Yield: about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

Ingredients

For the macarons:*
110 grams almonds (blanched or slivered)
200 grams confectioners’ sugar
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¼ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
50 grams granulated sugar

For the filling:
8 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1½ tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. lemon juice

*Note: All of the measurements for this recipe are listed by weight.  A kitchen scale is necessary for making macarons.  Attempting to make these by volume measure would likely be a waste of time and ingredients, so volume measurements are not provided.

  • step 1: HideShow Images

    To make the macarons, pulse the almonds and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground and well blended.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the mixing bowl.  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth, shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms.  Blend in the vanilla extract, if using.  Add the ground almond mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip.  Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Bake for 12-18 minutes, depending on size.  (Baking time can vary widely due to humidity and other factors of your kitchen environment.  To test whether or not the cookies are done, let cool for a minute until cool enough to touch.  Carefully attempt to remove one shell from the silpat.  If it cracks at all or does not remain intact, continue to bake until one is removed intact.)  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    To make the filling, drain the thawed raspberries, reserving the liquid in a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough water to equal ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons.  In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture boils and thickens.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Stir the raspberries into the cooled mixture.  (Depending on the texture of the filling you want, you can smash the berries or leave them chunky.  You can also strain through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds if desired.)  Transfer to the refrigerator to chill the filling.  It will thicken as it cools.

  • step 5: HideShow Images

    When you are ready to serve the cookies, match them up by size.  Pipe a small dollop of raspberry filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the filling to the edges.  Serve within 6-8 hours.  If not filling immediately, store the shells in an airtight container.