Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
For the Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup hazelnut flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar
For the Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • seeds from ½ vanilla bean
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In your food processor, combine powdered sugar, hazelnut flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Process until very fine. Sift mixture into a large bowl. You may need to reprocess any large chunks that can't make it through the sifter.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites using the whisk on medium speed until light and frothy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Be patient, it will take a few minutes. They should look like the top photo when you take the whisk out.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to egg whites and gently fold together using a spatula. Once ingredients are combined, fold for just an other few turns of the wrist--this is where you need to be very careful! Under-mix and you will have pointy shells, over-mix and you will have a soupy mess. You want the batter to just barely stream off the spatula when you remove it. I err on the side of caution and smooth out points later if they arise.
  5. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ½" round tip. Carefully pipe mixture into circles about 1½" in size. If tops are pointy, you may run your finger under water and gently smooth them. Let them stand for 30 minutes until tops are glossy and smooth to the touch.
  6. Bake until just set, about 10-12 minutes.Place baking sheets on wire racks and allow to cool completely.
  7. To make the buttercream, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean seeds and beat until well combined. Add vanilla extract and milk if necessary (if the texture seems good, leave out the milk) and beat for an other minute. If you prefer a thinner buttercream, add addition milk ½ tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  8. Gently remove macarons from baking sheet and place a small spoonful of filling on half of the shells, then top with remaining halves. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
Notes
*If you cannot find hazelnut flour, you can make your own in the food processor or using a nut grinder, or you may buy online, or sub almond flour.
*Macarons are best the next day. Make 24 hours in advance if possible.
*Adapted from Oh Sweet Day
Recipe by Ari's Menu at http://www.arismenu.com/chocolate-hazelnut-macarons-vanilla-bean-buttercream/