Happy National Moon Day!
130g superfine almond flour
130g powdered sugar
90-100g egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
90g granulated sugar
gel food coloring - (I used just a touch of Slate)
Sift almond flour and powdered sugar onto separate parchment paper and set aside.
Pour room temperature egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk and mix on a low/medium speed until the surface of the egg whites is covered in small bubbles. Add cream of tartar and salt, continue to mix until it reaches a frothy stage.
Slowly add granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed in 1-2 tbsp increments.
Keep mixing until white and glossy. Add in gel food coloring and extract at this point.
Increase the mixing speed to a medium-high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in two additions using a circular motion until a thick ribbon of batter runs off the spatula when it is lifted. Be careful not to over-mix the batter! It will take time and experience to get this just right.
Pour the batter into a large piping bag fitted with 1/2-inch piping tip onto the prepared baking sheets. I use silicon mats, placed on upside down baking sheets.
Bang the pans firmly on the counter a few times to release air bubbles. Pop any remaining air bubbles that come to the surface with a toothpick.
Let the macarons rest for 20-60 minutes to develop a skin. The macarons should look matte once the skin has formed.
As the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 300 F. Every oven is different, and you may need to set your temp higher or lower.
Bake one tray of macarons at a time on the middle rack of your oven for 16-18 minutes, until the macarons do not wiggle when you test them.
Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool on the pan for about 15 minutes. Gently peel them off of the silicon mat and set aside.
I used a bit more Slate color food gel, mixed with some vodka to hand paint the 'craters' on the moons. I dapped a little of the mix with my finger and kind of speckled it on. It will take some trial and error, but you can do it!
Cream Cheese Coconut Buttercream
4 tbsp butter, room temp
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp milk, if needed
1/4 cup Apricot jam
Cream butter and cream cheese until fully combined and light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar, extracts and salt. Combine fully.
Add mild, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
Make circles of buttercream on half of your shells, then fill with Apricot jam. Delish!