ST. LOUIS — Macaron shells

Ingredients:

8 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

8 oz almond flour

1 lb powdered sugar

1/4 t salt

1 tsp vanilla

Gel food coloring

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Rub dry ingredients together with your hands until thoroughly combined.

In bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites on medium/high speed until frothy. Slowly add sugar. Continue whisking whites and sugar until soft peaks form. Add any gel color and vanilla at this point, then continue whisking until stiff peaks form.

Transfer egg whites to dry ingredients. Fold together until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Keep mixing, gently knocking out air and folding mixture until the batter falls off the spatula in ribbons, but continues to hold its shape.

Pour into pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe onto parchment paper. Let rest for one hour or until a firm skin forms on shells, then bake at 300 until macarons are firm to the touch, about 12 minutes.

Italian buttercream

Ingredients:

8 egg whites

1 and 2/3 cup sugar

1.5 lbs butter

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vanilla

Sprinkles

Directions:

Whisk egg whites with 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form.

In a pot, heat the remaining sugar with enough water to soak sugar and heat to 240 degrees. Pour hot sugar syrup into egg whites while mixing on medium speed. Turn mixer up to high until cooled.

Slowly add softened butter to egg and sugar mixture until incorporated. Add vanilla and salt.