Believed to be the honeybee’s favorite flowering species, honey made from lavender is anti-oxidant rich, pleasant, and well-rounded. Savannah Bee Company’s delicately scented lavender honey and crunchy acacia raw honeycomb combine into a delicate macaron worthy of sharing with the judges of The Great British Baking Show.

Elegant and whimsical, macarons, with their bite-sized, crunchy exterior, chewy interior, and smooth filling, may seem best left to French pastry chefs at the famous Parisienne-style macaron shop, Laudurée. Turns out, the hardest part of making these cookies is squeezing just the right amount of food coloring gel into the bowl…too little, and the cookies lack the expected eye candy quality. Too much, well, the psychedelic effect looks as if the cookies took a detour through San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury during the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s. A teaspoon of cocoa powder, a pinch of espresso powder, a bit of raspberry or blueberry jam thinned with a teaspoon of water and heated on the stove provide subtle, natural coloring. Relax, find a stiff spatula, and begin "macaroning." It may take more than one batch to get the cookie just right with perfectly sized-caps and few cracks. Perhaps the greatest pleasure of macarons is the chameleon-like nature of the cookie. Colors and flavors reflect the baker’s mood and the season. This lavender macaron looks and tastes like Provence in June when the majesty of blooming purple fields becomes intoxicatingly mesmerizing. 
cuisine French
difficulty Moderate
serving makes 18 macarons

Ingredients

2 cups confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons culinary lavender 3/4 cup almond meal 2 egg whites 3 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 tablespoon Savannah Bee Company Lavender Honey 1 tablespoon Savannah Bee Company Raw Honeycomb 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 cup of the confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon of the culinary lavender, and the almond meal and whir until finely textured. Pour mixture into a large glass bowl and whisk again by hand.
  3. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on to power level 4 and whisk the mixture together for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the power up to 7 and whisk for 3 more minutes. Raise the speed power to 8 and whisk an additional 1 to 2 minutes--at this point, the meringue should be stiff in the bowl. Knock the meringue that is trapped in the whisk back into the bowl.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer. All at once, add the almond meal mixture to the meringue. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. At first the dry ingredients/meringue will look hopelessly incompatible. After about 25 folding and rubbing/smearing turns, the mixture will still appear and feel lumpy and stiff in texture. Another 15 strokes will be just about right. Keep in mind that macaroning is about deflating the whites, so don’t feel as if they must be treated too carefully. Go ahead: knock the air out of them.
  6. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue and almond meal batter. You can use a pastry bag with just a coupler or with a tip. Pipe uniform shells onto the parchment-paper lined baking sheets, a little more than a quarter in size, about 1 inch, and spacing them 1 inch apart.
  7. After each sheet is filled, pick up the macaron lined pan and whack it down hard against the counter. Do this another time, then rotate the pan 90 degrees and do the same thing twice. This action will bring tiny air bubbles to the surface of the rounds (if air is buried the cooked macarons will be lopsided). Let the macarons sit for 10 to 20 minutes (touch lightly and when finger doesn’t stick they are ready to bake).
  8. Slide the pans into the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, the shells should be able to be cleanly picked off the parchment paper.
  9. Let the shells cool to room temperature while making the lavender buttercream.
  10. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter 2 minutes using the whisk attachment.
  11. Slowly add the remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar and whisk until incorporated.
  12. Add the lavender honey, honeycomb, and sea salt to the bowl. Mix until smooth and creamy. Put the honey buttercream into a pastry bag and pipe onto 1/2 of the cooled macarons. 
  13. Place another macaron shell on top of the macaron. Put the remaining culinary lavender on a small plate. Lightly roll the macaron like a wheel through the culinary lavender.
  14. Eat or store in an airtight container for 3 days.