Third place-Submitted by: Isabel Talamantes, Norris Electric Cooperative
1/2cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoonsalmond flour (65g)
1/2cuppowdered sugar (50g)
1/2cupgranulated sugar (50g)
2egg whitesfrom large eggs (53g)
White chocolate buttercream filling
3/4cupwhite chocolate chipsmelted
2-3tablespoonsheavy whipping cream
Using a food processor, blend almond flour, powdered sugar, spices and salt together and then sift into a medium bowl.
In large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
Slowly pour in granulated sugar until incorporated. Beat on medium-high speed until the meringue is thick, glossy and forms stiff peaks.
Add 1/3 of dry ingredient mixture to meringue and fold in until combined. Use the spatula to go underneath the mixture and then around to fold on the top, pressing out some of the air. Repeat process 2 more times to incorporate rest of dry ingredients. The mixture should be thick and flow slowly; reincorporating into the batter within 10 seconds when dropped from the spatula. Transfer to a pastry bag.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Pipe out an even amount of circles 1-2 inches in diameter and spaced 1.5 inches apart. Pick the pan up and lightly drop it on the counter 2-3 times to get rid of air bubbles trapped in batter. Let batter dry, uncovered, at room temperature until the tops are dull and no longer sticky (1-2 hours).
Preheat oven to 300 F. Bake macarons on center rack for 14 minutes. If the tops of the shells jiggle a little, they are done. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to the counter on parchment paper and match up similar sized shells.
For filling, melt white chocolate and set aside for 1-2 minutes to cool. Cream softened butter with a mixer on medium speed, gradually adding powdered sugar until combined. Add vanilla and heavy cream (1 tablespoon at a time) until filling is smooth. Add cooled chocolate and beat on slow speed until combined. Mix for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. If filling is too thick, add a little more cream; if too thin add more powdered sugar.
Spread filling on shells and top with another shell to make a sandwich cookie. For best results, store in airtight container in refrigerator 24 hours before serving.
Note: I learned to make macarons with my mom after we tried them for the first time while on vacation. They are delicious and flavorful. This recipe tastes like Christmas!