Vanilla Macarons

Adapted from this post on Tartelette
Yield: 40 macarons

Shells
90g egg whites (about 3)
30g sugar
200g icing sugar
110g ground almonds
  1. The day before, separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container.
  2. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam.
  3. Gradually add the sugar. Whip until a glossy meringue forms, but do not overbeat, about 3 minutes.
  4. Fold in the icing sugar and almonds. It should take about 50 strokes. The batter should flow like lava or a thick ribbon. Test a small amount on a plate - the tops should flatten out on its own.
  5. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe small rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  6. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes so the shells can harden a bit.
  7. Preheat oven to 280F.
  8. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Shells can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days.
  9. Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon of buttercream in the center of one shell and top with another shell.
Vanilla Buttercream
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded
  1. Place sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly for about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, the mixture should be hot to the touch, and the mixture should look like marshmallow cream.
  3. Pour the mixture into a mixer with the whisk attachment.
  4. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick, shiny meringue, about 5 minutes.
  5. Switch to the paddle attachment.
  6. Add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth.
  7. Once all butter is in, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.
  8. Beat in the seeds from the vanilla bean.
  9. Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to a week if not used right away.