Did you know that the classic Twilight Zone series was one of the inspirations for the popular British 'Black Mirror' show? Celebrate this day by watching an oldie Twilight Zone episode - just a heads up, 'The Howling Man' is considered to be the scariest episode.
I will also celebrate by making Twilight Zone Macarons!
Twilight Zone Macarons
130g superfine almond flour
130g powdered sugar
90-100g egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar - optional
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
90g granulated sugar
gel food coloring, black and gray
Sift almond flour and powdered sugar onto 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 in a pinch of cream of tartar and salt, continue to mix until it reaches the soft peak stage.
Slowly add granulated sugar into the eggs and mix on a medium speed for 30 seconds. Increase the mixing speed to a medium-high speed. Keep mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in two additions using a circular motion. But stop mixing once the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
Divide your batter into 2 separate bowls and add black gel color to one and gray gel color to the other. Now, mix each batter 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.
Once each separate color is done, pour the batters into separate disposable piping bags, tying the ends. Next, cut the ends of both bags and place into a larger piping bag fitted with 1/2-inch piping tip.
Pipe onto the prepared baking sheets using a circular, swirling motion. I use silicon mats, placed on upside down baking sheets. Space them about 1-inch apart.
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.
Honey Buttercream Filling
4 tbsp room temp butter
4 tbsp cream cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp milk, if needed
Cream butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes, until smooth, creamy and combined.
Add honey, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Cream until combined.
If needed, add milk to make desired consistency of buttercream.