You don’t have to be an expert in French cooking to whip up these sandwich cookies. The crisp, chewy macarons take attention to detail, but they’re not hard to make—and they’re simply a delight, both for personal snacking and giving as gifts! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Total TimePrep: 50 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
Makesabout 5 dozen
- 6 large egg whites
- 1-1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted
- 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Dash salt
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- COFFEE BUTTERCREAM:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place hazelnuts and confectioners' sugar in a food processor; pulse until nuts are finely ground.
- Add salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in hazelnut mixture.
- With a pastry bag, pipe 1-in.-diameter cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 9-12 minutes. Transfer cookies on the parchment paper to wire racks; cool completely.
- For the buttercream, in a heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil; cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot syrup into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in espresso powder and vanilla; cool completely.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter until creamy. Gradually beat in cooled syrup. Beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Refrigerate until mixture firms to a spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.
- Spread about 1-1/2 tsp buttercream onto the bottom of each of half the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Editor’s Note: To toast whole hazelnuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. To remove skins, wrap hazelnuts in a tea towel; rub with towel to loosen skins.
Nutrition Facts1 sandwich cookie: 117 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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