I have always loved weddings and all the celebrations surrounding them. But there is no wedding better than your siblings! My sister Chelsea got engaged last week and is getting married this winter!
Chelsea is planning a mid-December wedding with deep, warm colors such as plum purple, rich grays and touches of greenery. It’s going to be gorgeous! Holly and I are already diving into bridal shower planning with many details already taking shape. In honor of her engagement, I was thinking French Lavender Macarons would be a lovely celebratory treat and a potential bridal shower dessert!
Chelsea has always been a purple girl. It’s one of her favorite colors, so while she appreciates the flavor of lavender, I think the purple color of these macarons says “Chelsea” all the way. Lavender can be beautifully subtle and I think macarons hold this flower extremely well. You can amp up the flavor as much as you want in the buttercream frosting to suite your taste. I added a bit more lavender as I went along to see how strong a flavor I wanted. You can also switch up the filling with a dark plum colored jam or purple buttercream for an extra pop of color.
In this macaron recipe, we use dehydrated blueberries for the color. The hue from the freeze dried fruit is perfect and I love that it’s a completely natural food coloring! If you’d like a bit more color, you can add a drop or two of India Natural Food Colors. In the macarons pictured, I used one drop of the blue coloring to help accentuate the natural hint of lavender. And just like my other healthy macaron recipes, these macarons are naturally sweetened, high in protein and completely gluten-free! As a prologue to our wedding festivities, these French Lavender Macarons will be a fantastic start!
Congratulations, Chelsea and Steven!!
French Lavender Macarons
120 grams or about 3/4 cup packed powdered Whole Earth Sugar*
60 grams or scant 3/4 cups Super Fine Almond Flour
70 gram Organic Egg Whites, at room temperature (about 2 Large Egg Whites or 3 smallish Egg Whites)
35 grams or about 3 Tablespoons granulated Whole Earth Sugar
1 teaspoon Cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Freeze Dried Blueberries (I like Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon Dried French Lavender
Optional: 1-2 drops Natural Food Coloring
Place 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Whole Earth Sugar in a blender with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, blueberries and lavender. Blend until a fine powder. You will use 120 grams for the macarons and the rest will be for the buttercream. In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour and 120 grams powdered sugar. Set the bowl aside. Reserve the rest of the powder sugar mix for the buttercream filling if you choose to fill with that.
In a stand mixer, add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Take the whisk and whisk the eggs and sugar by hand for a few seconds until combined and slightly bubbly. Fit the attachment on the mixer and beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed (Speed 4 on a kitchen aid) for 2 minutes. Set your timer! Increase speed to speed 6, for another 2 minutes. Lastly, increase to speed 8 for another 2 minutes. At this point the eggs should be white, glossy and hold a firm shape. Add any optional food coloring at this stage and beat on high (speed 10) for 1 more minute. (Watch the eggs at this point. I ended up beating for slightly less than a minute because the eggs looked great!)
Now for the macaronage step! What’s that? It’s the method of folding in the almond/sugar mixture into the egg mixture. We want to incorporate the flour so it’s a smooth, lava-like batter. Many people count in their head each stroke so they can gage how much is enough. For this recipe, you can count about 30-40 strokes. Make sure to fold in all the batter as you’re “macaronaging”. You don’t want to over or under mix the batter. In my experience, I think under mixing is a little more forgiving because when adding the batter to the piping bag and piping cookies, you are naturally deflating the batter a bit. That said, you want a nice thick batter that still moves off your spatula but holds a shape for several seconds in the bowl.
Transfer batter to a piping bag, fitted with a large circle tip. I use a Wilton 2A.Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Get a third cooking sheet out so you can double layer the tray in the oven. This protects the macarons bottoms. Pipe macarons in small circles. I like to pipe at a 90 degree angle to avoid any tails. Once piped, firmly tap the baking sheets against your counter, at least 3 or 4 times to relieve any air pockets in the cookies. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Let these cookies sit and rest for 20-25 minutes. This is important for allowing macarons to form that crisp coating and beautiful lace edge called “feet”. For 1 inch macarons, bake about 16-17 minutes. For 1 1/2 sized or slightly larger macarons, 18-19 minutes is perfect! Allow the cookies to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes before attempting to frost. Frost with the following buttercream recipe.
Lavender Buttercream Frosting
1/3 cup Butter, softened
1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Powdered Whole Earth Sugar*
2 teaspoons Coconut Flour
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Stevia, to taste
*Additional 1/4 teaspoon crushed Dried Lavender to taste
Directions:In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the cornstarch and stevia. Mix in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time to desired consistency and sweetness. Add the lavender last to suite your taste. Pipe onto one cookie and top with a second cookie shell. Some say that macarons are the best the second day, but I think if they are baked properly, they are freshest (and most delicious) the first day. To keep them fresh, store in an airtight container at room temperature. Macarons can also be frozen (before or after being frosted) for up to 4 weeks. Enjoy!
- If this is your first time making these, I suggest watching this video. This recipe is based from this site. My method came from various recipes and sources and I really think this method creates beautiful macarons! That said, each time I make macarons, they get better and better. Like many bakers, my first attempt was not perfect so be patient if your first attempt isn’t either!
- Please test your oven temperature before trying this recipe so you can verify it’s at 300 degrees.
- For best success and ease, use a stand mixer and kitchen scale. Many macaron experts have taken the guess work out of these cookies with an electric mixer, timer and good scale. Follow the recipe and you’ll see how easy it is!
- Some recipes claim you do not need to allow macarons to sit to rest before baking, but I really think it aids in great feet. Please let these rest at least while your oven heats up. I promise it’s worth the wait.
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness says
What pretty macarons! Congrats to your sister & your whole family on the engagement! My brother got married earlier this year, so I was in full bridal shower party planning mode for my sister-in-law last spring.
Natural Sweet Recipes says
Thanks, Susan! ?