For the shell:
135 grams egg whites, at room temperature
120 grams caster sugar
130 grams almond flour
200 grams powdered sugar
20 grams Spira red
For the filling:
⅓ cup cranberry sauce, store-bought or homemade
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
170 grams powdered sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract
1 tbsp orange juice
- Begin with the shells: In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and Spira red. Whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy and the whisk begins to leave visible trails in the egg whites.
- Gradually add the caster sugar and increase the mixer speed, whipping on high until the meringue forms stiff peaks. (This may take a while).
- With a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients in one third at a time. To do this, scrape the bottom of the bowl in a circular motion and cut through the middle of the batter. You know you’re done when you can drip batter off your spatula in a figure-8 formation without it breaking.
- Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag with a medium-sized round tip.
- Holding the bag at a 90 degree angle, pipe batter into 1.5-inch rounds at least 1 inch apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired.
- Firmly holding the baking sheet, bang it firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons dry for 30 mins, or until a skin has developed and you can lightly touch the surface without it sticking.
- While they’re resting, preheat the oven to 300F (150C).
- Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 20 mins on the middle rack, rotating once if your oven heats unevenly.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 10 mins before peeling off the parchment and cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Continue with the filling: Cream the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed for 1 minute.
- With the mixer off, add the powdered sugar and orange zest. Then turn it back on and beat on low.
- Once incorporated, turn speed to medium and cream until very fluffy.
- Add vanilla or orange extract and orange juice and beat for another minute.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a medium size tip.
- Finish with the assembly: Pipe a round barrier of orange buttercream on a bottom shell macaron.
- Fill the center with a small spoonful or cranberry sauce.
- Place a top macaron and gently press down to seal the sauce in and enjoy!