- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground almonds (2 1/2 ounces); see Note
- 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder (instant green tea powder); see Note
- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pint green tea ice cream
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 275° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the ground almonds with the matcha powder and confectioners' sugar and process until fine. Add 2 of the egg whites and the almond extract and process to a paste. Scrape the paste into a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the water and cook over moderately high heat until the syrup reaches 225° (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the remaining 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. With the machine at medium-high speed, gradually drizzle in the hot sugar syrup and beat the meringue until it is stiff, glossy and just warm to the touch, about 4 minutes. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the meringue into the matcha-almond paste until no streaks remain.
- Spoon the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip. Pipe about ten 2 1/2-inch rounds of the meringue onto each of the prepared baking sheets. Using a moistened fingertip, carefully smooth the tops. Let the macarons stand uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes; this will make the surfaces shiny and crisp.
- Bake the macarons for 30 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are dry and crisp; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Prop the oven door open several inches and let the macarons cool completely.
- Working in batches, scoop 10 scant 2-tablespoon mounds of each ice cream onto a sheet of wax paper. Using a spatula, lightly flatten the ice cream and sandwich a scoop each of vanilla and green tea ice cream between 2 macarons; press very lightly to close. Serve right away.
The macarons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The sandwiches can be frozen for up to 3 days; thaw slightly before serving.
You can buy ground almonds at natural markets. Green tea powder (also known as matcha) is available at specialty food shops and Asian markets.