Lavender Coconut Macarons: summery coconut macarons filled with a fragrant lavender buttercream
Macarons have become one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen. But it didn’t start out that way. In college I must’ve tried to make macarons 5 times. Each time my cookies came out like sad, thin puddles that melted all over my cookie sheet. I hated macarons and I honestly didn’t believe it was possible for me to make them right.
Flash forward to now. After countless tries and half-fails, I finally figured out l’art de macarons. I developed a recipe that produces the most airy, light macarons one could hope for.
All this to say that if you think that macarons are beyond your baking abilities, I strongly encourage you to try these!
Of course, it’s all about the folding and the drying.
Pay careful attention to the way that your batter falls from the spatula. You’re looking for 1/2 inch thick ribbons to flow slowly into the batter, like lava. There should be a slight resistance to the batter, like it wants to be solid, but gravity is pulling it down.
The macarons absolutely need at least an hour to dry out before going into the oven. This will help them to puff up while they cook, ensuring a nice, thick macaron. If you follow these tips, you should end up with a perfect macaron.
Now onto more things. The entire reason behind creating a coconut macaron is because of Zainab of the Blahnik Baker. This lovely blogging friend of mine is due to have a baby boy at the end of this month. A bunch of her blogging buddies have teamed up for a virtual baby shower, and I am so excited to be a part of it!
Zainab is the queen of all things tropical. From her Pina Colada Ice Cream to her Key Lime Cupcakes, this girl knows how to take bright, citrusy flavors and put them in baked goods. Her favorite? Coconut! So these Lavender Coconut Macarons are in honor of Zainab, her husband, and their soon-to-be baby boy.
Do check out the rest of the blogging buddies’ posts. There are some awesome treats at this virtual shower!
10–15 drops purple (or a combo of red and blue) food coloring
Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Sift the mixture again two more times. You should be left with small almond granules each time you sift. Toss these out after each sifting.
In a standing mixer using a whisk attachment (or mixing bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites and salt on high speed for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Add in granulated sugar and coconut extract and continue to beat for 1 minute until very stiff peaks form. The egg whites should be foamy and firmly hold their shape.
Carefully pour the powdered sugar mixture on top of the whipped egg whites. Fold a spatula into the center of the mixture, scooping down to the bottom of the bowl, and then scooping upwards along the side of the bowl. You should be making a rough circle with your spatula: center, down, out, center, down, out. Slowly but surely, your two mixtures should come together. Continue to fold the mixture until it resembles molten lava- when you pick the mixture up with your spatula, large ribbons should fall down into the bowl, unbroken by the air, and the entire mixture should slowly seep downwards like molten lava.*
Fit a large pastry bag with a ½ inch tip and scoop your mixture into the bag. Pipe 1¼ inch circles onto 2-3 parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 1¼ inches between each macaron. The best way to make even circles is to pipe from directly above the macaron so your pastry tip is perpendicular to the cookie sheet. Squeeze the pastry bag from the top with one hand while using your other hand to steady the tip. Once you’ve piped your circle, swirl the pastry tip in a small spiral and lift upwards at the same time to finish your macaron.* Garnish the macarons with 2-4 dried lavender flowers. Allow macarons to air out for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake macarons for 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely on their tray before frosting.
To make your buttercream, combine the milk and lavender flowers in a small pot and heat until the milk just begins to bubble around the edges. Turn off heat and allow to come to room temperature. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the lavender flowers from the milk into a small bowl. Beat the butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, infused milk, and food coloring, beating again until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Transfer to a small pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch tip. Once your macarons have cooled, frost and serve!
*There are a ton of video tutorials out there that show good technique for all stages of macaron making- check them out!