1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or scrapings of half a vanilla bean
1Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. I used a 1½-inch round cookie cutter to draw circles on the parchment paper and flip over the paper (drawing side down). Prepare a pastry bag with a round tip. I used Wilton 2A.Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, almond flour and zest into fine powder. Sift several times until there is less than 2 tablespoons of almond bits left.
2Add these to the mixture.In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.
3Add the food coloring and lemon extract and whip for another minute.
4Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula. Gently fold to deflate the meringue by pressing against the side of bowl and scooping from bottom until batter is smooth and shiny; about 20-25 folds. To check consistency, drop a spoonful of batter and it should have a peak that quickly relaxes back into the batter. Start checking the batter after 20 folds.
5Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Tap baking sheet hard on counter to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter.
6Let shells sit on counter for 20-30 minutes to dry.Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
7Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shells hard, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking time. You should be able to peel off the macaron from the parchment. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment.Whip the butter until light and creamy.
8Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until combined. Increase speed to low and whip for additional 2-3 minutes.Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip, fill macarons. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to get to room temperature before enjoying!
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