Walnut Macaron Sandwich cookies
Chef Trent Page
Whole Foods Market
Chef Trent Page tints the macaron batter with pastel colors to create cookies that look like Easter eggs. But the delicate macarons, sandwiched with a creamy limoncello filling, would make a welcome addition to any seasonal dessert assortment.
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
¾ cup walnuts, very finely chopped
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tbsp. limoncello
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1. For macarons: Preheat oven to 375 F. In food processor, combine 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and walnuts; pulse to mix. Set aside.
2. With a stand mixer on medium speed, whisk egg whites until foamy. Reduce speed to low while adding remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Increase speed to high; whisk until stiff peaks form, approximately 8 minutes.
3. Sift walnut mixture over egg whites; gently fold until mixture is smooth and shiny. If desired, for a variation of colors, divide macaron batter into 3 bowls and fold in 1 to 2 drops of food coloring into each bowl before piping and baking.
4. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip; pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. To flatten any peaks, dip your finger in water and gently press down on the macarons. Tap the bottom of each baking sheet to release any trapped air bubbles in the macarons. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.
5. Place 1 baking sheet in oven at a time and turn oven down to 325°F. Bake for 12-15 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375°F, for 5 minutes then reduce back to 325°F for the next batch. Continue until all macarons are baked. Let cool before removing from parchment.
6. For buttercream, combine butter, sugar, limoncello and lemon zest in a stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
7. Sandwich two similar-sized macarons with 1 teaspoon of filling; repeat. Serve immediately or stack the macarons between layers of parchment in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Photograph courtesy of California Walnuts