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Macarons: Meyer Lemon and Mixed Berry

Around the holiday time it’s always nice to have some miniature sweets on hand and at the ready. Macarons hold very well in the freezer for a short period of time and are almost always a crowd pleaser. Since we have some meyer lemons from the tree, I’ve been enjoying their fragrant juice and using it in everything possible. Last week I made a lemon tart with meyer lemon curd and it turned out really well so I decided to make another batch and incorporate it into the buttercream for a creamy and decadent filling.

Try this recipe for a similar batch.

For the lemon macarons:

1. Add 1/4 tsp powder yellow food coloring to the almond and powder sugar mixture

2. Add zest of 1 meyer lemon to the batter before piping

3. Mix 1/4 cup lemon curd with 1 cup buttercream

For the mixed berry macarons:

1. Add a scant 1/4 tsp of powdered red food coloring to almond and powdered sugar mixture

2. Defrost 2 cups frozen mixed berries

3. Cook with 1/4 cup sugar and reduce until most of the liquid is evaporated and mixture is reduced by 1/2.

4. Mix 1 cup buttercream with 1/4 cup room temperature berry preserves

Buttercream:

adapted from The Whimsical Bakehouse

1/2 c water

2 1/4 c sugar

1 c egg whites, place in mixing bowl fitted with a whip attachment

1 1/2 pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar and water in a non-reactive saucepan and wash down the sides so that it is free of any sugar crystals. Using a candy thermometer, cook until sugar reaches 248 degrees. *When mixture reaches 235 degrees, begin whipping egg whites at high speed to medium peak. Whites should reach medium peak at the same time the sugar reaches 248 degrees. At this time, slowly pour the hot sugar into the whipped whites, leaving the mixer on high speed . Be careful to avoid pouring sugar on the whip, keep the stream of sugar closer to, but not touching the edge of the mixing bowl.

Beat until the mixture is cool to the touch, approximately 10 minutes.

Slowly add the butter pieces with the mixer on high speed.

When all butter is added, pour in the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.

At this point, you can portion out the buttercream, I separate the batch into 2 cup portions and freeze in individually wrapped ziploc bags for later use.

Yield: 8 cups

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