- 1 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- Orange food coloring, as needed, optional
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- Special equipment: 12 wooden popsicle sticks
For the macarons: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor, blend the almonds until finely ground.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, about 1 minute. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating constantly, until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Beat in the almond extract, orange zest and food coloring, 1 drop at a time, if using. Using a spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered sugar until combined. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop eight to twelve 2-inch-diameter circles of batter onto each baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly puffed. Cool completely on the baking sheets, about 30 minutes.
For the filling: Place the chocolate and cream in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until thick enough to spread, about 25 minutes.
To assemble: Spoon the filling onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Place the lollipop sticks in the middle of the filling and gently press the remaining cookies on top. Allow the filling to set at room temperature, about 1 hour.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis