Macarons with Orange Buttercream

90 grams room temperature egg whites, aged 5-7 days in the fridge
30 grams granulated sugar
1/16 teaspoon cream of tartar
210 grams confectioners’ sugar
110 grams almond flour
Red & Yellow Paste Food Coloring

Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites to a foam and start gradually adding granulated sugar and cream of tartar, until glossy. Add food coloring to desired shade and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overwhip. (I try to stop just before I think it's "ready," or I invariably slightly overwhip.)

Add almond mixture to the meringue; fold with a spatula until the batter falls back on itself in a ribbon. Be careful not to overfold (to be safe, pipe a small disk onto a plate; if a small peak remains, give the meringue another fold and test again; if the top slowly flattens on its own, you’re good to go – it’s always best to do this test just before you think the batter is ready).

Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Fit a pastry bag with a round tip (Adecco #807 or 809) and fill with the batter. Pipe 1 inch rounds onto baking sheets. Let stand at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350*F. Reduce temperature to 300* and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 6 minutes. Cool completely. Pipe frosting on the flat side of one macaron and top with a similar-sized macaron.

Orange Buttercream

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon orange zest

Mix butter and shortening on low until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, until blended. Add orange zest, mix to combine. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes
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