220gramsegg whites, room temperature (about 1 cup, 7 large egg whites)
½teaspooncream of tartar
80gramsgranulated sugar (about ⅓ cup)
1teaspoonpure orange extract
Orange gel food coloring
1cupunsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
2cups10-X powdered sugar
¼cupseedless raspberry jam, room temperature
Fresh raspberries for garnish
Prepare two extra-large baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and tracing out 1 ½-inch rounds, spaced about 1 inch apart. Flip the parchment paper over.
Sift almond flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Process for 15-20 seconds. If you process too long, the almond flour will start turning into almond butter. Transfer back into large bowl and set aside.
Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium (#4 on a KitchenAid) until foamy, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Increase speed to high (#8 on a KitchenAid) and gradually add in granulated sugar. Whip until glossy with almost stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.** Add orange extract and food coloring as desired and mix until stiff peaks form, 1-2 minutes more.
Add stiffened egg whites to the almond flour mixture all at once. Begin folding with a large spatula until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Continue folding a little more rigorously until mixture is at the "ribbon" stage and you can form a “figure 8” when lifting the spatula. Be careful not to overmix!
Fill a disposable pastry bag with as much batter as will fit. Snip the end of the bag so there’s about a ½-inch opening. Pipe the batter onto the prepared baking sheet a little shy of the border. The batter will spread some after. Hold the baking sheet several inches above the counter and drop 8-10 times to eliminate any bubbles in the batter. Air bubbles can cause the tops to crack. Allow macarons to rest 30 minutes before baking to dry slightly and are no longer sticky to the touch. Preheat oven to 300°F while macarons rest.
Use an oven thermometer to make sure oven temperature is accurate. Bake macarons for 16-18 minutes. If the dome of the macaron separates from the foot, they’re not yet done. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before gently peeling them off the baking sheet. (Shells will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container or freezer for up to one month.)
In a stand m7ixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add cocoa, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed until incorporated. Add raspberry jam and vanilla extract, and mix until well blended.
Transfer buttercream into another pastry bag fitted with a star tip, if desired. Pipe filling onto half the shells. Sandwich similarly sized shells together. Buttercream should not go over the shells’ edge. Let cookies rest in the fridge in an airtight container for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before eating, about 30 minutes.
*Using a kitchen scale is the most precise way to measure macaron ingredients, and critical to success. I added approximations in cups only for general reference.**Mixer speeds vary. I have a 20-year old KitchenAid that still rocks. Your rig may take more or less time to achieve stiff peaks. Please stop the machine to check every minute or two when getting close. Just don’t set a timer and walk away.