Here´s what you´ll need:
3/4cup ground almond meal
1cup confectioner’s sugar
2large egg whites, aged overnight
1/4cup lavender sugar (SEE BELOW)
1teaspoon purple gel food coloring
Earl Grey (Honey) Lavender Buttercream:
1/2cup unsalted butter, softened
1cup confectioner’s sugar
1tablespoon organic raw manuka honey
2teaspoons earl grey & lavender tea leaves, steeped in 2 tb of boiling water
Optional: additional lavender leaves (crushed finely)
What you´re going to want to start with is a simple lavender infused sugar. Start with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and add to that several fresh sprigs of lavender or you can use 1 tsp of dried lavender that you can most likely find at your local health food store.IMG_4296
You can either slightly crush the lavender and sugar together with a pestle and mortar to release the oils, or you can do what I did, which was rub the sugar and lavender together between your finger tips to get the flavor nice and even. If you want best results, cover it with tin foil or plastic wrap and let it sit over night. If you are in a rush, like I was, simply using it right away will do just fine.
For the Macaron Shells:
In a food processor, blitz the first two ingredients. Sift into a bowl and discard any larger bits. (I had a little over a tablespoon)
Add the lavender sugar in the food processor and finely grind. Sift and add to the bowl of almond meal and confectioner´s sugar.
Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand up mixer. Use the whisk attachment and whisk on high for 5-6 minutes, or until it sticks to the attachment firmly.
Add all of the sugar, almond meal and confectioner´s sugar mix to the egg whites.
Take a rubber spatula and fold the mixture a few times. Add the food coloring and then fold until the batter looks like molten lava. (about 40-45 turns if you want to count.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (*Author´s note: place a dot of the macron mixture at each corner under the parchment paper to keep it flat if necessary) Spoon the mixture in a piping bag with a plain half-inch tip. Pipe 3cm mounds of batter onto the baking sheet about an inch apart. They will grow slightly.
Pick up the tray and drop it onto a flat hard surface about ten times, to release any air bubbles.
Let the macarons sit for 30 minutes and set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Top with dried lavender for decoration after it sits for 30 minutes.
Bake for 12 minutes, rotating half way through
Take out of the oven to cool
Once cooled, peel them off the parchment paper (or use a metal spatula if they stick) and set them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
EARL GREY BUTTERCREAM: Make a strong brew of earl-grey and lavender tea using 2 tsp of tea leaves steeped in 2 Tbsp boiling water. Wait to cool.
Option: Add additional crushed lavender leaves to the buttercream. Gives it texture and a POP of beautiful fragrance.
Place into a pastry bag (or ziploc with the corner cut). Gently pipe a generous dallop on 1 macaron shell. Top with the second shell and carefully press.