These elegant cookies have pink peppercorns that are not only pretty, but great counterpoints to the sweet cookies and tangy lemon filling.
Slideshow:Delicious Sandwich Cookies
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 cup blanched almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
Baby rose petals, for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2 make the lemon curd
In the top of a double boiler filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the curd registers 180°, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the curd into a heatproof bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled.
Step 3 meanwhile, make the macarons
In a food processor, combine the confectioners’ sugar, almonds and pink peppercorns and process until powdery. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and break up any lumps.
Step 4 meanwhile, make the macarons
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat 2 of the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting while the sugar syrup cooks. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and cook until the syrup reaches 238° on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Increase the speed to moderately high and carefully and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the beaten whites in a thin stream. Beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.
Step 5 meanwhile, make the macarons
Pour the remaining egg white over the almond mixture and scrape the meringue on top. Using a rubber spatula, fold everything together until completely combined. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip.
Step 6 meanwhile, make the macarons
Pipe 1-inch mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Give each baking sheet a firm tap on the table to release any air bubbles. Rotate the pans and tap again. Using slightly moistened fingertips, press the meringues so they are about 1/4 inch high. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the tops to dry.
Step 7 meanwhile, make the macarons
Bake 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, until the meringues are lightly browned. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then carefully lift off the macarons.
Step 8 meanwhile, make the macarons
Scrape the lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe the lemon curd onto the flat side of half of the macarons and top them with the remaining cookies. Pipe a tiny dot of lemon curd on top of each one and garnish with a tiny rose petal.
The lemon curd can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
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