Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lavender Macarons with Agave Butter Cream


Like I've mentioned before, lavender is one of my favorite herbs.  But lets face it, it's not always the easiest to cook with.  It has such a distinct taste, it can quickly become overpowering.  So when I came across a recipe for lavender macarons, I wasn't convinced, but decided to give them a try.  I'm so happy I did, because they were delicious.  

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE MACARONS

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp dried lavender
3/4 cup almond meal
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar

 
WHAT YOU DO

Start by preheating the oven to 300.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.   
  
In a food processor or blender, mix the confectioners sugar, lavender and almond meal until fine.  Then whisk the mix into a large bowl. 


Now it's time to break out your mixer.  In the mixing bowl, add the egg whites and sugar.  Whisk on level 4 for three minutes.  Next, crank it up to 7 and whisk for an additional three minutes.  If you want to add food coloring, do it now.  Finally, turn the power up to an 8 and whisk for one minute.  You should now have a fluffy meringue in the bowl.    

 

Add the almond mixture into the meringue.  You want to fold the almond mix in, but scrape the sides well to deflate the meringue.  Mix it well.  It's going to seem impossible, but after 25-30 turns, you will have get the perfect mixture.  Don't be shy with your meringue, you want to knock all the air out.  The consistency should be like a pancake batter.




I didn't get a picture of this part, but you want to fill a pastry bag with batter, and pipe it onto the baking sheets.  The shells should be roughly the size of a quarter, and an inch apart.
When your done with the piping, you'll want to pick up the
pan and whack it against the counter tops.  Do this four times, rotating the
pan in a circle.  

Bake for 15 minutes.  The shells should easily be picked up off the parchment paper.
 Let cool completely before icing. 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE BUTTER CREAM

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp agave nectar 

Again, I forgot pictures of this part, but I think you can handle it.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter for about two minutes.   Slowly add in the sugar, whisking until mixed.  Do the same with the agave nectar.  I filled my macarons with the same pastry bag, and worked like a charm! 

 

I know macarons can be intimidating, but trust me.  You WANT to try these.  They were easy and delicious!
And, if your looking for more lavender recipes, be sure to check out my recipe for Lemon Lavender Shortbread Squares.


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