it has been a really long time since i posted a macaron recipe, and this is one that i had been wanting to test out for quite a while.
key lime pie is awesome. i’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it. crumbly graham cracker crust… creamy, tangy, sweet lime filling… what’s not to like? so i decided a long time ago that i wanted to turn it into a macaron.
the key lime part was easy. you can use pretty much any citrus fruit to flavor a macaron by throwing some of its zest in with the dry ingredients. so when i saw some adorable little key limes at the supermarket recently, i jumped on the opportunity. but i didn’t just want to make key lime-flavored macarons. i wanted key lime pie-flavored macarons. and an essential part of key lime pie is the graham cracker crust.
so i had to figure out a way to get some graham cracker flavor in there also. i was afraid to put graham crackers directly into the macaron shells, because i thought they might mess with the texture too much. but then i realized that i could just make a plain buttercream frosting, fold in some graham cracker crumbs, and use it as filling. graham crackers in macarons? check.
the result was a total success. the macaron shells were light and delicate, with just the right amount of key lime flavor. and the graham cracker buttercream filling made them truly taste like i had taken an entire key lime pie and compressed the flavor into a little french sandwich cookie. they were perfect!
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 7 ounces powdered sugar
- zest from 5 key limes (or 2 regular limes)
- 4 ounces egg whites
- 3.5 ounces sugar
- 4 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 5 crackers)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-4 tablespoons almond milk
- sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar. mix in the lime zest and set the dry ingredients aside.
- put your egg whites and a pinch of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on medium-high speed until you see soft peaks. then, with the mixer on low, slowly add in the rest of the sugar, then turn the mixer up to high speed. whisk the mixture until it has stiff peaks.
- now, add your dry ingredients to the egg mixture all at once. with a spatula or a wooden spoon, fold it all together - at first it will seem like the dry ingredients won't incorporate, but just keep folding. you want to keep folding until the batter is "lava-like" - basically, it should fall from the spatula in thick ribbons that slowly ooze back into the rest of the batter.
- line two baking sheets with parchment paper. put the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe it into small circles about an inch apart on the parchment. once you are done piping, take each baking sheet and bang it hard against the countertop a few times - this releases any air bubbles hiding in your batter. now, let the baking sheets sit out on the counter for at least 15 minutes, until the macarons are dry to the touch. while the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- once the macarons are dry, set one of the baking sheets on top of another empty baking sheet and put it in the oven. bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the macarons peel off easily from the parchment. repeat with the other baking sheet.
- let the macaron shells cool completely.
- in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the earth balance and powdered sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. add the graham cracker crumbs and beat until they are incorporated. add the vanilla and the almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the buttercream reaches the desired consistency.
- make sandwiches with the buttercream and the macaron shells. refrigerate the macarons for 24-48 hours before serving.