My mom came for a visit over the weekend. She drove from Montana in her RV to have tea with the girls. Yes, that is a very long two day drive for a tea party! So in honor of this act of love and madness, we had to make the perfect teatime treat. Since my Mom loves chamomile tea, and the girls adore macarons, I made these sweet and soothing chamomile macarons for the party of the year! These vibrant and sunny chamomile macarons are complimented by Honey Swiss meringue buttercream.
Tips For Making Macarons
You all know that I am a chatty gal! I’m chatting to someone somewhere at all times during the day. Admittedly there are moments when that someone is me! While in Los Angeles this Summer I had an enlightening macaron conversation with a man who was once an apprentice to a top French Pastry Chef. And you know, he could have told me anything French-pastry related with that thick French accent, and I would have believed it! So he did tell me that the top pastry chefs in France let their egg whites sit out for DAYS. He said to let them get to a “stinky stage” before using them. He claims that us Americans are way too afraid of germs…! Ha! He’s telling this to a woman married to a complete germaphobe!
I’m imagining Grant taking a bite of a stinky staged macaron and I can’t help but laugh out loud right now! So, to be safe, I do not let them sit out until they are at their “stinky stage”, however, I do let my eggs age for two to three days in the fridge. Before they age, you should separate them. Go on and use those egg yolks for Eggnog Creme Brulee! Then put those egg whites away until the day before you plan on making these. Then leave them overnight at room temperature the day before you begin making these chamomile macarons.
I have found that my best macarons come from using Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Natural Almond Flour. I have done so much testing with macarons, and this almond flour is finer and yields a smoother macaron batter in the end.
Which brings us to an important step in making chamomile macarons, or any other macaron of your choice First, you will use your Food Processor to grind up the almond flour, powdered sugar, and Chamomile Tea. You must do this step to get out any chunks. Then you will take that dry mixture and sift it using a Fine Mesh Strainer.
Gel Food Coloring
To achieve bold, beautiful, and bright macarons, you need to use gel food coloring. For these chamomile macarons I used, Gel Food Color, Lemon Yellow. You will always color it a bit more more than you want the macaron to actually look since the color fades during this process.
Loosening The Batter
After you add your flour mixture, fold it through the egg whites. Make sure to bring it up from the bottom of your bowl, gently folding it against the side of the bowl to fully incorporate. Do not mix or stir! Fold, fold, fold, fold, fold! Do you get it? Fold that batter gently! You will do this for up to 45 strokes. The batter needs to loosen enough to pipe and settle into a disc shape. You also want to be sure not to over mix. Too much air in the batter can lead to cracked tops and hollow macarons.
Drying Out Macarons
Drying your macarons is a crucial step. This is going to help your chamomile macarons get “feet”. You want a film to form. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, so be patient! Once, during a thunderstorm, there was so much humidity in our house that it took FOUR hours for my macarons to dry.
Let’s bake some magnificent macarons!
Making the Chamomile Macarons
The process for these chamomile macarons is similar to my Earl Grey Macarons. I made a slight change in the almond flour to powdered sugar ratio, and this time I ground the tea leaves with the flour and sugar before sifting. Chamomile is a more subtle, floral flavored than a tea like Earl Grey, so this method distributed the flavor throughout the macaron for full flavor.
First, you will process your almond flour, tea, and powdered sugar. Then pass it all through a mesh sieve and make sure to discard any remaining lumps. Set this mixture aside.
Using your Mini Stand Mixer, begin whipping your egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Then add your granulated sugar by the tablespoon. Then crank it up to high and let it get to stiff peaks. Stiff peaks means it should not ribbon back into your bowl. It should withstand that old Dairy Queen blizzard upside down test and not move!
Then you can add in your gel food coloring.
Sift in your almond flour mixture and FOLD it! Reach the spatula down and in a clockwise motion and let it come back around the side. Repeat up to 45 times, until the batter is looser. You want the small peaks of the batter to smooth back down once piped.
Have a pastry bag ready with a round tip. I use, Wilton No. 1A Round Decorating Tip. Pipe out into a Macaron Baking Mat. You can also used a parchment lined baking sheet and pipe out about 1.5 inches, depending on how large you want the macarons. They will spread slightly.
Then tap your sheet about 6 times to get any air out.
Let your macarons sit for up to 2 hours, until a film forms. You should be able to touch them very gently and have them be dry.
Baking Your Macarons
Oven temperatures can vary, and unless you have an Oven Thermometer, be aware that your oven can be under or over what you think. 300 degrees is a great temperature for macarons, and actually works well if there’s a slight oven temperature discrepancy when it comes to making macarons, since they are typically baked between 275-325 degrees. So I always use this temperature for my macarons.
Watch your chamomile macarons! They take around 14 minutes in my oven.
Once they’re done, let them sit out for a couple of minutes to cool before removing them onto a plate.They cool fast!
Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream
You can use any buttercream of your choice for these chamomile macarons. I love the way the honey plays with the chamomile. I tend to love frostings that aren;t too sweet, so I used a swiss meringue buttercream and added raw honey at the end to sweeten it up and add the honey flavor.
To make a swiss meringue buttercream you will get your egg whites and sugar in a heat safe bowl. Then put it over a pot of barely simmering water. The water shouldn;t touch the bowl of egg whites and sugar, so only add an inch or two. Then just whisk up your egg whites and sugar for about five minutes. The mixture should be hot to the touch. You should be able to rub your fingers together and not have any grainy sugar. Smooth and foamy is what you want.
Then use your stand mixer to whip up the mixture for 8 minutes, until glossy and stiff. Then add in room temperautre butter by the tablespoon. Let it beat for anothe rfew minutes until creamy and silky. Then add in a sprinkle of sea salt and your honey at the end and beat another 30 seconds. Use more to taste.
The Tea Party!
And of course, these three musketeers enjoyed their impromptu tea party! Pinkies up! The chamomile macarons were gone before I could grab my phone for a picture! They’re just that good!
Tag your chamomile macarons with #ritzymom for a chance to be featured on my Instagram stories and/or feed.
Chamomile Macarons are floral, citrusuy, and infused with chamomile tea. Honey Swiss Buttercream sweetens these delicate cookies with silkiness and sweetness.
Get your piping bag fitted with a round tip and set aside.
Line baking sheets with slipmats or parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a food processor, process the almond flour, powdered sugar, and loose chamomile tea.
Then sift through a mesh sieve to get out any lumps.
In a stand mixer, using whisk attachment, start mixing egg whites on medium. Add granulated sugar by tablespoon. Then crank up to high and beat until stiff. Then use a spatula to add in gel food coloring and if using, extract.
Then fold in almond flour mixture. Up to 45 strokes.
Transfer to pastry bag. Pipe out circles that are 1.25-1.5 inch in diameter.
Let dry for up to 2 hours.
Then after they are dry and have formed a skin, bake for approx. 14-17 minutes.
Peel off cookies once they've cooled with the frosting of your choice.
Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream has raw honey to amp up sweetness and flavor of a silky vanilla swiss buttercream!
Get a saucepan with two inches of water barely simmering.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar,
Whisk for about 5 minutes, until hot to the touch and foamy and all sugar is dissolved.
Then move to a stand mixer and whisk for 5 minutes, until glossy and stiff peaks form.
Make sure the bowl is not warm to touch anymore and cooled down before adding butter.
Add in butter by the tablespoon. The mixture may start to look curdled before it becomes velvety! Keep whipping it up.
Then add extract, salt, and honey.
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