the texture of the finished macarons.
TIP: Every few folds, drop a small amount from the spatula. If the mixture settles into the rest of the bowl within about 15 seconds, it is ready. If not, fold a few more times.
Place into a pastry bag with a circular tip (such as Wilton 1A) and pipe evenly sized circles, about 1½ inches in diameter. The circles should spread, but only slightly.
TIP: Bang the pan on the countertop a few times to release air bubbles. This will prevent the macarons from cracking in the oven. Set aside pan in a safe place for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the humidity of the room. You want the tops to dry out so the batter doesn’t stick to your finger when touched.
If you plan to use sprinkles, now is the time to gently apply them to the tops of the dried macarons before baking.
After they are dried, preheat the oven to 300° F. Bake for 12-20 minutes, checking to make sure that the macarons peel off the pan fairly easily and rise to form a small layer (called “feet”) on the bottoms. If the bottoms stick, continue baking.
Cool completely, then flip half the shells over and fill with Strawberry Buttercream and Lemon Curd. TIP: For best results, pipe a circle of buttercream along the edge of the cookie, then add a small amount of Lemon Curd in the center before topping with a second cookie.
Angela Sackett is a photographer at Legacy Seven Studios and writer at saletlux.com and dancingwithmyfather.net, where she shares recipes and hospitality tips. She and her 16-year-old daughter, Anna, join together for photography and other creative projects.