Ginger Macarons with Orange Sugar Buttercream

My first stop for baking with my orange sugar simply had to be buttercream frosting to pair with ginger macarons.
Ginger Macarons with Orange Sugar Buttercream recipe from

 Baking with a new ingredient is always so much fun. Lately I've been in a macaron making mood. Ever since Christmas and making macarons with my mother I've been wanting to make more and keep perfecting this process.

It seems like every time I post a macaron recipe I get a lot of comments on the post about being scared to make a macaron! Let me clear this up: making a macaron is NOT hard. It's actually relatively simple, and takes very little hands on time! Can you whip egg whites until they have soft peaks? Can you sift and fold? Can you pour out a tester teaspoon to see if the batter will flatten slightly? Yes? Then you're going to be just fine!

If it makes you feel any better, the vast majority of the macarons I see sold around DC aren't done perfectly either. Their batter is undermixed. How can I tell? The lumpy tops are a dead give away. The batter never flattened properly. I have made that mistake myself. If you look at my chinese five spice macarons you can see that they are actually just slightly under-mixed. Is it a learning process? Sure! But so was cake right? Or making caramel? or Toffee?

Want me to talk you into it? Shoot me an email! Trust me, you'll be just fine! weird rule: if it's humid, don't bother. At least that's what I hear. I've just always followed that rule. One of these days I'll be a rebel and make macarons during a horrible rain storm.

Now as for using my orange sugar to make a buttercream, this took a bit of pondering. I had to put forth some effort to grind my sugar into powdered sugar. It took longer than I wanted it to. I'm not the most patient of people. Quality time with my food processor is not really what I look for in a Tuesday night. I succeeded. The orange sugar will in fact, after a while, turn into a powdered sugar that can be used in buttercream! So happy!

Hope you enjoy this little recipe, and more importantly I hope that if macarons scare you, you'll face the fear. They are a wonderful cookie!

Ginger Macarons

100 g. egg whites
25 g. white sugar
200 g. powdered sugar
110 g. ground almond meal
1 tsp. ground ginger
dried orange zest (optional)

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites into a foam, gradually adding the sugar. Continue to beat into a meringue. 

Sift together powdered sugar, ginger, and almond meal to remove any clumps. Gently sift into meringue gradually folding in, usually as few strokes as possible. Test a teaspoon of batter by pouring onto a plate. If it flatten slightly, you’re ready. If it remains stiff, give it a few more strokes. Err on the side of under-mixed.

Moving quickly fill a disposable pastry bag with the macaron batter with a 3/4 inch wide cut end. Pipe small rounds one inch in diameter and one inch apart, onto the baking sheets. Allow to rest for half an hour. Sprinkle the tops with dried orange zest.

Preheat the oven to 300. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. My experience is that if the macarons are hard to remove from the paper, they need more time to bake. Allow to cool on the pan and then remove. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to fill. 

Orange Sugar Buttercream 

1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup powdered orange sugar (pulse sugar cubes in a food processor)

Whip with a paddle attachment: butter, and vanilla until creamy then whip in the sugars.