Tiffany Blue Macarons with Orange Blossom Buttercream

Makes about 15 sandwich cookies                                                                                                                  

3/4 cup almond flour - I like Hodgson Mill
1 cup confectioners' sugar 
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 cup extra fine sugar

Sky blue gel food coloring by Wilton

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Sift almond flour and confectioners' sugar together 2-3 times. Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.  Reduce speed and gradually add extra fine sugar.  Increase speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Sift flour mixture over whites with a fine sieve. Discard any lumps or coarse bits that remain. 
  5. Fold mixture together with a rubber spatula -using short strokes at first -until just combined .  The batter will be very stiff. Place a small amount of Wilton Sky Blue gel food coloring on the end of a rubber spatula.  Normally powdered food coloring is used, but a small amount of gel does not disturb the batter.  I would not recommend liquid food coloring.
  6. Use bigger folds once batter loosens.  When batter is ready, it should fall from the spatula in a thick ribbon. 
  7. Transfer mixture to a piping bag.  Pipe 1 or 1 1/2" rounds on the parchment lined baking sheets. Let piped macarons stand uncovered for 15 minutes to form a crust.
  8. Decrease temperature to 325 just before placing the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake pans one at a time for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Note: After first batch has baked, oven temp should be increased to 375 then decreased to 325 just before the 2nd baking sheet goes in. 

Orange Blossom Buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Orange blossom water to taste 

Pearl dragees

  1. Cream butter and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer.  Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  If mixture is stiff, use 1 or 2 tablespoons of cream to loosen.  
  2. Add orange blossom water in small drops (a little goes a long way!).  Beat until flavor is thoroughly incorporated.  Transfer icing to a piping bag and pipe on half the macaron shells - don't use too much icing! You don't want the icing to be taller than the pearl dragees. Sandwich with remaining shells.  
  3. Using a new pair of tweezers (or baking dedicated tweezers) press a line of pearl dragees into the buttercream.