Hazelnut/Coffee Buttercream Filling
- 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 pound Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract/flavoring
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Place egg whites in a bowl on counter while preparing cookie sheets, for up to 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pour hazelnuts onto a small rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and take off as much of skins as possible, using one of two ways: place warm nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously or place warm nuts in a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Agitate to remove skins. If skins are difficult to remove, cook for 2 minutes more.
- Place cooled nuts in a food processor and run on high until hazelnuts are chopped fine, similar to almond flour. Remove from processor and set aside.
- Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to trace circles on two pieces of parchment paper. About 20 circles will fit on one sheet. Flip sheets over and place on rimmed cookie sheets set aside.
- Place almond flour, two tablespoons reserved hazelnut flour, and powdered sugar in food processor bowl. Run on high speed until well combined. Sift mixture into a bowl, discarding any large pieces that won’t fit through sifter mesh.
- With whisk attachment of a mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed for one minute. Very gradually, add granulated sugar into eggs with mixer running. Once all sugar has been added, scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until eggs are glossy, thick, and just hold a stiff peak. Beat in hazelnut extract/flavoring. NOTE: a stiff peak is when beater is pulled from bowl and meringue holds its shape without flopping over.
- Pour almond flour mixture into egg whites and use a silicone spatula to fold in slow strokes from bottom of bowl. Mixture will seem dry at first and then come together and loosen. Keep folding gently until egg whites and flour mixture is combined and falls off spatula in a ribbon.
- Pour batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, such as a Wilton #24. Alternatively, cut about a 1/2-inch opening in piping bag. Pipe batter onto prepared circle templates, releasing pressure on bag when circle is filled.
- From a height of a few inches, drop cookie sheets onto counter. Let batter set for 30-60 minutes until tops feel a bit dry when lightly touched. An oscillating or ceiling fan on low near cookie sheets can help.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. When cookies are ready, bake for 16-18 minutes or until shells lift effortlessly from parchment. Let cool on cookie sheet until room temperature.
- To make hazelnut/coffee buttercream filling, beat butter with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low. Meanwhile, stir espresso powder, vanilla, and hazelnut extract/flavoring together in a small bowl. Add to mixer. Add two tablespoons milk and beat until filling comes together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes until thick and fluffy. Add remaining tablespoon milk if needed.
- Place filling in a piping bag fitted with a #12 tip, or snip tip. Pipe filling onto half of shells, not quite to edge. Carefully sandwich with remaining shells. (You will have buttercream left over. Pop it in fridge and use to spread onto graham crackers.)
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, then bring to room temperature. Macarons are best when made ahead and can be refrigerated up to a week and frozen 3 months.
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Bridget Edwards @Bake at 350.