Spring is in the air! Celebrate with these tender lemon macarons- they are sweet, tangy and vibrant to excite the air of SPRING!
Spring is here! Welcome! Welcome. It has been a brutal winter so I hope you are here to stay and be brutal with lots of sunshine. Depending on where you are located, you are probably thinking are you nuts? Spring is not even close to being here (Camp A) or Spring’s been here for ages what are you talking about? (Camp B). Despite being in Camp A, I refuse to succumb to that way of thinking. My calendar says it’s the start of Spring and thus I am choosing to spring forward. And with that, I have all things lemon on the brain. Lemon tarts, lemon poppyseed donuts (coming soon) and lemon macarons!!
Today is also Jour du Macaron or Macaron Day! This day originated in France and was created by the famous patisserie chef Pierre Hermé who wanted to mobilize and collect funds for a charity by offering a free macaron to customers in exchange for a donation to a charity. Now, several cities across the world celebrate on May 20th and each participating bakery in that city gives away a free macaron to customers and a portion of their macaron sales for the day goes to a charity. New York City Macaron Day, the closest participating city to me, will be donating to City Harvest, a food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women and children. Buying macarons today will not only be good for your taste buds, but it will also be supporting a great cause. Check to see if your city is participating.
If you are not lucky to live in one of those cities, that’s ok, You can make these lemon macarons at home and virtually celebrate jour de macarons! The macaron shells are bursting with lemon zest and lemon extract to give you a tangy crunchy cookie that is filled with a sweet lemon vanilla bean buttercream. The sweet and tangy balance in these lemon macarons make them the perfect spring treat.
Lemon macaron shells filled with lemon vanilla bean buttercream make this sweet and tangy treat perfect for the Spring.
- 110 g fine almond meal/flour
- 155 g confectioner's sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 90 g egg white (3 large egg whites)
- 55 g granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Few drops yellow food coloring (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- zest of lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or scrapings of half a vanilla bean
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. I used a 1½-inch round cookie cutter to draw circles on the parchment paper and flip over the paper (drawing side down). Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip. I used Wilton 2A.
- Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour and zest into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of almond bits left. Add these to the mixture.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Add the food coloring and lemon extract and whip for another minute.
- Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula. Gently fold to deflate the meringue by pressing against the side of bowl and scooping from bottom until batter is smooth and shiny; about 20-25 folds. To check consistency, drop a spoonful of batter and it should have a peak that quickly relaxes back into the batter. Start checking the batter after 20 folds.
- Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Tap baking sheet hard on counter to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. Let shells sit on counter for 20-30 minutes to dry.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shells harden, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time. You should be able to peel off the macaron from the parchment. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment.
- Whip the butter until light and creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until combined. Increase speed to low and whip for additional 2-3 minutes.
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip, fill macarons. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to get to room temperature before enjoying!
Macaron shells adapted from Brave Tart
** Don’t forget to enter the giveaway going on right now for a chance to win a set of 12 silicone baking cups.**
Gawd these photos are beautiful, Zainab! I especially like the super cool ones where the tower of macarons is falling over. Here’s hoping that spring comes to your city asap!
Thanks Nancy!! I am hoping it does too. We are in 30s today and that is awesome!!!
These are so beautiful in the spring yellow! They look yummy! I will have make these soon. I am still drooling over the your gingerbread cake I made for my family at Christmas. It was a huge hit! Your photos are just gorgeous.
Thank you very much Allison!! I’m so glad you loved that gingerbread cake…still one of my favorites. And I hope you get to try the vanilla cupcakes too soon with your girlfriend 🙂
Your macarons are so cute. Love the choice of colour. Very springlike. Happy Macaron Day Zainab
These shots are so fun! I love these and want them now! What a fun burst of spring!
This is so cool, Zainab! I’ve never heard of Jour de Macaron before, but I love the idea of it and that it helps charities world-wide! Plus these lemon macarons are gorgeous and so bright! Absolutely perfect for the first day of spring. 🙂
These photos brightened my day — I love that beautiful yellow color! You are the macaron queen, Zainab — these look delicious AND beautiful! 🙂
Awww thanks Marcie!!
Lemon has been a flavor I have been craving all month. These look so gorgeous. I applaud your macaron making skills!
Thanks Jamie!! I am now craving cupcakes after seeing your cupcakes today 🙂
I love lemon too! These Macrons scream spring, I love it!! They are simply beautiful.
Gorgeous macarons! And I love that we can dedicate a whole day to them. Now, if only I could get my hands on a few today 🙂 How did you get the pic of them leaning over?! Love it!
Thanks Ashley!! I agree a whole day to them is warranted. I did not plan that picture. I wanted a stack of 4 but they fell as soon as I stepped back and I caught them falling lol! It’s a picture of my failure hahha but it was cool 🙂
Oh my goodness — I was going to ask the same thing about the Leaning Tower of Macarons. I wondered “did she stick a skewer through them? Nah, she wouldn’t have done that to such beautiful macarons. Did she photoshop them? Nah, I’m sure she didn’t do that either” Even if the picture resulted from a mistake, it turned out beautifully!
And these look like the perfect way to usher in spring! So light and refreshing, which is perfect this time of year, even if it’s still a bit cool outside.
Okay I need you to come over and teach me your mac skillz. These are perfect!
These are so pretty! I love your macarons and lemon 🙂
I will have to attempt these one day… but for now I can just drool over yours!
Thanks Tracy! I hope you try them soon!