Get out two sheet trays and line them with either silicone mats that have macaron templates on them, or parchment paper. If using parchment paper, draw 30 equal circles on each piece to make yourself a template, and turn them over to have the ink face down.
Almond Flour (1 2/3 cups)
Powdered Confectioners Sugar (1 3/4 cups)
and press them through a fine-mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. This will take a little time and elbow grease but it is completely necessary for the texture of the cookies.
Cut open the
Earl Grey Tea (2 bags)
and pour the leaves in. Whisk them together in the bowl to blend them.
Then pour in half of the
Egg Whites (5)
Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)
. Use a spatula to fold and mash the mixture together into a uniform paste. Set the paste aside.
Granulated Sugar (1 cup)
Water (1/4 cup)
in a small saucepan and heat it up over medium-high heat. Use a candy thermometer to make sure it reaches 243 degrees F (115 degrees C).
While it heats up, set up a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and pour the remaining egg whites into it. Whip them up at high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Turn the speed to low and keep whipping the egg whites while the sugar comes to temperature on the stove.
When the sugar reaches temperature, slowly and carefully pour it into the stand mixer with the egg whites and let it get mixed in. Turn the speed to high and let the meringue whisk together thoroughly until it becomes white, shiny, and comes down to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Take the meringue and fold it in thoroughly with the paste in the mixing bowl. You will need to mash it together a little to break up the paste into the meringue. It should become a smooth, shiny, and pretty mixture with the flecks of tea leaves.
Scoop half of it into a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch opening. Hold the opening over the center of the first circle on your sheet tray template and gently squeeze until it is filled. If there is a little point on top don't worry, it will dissolve. Fill the first sheet this way, then repeat with the second half of the meringue on the other sheet tray.
Lift each filled sheet tray about 8-inch above the counter and let it drop onto the counter. This will get out all of the air bubbles to make a really smooth, shiny top. Let the trays sit out for 30 minutes to dry out and firm up a little.
When the 30 minutes are almost up, fit a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Bake the first tray for 6 minutes, then rotate the tray to ensure even baking and let them bake for another 6-7 minutes. Take that tray out and let the cookies cool completely.
Bake the second tray in the same way. Let that tray cool completely too.
While the cookies bake and cool, make the buttercream. Wash out the stand mixer bowl and get it set back up with the paddle attachment. Beat the
Butter (2 sticks)
in it until it is fluffy, then cut the
Earl Grey Tea (1 bag)
open and dump in the leaves.
Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)
. Finally, slowly pour in the
Powdered Confectioners Sugar (4 cups)
until you have a luscious frosting.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a thick, single layer on the flat side of half of the macarons. Then place the flat side of another cookie on top and gently twist a little to make sure it all sticks together, and the buttercream goes out to the edge.
Once they are all assembled, enjoy them immediately, and store any leftovers sealed up in the refrigerator!