Homemade Macaroons (Macarons) Again - Just for fun, just for my family

I made something this week that left me with a few egg whites to use up so this morning I decided to whip up some macaron cookies to use up the egg whites.  I've already posted this recipe previously around Easter time with some 'mini' macaroons I had tinted pink.  These didn't have to be as pretty... and didn't have to be pink.  As a matter of fact I left them white and untinted with white buttercreme frosting in the middle but used a simple yellow jimmy sprinkle to add color since I chose to use "Princess" flavoring which the lemon citrus really stood out in today.

I have tried to make these completely sugar free previously.  They work 'ok' but not great when made sugar free.  The texture isn't the same and they stay 'sticky' and don't dry out to a nice meringue style crisp.  I don't usually bake or cook with sugar but I did for these.

Macarons  (Macaroons)

1 c confectioner's sugar
3/4 c almond flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 c superfine granulated sugar
optional: 1-2 drops food color and 1/4 t flavor extract

Mix the confectioner's sugar and almond flour very well either by pulsing in a food processor until combined or using an electric stick blender or electric whisk, etc. It should be mixed very well and quite fine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add a drop or two of food color if you are using it, a drop or two of flavor extracts if you are using them, and the superfine white sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip if you have one, or if not, leave the round 1/2 inch opening of the bag or the white plastic piece you would normally put a tip on, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Drag the pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks.

Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling of your choice. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

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