Lemon Macarons

Lemon macarons have quickly emerged as the favourite among my taste-testers and are requested frequently. They are the perfect combination of sweet and sour, chewy and crunch!

You can add lemon extract and lemon rind to the shells for extra-lemony flavour. I filled mine with homeade lemon buttercream and store-bought lemon curd. (But you can make your own here)

Lemon Macarons

Macaron Cookies (makes cookies for 40 macarons)

(adapted from Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home by Kathryn Gordon & Anne E. McBride)

Ingredients

150 g almond flour or ground almonds

150 g icing sugar

115 g egg whites (aged and at room temperature)

1 tsp powdered egg whites or meringue powder, optional (this will help in humid weather)

70 g white granulated or castor sugar

1 tsp lemon extract (optional)

grated rind from one lemon (optional)

4-6 drops of yellow gel food colouring

Special equipment required:

food processor
food scale
rubber spatula
metal sieve (for sifting)
piping bags with tip (I use #12 Wilton tip with a 12-inch piping bag)
dark aluminum cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
macarons pattern to put between parchment paper and cookie sheet (print two copies per sheet and tape together)
hand-mixer

Directions

Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature available.

Weigh all ingredients first. Combine almond flour and icing sugar together and pulse for a few minutes in your food processor with grated lemon rind. This will make sure your ingredients are fine (and you will have shiny and not lumpy macarons). After pulsing in the food processor, pass the ingredients through a metal sieve.

Mix granulated sugar with powdered egg whites and set aside. Start whipping your egg whites until they are foamy (like bubble bath). Add granulated and powdered egg whites to the mixture and whip until soft peaks are forming. Add food colouring and lemon extract until you get a slightly darker colour that you desire (since you will add the almond flour and icing sugar mix to this). Continue beating meringue until stiff peaks form (I tip my bowl upside down, if the meringue stays you’re good, if it starts to slide out, keep whipping).

Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, incorporate your dry mix in three batches. Use a J-stirring technique with your rubber spatula. To do this, put your spatula in the middle of the bowl and gently lift and move in a clockwise direction with the bowl (making a “J” with your bowl). Continue adding the dry ingredients to the meringue until you have a lava-like consistency that ribbons when you lift the batter up and let it drop back into the bowl. Be careful not to overmix your batter, you want it to be slightly grainy. (Skip to Troubleshooting #2 on this link for an example)

Fill your piping bag. I use a twist-tie to seal off the bottom and put my bag in a big mason jar. Once your piping bag is full, start piping them out onto your parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Don’t forget to put your pattern under the parchment paper! To pipe keep your dominant hand at the top of the bag applying pressure and use your non-dominant hand to guide the bag. Pipe in a blob until it fills the circle pattern. Don’t swirl! Continue until you have all your macarons piped out. (You may have extra batter). Don’t forget to take out your template paper. (I’ve forgotten it before and your macarons are a fail)

Give your cookie sheet a good bang on the counter – this will make all the air bubbles escape! Bang a few times for good measure if you’re unsure if you got them all.

Put the cookie sheets in the pre-heated oven at a low temperature to dry the macarons. If you have time, you can leave them out for 30-45 minutes on the countertop and skip the low-temperature oven. You want a soft crust to form on the macarons cookies. Check the cookies after 5 minutes and if you can touch the cookies without getting sticky, take them out. Be careful not to leave them in too long because they will get too dry.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Once temperature is reached, put macarons back into the oven for 10-15 minutes. If the air is humid, I will sometimes cook them with a wooden spoon in the door to let humidity escape the oven.

Macarons need constant baby-sitting – don’t attempt anything else while they are cooking. Check on them frequently and when they start to look glossy and forming frilly feet, start checking to see if they will wiggle on the parchment paper. Once you can get a good wiggle (without it sticking completely to the paper) take them out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and move it to a cooler surface. You don’t want to leave your macarons on a hot cookie sheet. Let the cookies cool and take them off with a metal spatula. Match them up by size to be ready to be filled!

Lemon Buttercream

(adapted from sugar puff)

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 + ½ cup of icing sugar

juice from one lemon

grated lemon rind from one lemon

Directions

Beat butter until smooth. Add icing sugar in ½ cup increments at a time.

Add lemon juice and zest until well-blended and smooth.

If buttercream is too soft, you can refrigerate it for about ten minutes.

Assembly

Put lemon curd and lemon buttercream into separate piping bags.

Once your shells have been matched up for size, pipe a small amount of lemon curd in the middle and make a circle of lemon buttercream around it. Squish with other cookie shell and refrigerate until ready to eat. Take macarons out of the fridge 10-15 minutes before enjoyment! They will keep up to a week in the fridge in a sealed dish.

Assembly

Lemon Macarons printable recipe.

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