The VANILLA-EST White Vanilla Macarons and Other Flavors!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: about 2 dozen plus macarons
 
ingredients:
Macaron Shells
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 big, fat plump vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pure Vanilla Bean Buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 big, fat plump vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Pumpkin filling for Pumpkin Macarons
  • 2 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 oz mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup canned or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin, cooked down until darker in color.
  • ⅔ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
directions:
  1. Make the Macaron shells
  2. Rub the vanilla bean scrapings into the sugar until the sugar turns the color of the vanilla beans. Remove 2 tablespoons of this mixture to another bowl (this will be the topping to the macarons). Set both bowls aside.
  3. In the work bowl of your food processor, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and the ½ teaspoon of salt, and process on low until super fine. Sift the almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.
  4. In a clean, grease free bowl with electric beaters, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the vanilla bean granulated sugar you set aside iin step 1, and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Add about half of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a rubber spatula to gently fold it into the beaten egg whites until combined. After the last addition of almond flour, continue to fold slowly until the batter falls into ribbons and you can make a figure eight with the batter when you let it drop from the spatula.
  6. Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
  7. Place 4 dots of the batter in each corner of a rimmed baking sheet, and place a piece of parchment paper over it, using the batter to help adhere the parchment to the baking sheet.
  8. Pipe the macarons onto the parchment paper in 11/2 -inch (3-cm) circles, spacing at least 1-inch (2-cm) apart.
  9. Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface several times to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle every other macaron shell with a little of the 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar.
  10. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until dry to the touch.
  11. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degress C).
  12. Bake the macarons for 17 minutes, until the feet appear and have risen. The macarons should not stick to the parchment paper. If they do, once cooled, they are not done.
  13. Transfer the macarons to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
Make the Vanilla Buttercream
  1. In a large bowl with electric beaters, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter with the vanilla ben scrapings until fluffy and uniform. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until uniform, then beat in the vanilla extract and cream until light and fluffy.
Assemble the Macarons
  1. Place the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
  2. Add a piping of buttercream to one macaron shell. Top it with another macaron shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining macaron shells and buttercream.
For chocolate macarons
  1. Add 1 tablespoon of dark cocoa powder to the almond flour-powdered sugar mixture. Sandwich with Vanilla Buttercream with cacao nibs stirred in, or chocolate ganache or chocolate buttercream.
For the lemon thyme macarons
  1. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme to the beaten egg whites then beat in yellow food color gel. Top each macaron shell, before it dries, with some lemon zest and thyme leaves. Make a Swiss meringue (not swiss meringue buttercream, just swiss meringue) for the filling, and place in a pastry bag with a round tip. Pipe the buttercream onto one macaron shell and top with another.
For pumpkin macarons
  1. Add 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice to the almond flour - powdered sugar mix. Add orange gel food color to beaten egg whites.
Pumpkin Filling
  1. In a bowl, beat together both cheeses. Add the pumpkin, the powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until smooth and uniform. Chill for about an hour or so.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, then pipe onto every other macaron shell (tinted with powdered or gel orange food color) and sandwich with another macaron shell.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at https://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/10/28/what-beautiful-little-feet-you-have-miss-macaron/