Cardamom Macarons with Lemon Buttercream

Light and crisp, these macarons have the sweet floral accent of cardamom. They pair wonderfully with the lemon-flavored buttercream. As Seen on Food Porn Daily (G Rated) and Photograzing. 
cardamom macarons
Butchie and I decided to take another pass at macarons and try another recipe. We used the basic recipe from when Helen of Tartelette was featured in Desserts Magazine and then added some cardamom.  I’ll admit while baking we were a little put off. They took much much MUCH longer to bake than we had anticipated.

Helen’s recipe said 10-12 minutes, but we baked our s for nearly twice the time and were still unsure if they were really ever fully cooked.  Luckily, the entertainment of the evening was so incredibly overdramatic that it completely took our minds off the amount of time these macarons needed to bake. [Leave Grey’s anatomy for two seasons, and you come back to find that not much has really changed. There are a lot of bad relationship choices, and Seattle Grace is still the only hospital in America in which you are more likely to be shot than cured.  --B]

By the next morning, we’d all but decided to forego the recipe based on the baking time, but then I came home early from work and ate a few of the leftovers. SO much better the next day.  I actually enjoyed them much more than our first attempt at macarons. This might be due to the fact that we were less stressed about the process, or because we had half the number of cooks in the kitchen, but mainly it’s that these macarons really did taste great.  Butchie can’t weigh in….I ate all the macarons and didn’t save any for her. [Jerk. –B. ] I’m not sorry. They were that good.  It is probably one of the best decisions I have made this week.

I really liked adding the cardamom to the macarons. It was a good flavor, especially when accented by the lemon buttercream filling. 
cardamom macarons, almonds,  and national cathedral

Cardamom Macarons
Adapted from Helen’s recipe at Tartelette

100 g egg whites
50 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
110 grams ground almonds (or blanched or whole)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites into foam, gradually adding the sugar until you have a glossy meringue.

In a food processor pulse the powdered sugar, cardamom and almonds until smooth. If you are using whole almonds this will take about one minute.

Gently fold in part of the almond sugar with one or two strokes, then sprinkle over the rest of the almond sugar and cardamom. Be careful. This process should NOT take more than 50 strokes.

Using a pastry bag pipe out batter into 1 ½ inch diameter circles on to parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Allow to sit for one hour.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes (or 20 if you are us).

Allow the macarons to sit for 10 minutes before removing from the parchment paper. Any amount of time too long will brown the cookies and distract from the beautiful sheen they have.

Remove macarons from oven and transfer parchment to a cooling rack. When cool, slide a metal offset spatula or paring knife underneath the macaron to remove from parchment.

Fill with lemon buttercream.

Lemon Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp lemon flavoring
a pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Whip (using a paddle attachment)  butter, and flavoring till creamy then whip in powdered sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.