For the macarons: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Place the granulated sugar and 180 grams (6 1/3 ounces) water in a pot and cook until a candy thermometer inserted in the mixture reads 125 degrees F.
In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip 260 grams (9 1/8 ounces) of the egg whites until frothy, and then slowly pour in the boiled sugar; mix until cool, checking for a stiff meringue. In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, confectioners' sugar and the remaining 250 grams (8 3/4 ounces) egg whites. Add some food coloring if using. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag and pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds (about 32) onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Cool the macarons on the baking sheet for 1 hour.
For the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the mascarpone, cranberries, vanilla and lemon zest until soft.
Transfer the cranberry cream to a piping bag. Pipe some filling between two macarons and sandwich together. Repeat for the remaining cookies and filling.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Fred Isla