• 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
• 1 cup almond flour, finely ground
• 1 teaspoon salt, divided
• 3 egg whites, at room temperature
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 drops of pink gel food coloring
For Vanilla Buttercream
• 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks at room temperature
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Making the Macarons
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and ½ teaspoon salt, and process on a low speed, until extra fine. Sift the almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.
2. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Gradually add the granulated sugar until fully incorporated. Beat some more until stiff peaks form.
3. Add the vanilla and beat until well incorporated. Add the food coloring and beat until just combined.
4. Add about 1/3 of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites mixture and use a spatula to gently fold until combined. After adding the last bit of almond flour mixture, continue to fold slowly until the batter falls into ribbons and you can make a figure of 8 while holding the spatula up.
5. Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
6. Place 4 dots of the batter in each corner of a rimmed baking sheet, and place a piece of parchment paper over it, using the batter to help stick the parchment to the baking sheet.
7. Pipe the macarons onto the parchment paper in 1 ½ inch circles, spacing at least 1-inch apart. Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface to release any air bubbles.
8. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, until they’re dry to the touch. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius)
9. Bake for 17 minutes, until the feet are well-risen and the macarons don’t stick to the parchment paper. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
Making the Buttercream
1. In a large bowl, add the butter and beat with a mixer for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat to 11. combine, until the desired consistency is reached.
2. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Add a dollop of buttercream to one macaron shell. Top it with another macaron shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining macaron shells and buttercream.
3. Place in an airtight container for 24 hours so that they can “bloom.”