Orange Macaron Shells
“Cheaters” Orange Curd
- 1 jar (10-13 oz) lemon curd
- Zest of one orange
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of one orange
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
- Green melting wafers
- To make macarons, set egg whites in a bowl while prepping cookie sheets and batter.
- Trace 1 1/2-inch circles onto three sheets of parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each circle. Flip paper upside-down onto rimmed cookie sheets.
- Pulse powdered sugar and almond flour in a food processor to combine. Then run on high for 30 seconds to a minute, stopping to scrape sides and bottom of processor as needed. Sift mixture into a bowl, discarding any pieces remaining.
- Whip egg whites on medium until foamy. Add pinch salt, then gradually add granulated sugar with mixture running on medium-high. Beat to a stiff peak. A stiff peak is when batter remains standing on whisk attachment when pulled from bowl, even when jiggled.
- Add 1-2 drops food coloring. Whip until mixture collects in whip attachment and appears dry.
- Sift dry mixture, again, over whipped egg white. Fold until batter falls off spatula in a ribbon and becomes smooth in about 20 seconds. Mixture will look dry at first, then loosen and start to look glossy.
- Fit a piping bag with 1/2-inch tip. Pipe just inside traced circle, releasing pressure on bag at end. Drop cookie sheet on the countertop from a height of a few inches, 3 times, rotating pan each time to release air bubbles. Any unpopped air bubbles on surface can be popped with a toothpick.
- Let piped macarons rest for 30 minutes to an hour, until batter is dry and matte, and a finger lightly pressed on top comes away clean. Bake 16-18 minutes. Test for doneness. When done, macarons will lift easily from parchment paper.
- Cool completely on cookie sheet. Once cool, peel off parchment and store in refrigerator until ready to fill.
- To make “cheaters” orange curd, use a microplane or small holes on a grater to zest orange into lemon curd. Stir, cover, and refrigerate until ready to fill macarons.
- Make orange buttercream by creaming butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, extracts, zest, and salt to the bowl. Beat on medium until combined. Add 1 tablespoon orange juice. Mix until incorporated, then increase speed to high and beat for a few minutes until fluffy.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill macarons.
- To make leaves, melt green melting wafers in microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power, stirring in between. Pour into a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip. Pipe leaves onto waxed paper. Let set up, then transfer to refrigerator.
- To assemble, bring orange buttercream to room temperature, re-whipping as needed. You may need to add another 1/2 -1 tablespoon orange juice to loosen. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a star or plain tip.
- Flip half of macarons upside-down. Pipe a circle of buttercream around inside edge, but not right to edge. Fill buttercream circle with a bit of orange curd, not higher than level of buttercream. Lightly press a macaron shell on top.
- Melt a bit more of the green melting wafers. Place a dot on top of each macaron. Place a piped leaf on top. Let set up several minutes.
- Return piped macarons to refrigerator and chill for at least 24 hours before serving. They are best after at least a day of rest in fridge.
Imperial Sugar Insight
Recipe developed for Imperial Sugar by Bridget Edwards @Bake at 350.