Lemon Macarons with Lemon Buttercream by Hannah Claire Robillard

Quite possibly the most perfect macaron ever created: a lemon macaron cookie filled with lemon buttercream and tart lemon curd. An absolute 10!

Earlier this month I introduced one of my two interns, Tory Chavez, and her delicious summer Cabbage and Kale Slaw with Sesame Dressing. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce my other talented intern and University of Alabama student, Hannah Claire Robillard of Eat Your Sweets (on Instagram). Today is Hannah Claire’s 21st birthday so I’m excited that we can celebrate her and share her amazing Lemon Macarons with Lemon Buttercream Filling.

Hannah Claire celebrated 1500 followers on Instagram last year with a homemade flower crown.

Hannah Claire is a nutrition student at the University of Alabama working with me this summer that shares a passion for cooking and baking (and making the most delightful macarons I’ve ever tried!) In addition to keeping my crazy self straight, she works as an associate and cooking class assistant at Sur La Table. Hannah Claire is living in Birmingham this summer and I keep telling her that I’m going to move in with her family because she cooks up (and posts) the most creative recipes. Be on the lookout over the next two months to see more of Hannah Claire’s recipe creations. I’m so happy to have her on my team!

Assorted Macarons by Hannah Claire Robillard

Hannah has shared a detailed step-by-step guide for making her famous lemon macarons. I can’t wait to give these a try! YUM!

LEMON MACARONS WITH LEMON BUTTERCREAM FILLING

For the cookies:

  • 200g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 100g almond flour, sifted
  • 3 large egg whites, aged at room temperature
  • 30g caster sugar
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • yellow gel food coloring

For the filling:

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • dash of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Tbsp lemon zest (about ½ a lemon)
  • Lemon Curd

METHOD:

  1. Sift and weigh powdered sugar and almond flour into a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

HCR Note: A key part in making macarons is accuracy. The sifting and weighing of the dry ingredients is essential to making the perfect cookie.

  1. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium-high speed (6 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until the egg whites have achieved a “foamy” look. Slowly add the cream of tartar and 1/3 of the caster sugar. Mix until they have incorporated then add another third of caster sugar; mix until incorporated. Repeat with remaining caster sugar.

HCR Note: The egg whites will create a fluffier meringue if left out for at least 4 hours. I age my egg whites covered on the counter for 24 hours prior to use because this has consistently created the best cookie for me.

  1. Beat mixture at high speed (8 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until the egg white mixture has achieved a white fluffy texture. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and food coloring. Mix until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Check for doneness by holding the bowl upside down. If the meringue is finished, it should stay in place in the bottom of the bowl.

HCR Note: When adding the food coloring, start with a very small amount- gel food coloring goes a long way!

  1. Pour 1/3 of the flour/sugar mixture into the meringue. Using a spatula, fold in the dry mixture by hand. Fold until it is not fully incorporated, about 10-15 folds, then add the next 1/3 of the dry mixture. Continue folding, 10-15 more folds, then add the remaining 1/3 of the mixture. Fold and fold and fold until the final product reaches a ‘magma’ consistency. The mixture should fall off the spatula and reincorporate into the bowl within 10 seconds. Once the mixture reaches this phase, it is done.

HCR Note: I use 2 regular baking sheets when making this recipe. I flip them over and place my silicone baking mats on the bottom of the sheets. This gives me a nice flat surface to pipe my cookies on, and it also allows the cookies to bake more evenly.

  1. Pour the mixture into a large pastry bag. Using a large, round pastry tip, pipe the mixture into 1-inch rounds onto the silicone baking mat.

HCR Note: Make sure to pipe directly from above, not from the side, as this will cause the cookie’s ‘feet’ to not rise.

  1. Allow the cookies to sit out for 30-45 minutes before baking. This allows the cookies to dry and develop a skin on their tops.

HCR Note: This is a crucial step! You should be able to lightly touch the cookie and it be dry and tacky.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F while the cookies are drying.
  1. Bake cookies at 325 F for 15-20 minutes or until they are done. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets.

Note: If removed before cool, the tops of the cookies will often separate from the bottom.

  1. After the cookies have completely cooled, pair up the cookies by size so they will make a nice, even sandwich. Once cooled and paired, the cookies are ready for their filling!

HCR Note: While the cookies dry, this is a great opportunity to clean up and wash dishes! Mine usually take about 17 minutes to be fully done.

To make lemon buttercream:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat room-temperature butter with a mixer or by hand.
  1. Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar and cream together. Add the second 1/3 and cream together. Add the final 1/3 and mix. The mixture will look dry and crumbly.

HCR Note: I often beat the butter and sugar by hand because I don’t feel like washing the big mixer bowl. However, it works either way!

  1. Add milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the mixture. Continue beating to combine. If needed, add milk to the mixture to achieve desired consistency.

To assemble macarons:

  1. Pipe buttercream in a circle onto 1 of the paired macarons using a round pastry tip, leaving an open center.
  1. Spoon lemon curd into the center of the macaron (enough to fill the empty space).
  1. Sandwich the cookies together, and enjoy!

HCR Note: The cookies will keep on the counter for around 3 days. Do not refrigerate, as this will stale the cookies faster. If cookies are not eaten in 3 days, they freeze wonderfully and can be thawed and eaten at any time

If you love dessert then make sure to check out these 32 Dietitian-Approved Desserts–you’re sure to find a few favorites!

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