For the cookies, we adapted Bon Appetit Magazine's recipe. For the filling, I used Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe. Actually, I think both recipes are virtually the same for the cookies and filling.
The Bon Appetit recipe says that this makes about three dozen sandwich cookies, but for us it was more like two dozen.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup (lightly packed) sifted almond flour, or 3/4 cup sifted almond flour and 1/4 cup sifted hazelnut flour (sifted, then measured; any coarse particles reserved for another use)
- 1/2 cup (scant) egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Sift powdered sugar, almond flour, and hazelnut flour (if using) into large bowl.
- Using electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar, and pinch of salt in medium bowl until medium (soft) peaks form.
- Add egg white mixture to almond mixture; fold to incorporate.
- Working in 2 batches, fill pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch-diameter plain pastry tip with batter (batter will be thin and will drip from bag). Pipe batter in 11/4-inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart (cookies will spread slightly). Let rest on sheets at room temperature 20 minutes.
- Bake cookies about 5 minutes. (Hubby did it for about 3-4 minutes.) Reduce oven temperature to 325F. Continue to bake cookies until puffed and golden on top, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Cool until cookies can be peeled off parchment. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
The Martha Stewart recipe says this makes about 3 cups, which is fairly accurate. I only used about half of it for my two dozen cookies. So for the above cookies, I'd recommend cutting it down by at least one-third.
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar (edit: I did find the buttercream too sweet for my taste so I think this could be cut down a bit)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla, almond extract or other flavouring of choice
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. (Whip in vanilla, almond extract or other flavouring at this point.) The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.
- Variations: To make hazelnut-honey filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of macaroon filling with 1/3 cup finely ground hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons good-quality honey.