Lemon Bar Macarons

Have you ever met a lemon bar you didn’t like?
Have you ever met a Lemon Macaron you didn’t like?
See where I am going with this?
Now, imagine your favorite lemon bar tucked into the perfect macaron shell.  Now we are talking. 

This recipe was a hard fast favorite from day one.  Maybe it’s the sour curd center or the sweet lemon buttercream, or maybe it’s the pie shortbread crumble, or maybe all three, but whatever the reason, let’s get to it.

Begin with the Sweet Mac Shop shell (recipe below), and color the shells with 1-4 lemon yellow drops, depending on the intensity of color you want. We used Wilton Color Rite, but any gel-based yellow would work. Bake, then let cool.

Next, mix up a batch of our creamy buttercream.  TIP: Sometimes we make huge batches of buttercream and store it in the fridge so we can pull out and use it when needed.  To the buttercream itself you can flavor it two ways.  First way is by adding lemon extract. It’s tasty, but nothing beats amazing like fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.  So that’s what we use.  Once your buttercream is mixed and tested you always need to test.  Trust me, there has to be one perk to making these amazing cookies.

But the heart of our Lemon Bar Macarons is the tangy yellow curd.  So let’s start there:

Lemon Curd
6 large egg yolks (finally! A place to use all the extra yokes from our chickens)
3/4cup fresh lemon juice (120 ml)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 g)
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, about (113 g)
Zest from one lemon, approximately 2 Tablespoons

Instructions:

  1. In saucepan whisk together egg yokes, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Whisk until it comes together and is smooth.
  2. Place pan on medium/low heat on stove top. Once it begins to warm add the butter and lemon zest.
  3. Stir constantly while the curd heats. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Cook it until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Temperature will be in the 160-degree range.  I place my thermometer at the beginning and keep an eye on it.
  4. Remove from heat and strain through a wire mesh strainer.  Make sure you’re straining into a bowl that can stand the heat.
  5. Cover the surface with plastic wrap,  pushing the wrap to seal the top so a film doesn’t form. Allow to cool completely before placing it in the fridge. This curd will make enough for 4+ dozen macarons.

Now for the crumble.  We use just our lemon bar shortbread recipe to finish off this one-of-a-kind macaron.

Lemon bar Crumble
1 cup slightly softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups LEHI Mills flour
¼ tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Either sprinkle onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, or press into ungreased 9 x 13 pan and crumble after baking.  Both ways work well.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Now that we have all the parts made, let’s assemble.

First, take your lemon shells and with the lemon buttercream, pipe a circle around the bottom shell.  Fill the inside of the “well” with a half-teaspoon of lemon curd, then add the crumble. Place top shell on and store in an airtight container for 12 hours before serving. Before serving dust lightly with powdered sugar. 

Sit back and watch as you now become the most congratulated baker in the room.
High five!

Lemon Bar Crumble Macs

This recipe has a combo of Lemon Curd and our famous Lemon Crumble.

Ingredients
  

For Lemon Curd:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice, fresh (120 ml)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (about 113 grams)
  • 2 Tbls. lemon zest (zest from one lemon)

For Lemon Bar Crumble:

  • 1 cup butter slightly softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions
 

For Lemon Curd:

  • In saucepan, whisk together egg yokes, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
  • Place pan on medium-low heat on stove top. Once it begins to warm, add butter and lemon zest.
  • Stir constantly while the curd heats. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Cook it until it is thick enough to coast the back of a spoon. Temperature will be in the 160-degree range. Place your thermometer in the pan at the beginning and keep an eye on it.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a wire mesh strainer. Make sure you're straining into a bowl that can tolerate the heat.
  • Cover the surface with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap to seal the top, so a film doesn't form. Allow to cool completely before placing it in the refrigerator.
  • This curd will makek enough for four-plus macarons.

For the Lemon Crumble:

  • Place all ingredients for the Lemon Crumble in a food processor, and pulse until combined. There are two ways to bake this: either sprinkle onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; or press into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • If you used the 9 x 13 pan method, crumble it up into smaller pieces after crumble cools.

Assemble the Lemon Bar Crumble Mac:

  • Take the lemon shells and with the lemon buttercream, pipe a circle around the bottom shell, leaving a hollow well in the center.
  • Fill the inside of the well with a half-teaspoon of lemon curd, then add the crumble.
  • Place top shell on and store in an airtight container for 12 hours before serving. Before serving, dust lightly with powdered sugar.

 

SweetMacShop Macaron Shells

Here is our famous recipe for macaron shells. Please read through carefully before beginning. Cook time: 20 minutes.

Equipment

  • baker's half sheet pans: high quality baking sheets with rimmed edges
  • KitchenAid stand mixer
  • parchment paper or silpat baking mats (with macaron template)
  • oven thermometer
  • piping bag
  • Wilton Tip #12
  • food scale that will measure in grams or ounces
  • scribe (a sharp, pointed tool), or a toothpick
  • digital minute timer

Ingredients
  

  • 160 grams egg whites room temperature
  • 88 grams granulated sugar
  • 256 grams powdered sugar
  • 200 grams almond flour
  • 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 285 for steel pans, or 300 for aluminum pans. Preheat for at least 10 minutes.
  • Measure out your granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Measure powdered sugar, almond flour together, then use a sifter to combine. This will make them smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
  • Place your bowl on the surface of your food scale. Hit the "tare" button to zero out the weight of the bowl. Now measure the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
  • Add the clear vanilla extract.
  • Place bowl on mixer stand (this recipe is for the KitchenAid mixer), and attach the wire whisk beater. Set timer for one minute. Turn mixer to Speed 4, and slowly add sugar to egg whites, shaking it in a little at a time during that first minute.
  • When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 6, and set timer for 2 minutes.
  • When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 8, and set timer for 1 and 1/2 minutes (90 seconds). Coloring may be added just before this last mixing. Egg whites should look silky, yet stiff enough to hold the peak.
  • Now we'll make the macronage: blend in dry ingredients, by moving a flexible spatula around the bowl, then cutting down through the middle, making sure to scrape the bottom for the flour and incorporate it into the meringue. You know you are done when the batter rolls off the spatula in a continuous ribbon. Batter will be thick...but can flow like a ribbon.
  • BAKER'S NOTE: I have several videos of making macronage in my Instagram Highlights.
  • Insert Wilton #12 tip into the small opening of your piping bag. Scoop the macronage into the bag, filling only half-way full, leaving room to twist the top closed in order to keep the batter from spilling out the top. Pipe the macrons by applying pressure until the batter flows out and just reaches the inner rim of the marked circle on your mat. Immediately release pressure and swirl tip to incorporate point back into the center of the cookie. See my tips on Instagram Highlights.
  • NOTE: if you will be using parchment paper -- search for online -- then download a template of circles and place underneath your parchment paper. You'll remove this before baking.
  • Once the full pan is piped, gently (or aggressively--no judgement here) bang the pan down onto the counter to release air bubbles. I usually place a towel on the counter before banging the pan. Use your scribe or toothpick to pop any large bubbles, in order to create smooth shells.
  • PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD ONE: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the bottom of an upside-down baker's half sheet. Pipe your circles. Let rest about 5 minutes, bang (see above) then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
  • PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD TWO: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the inside of a baker's half sheet (like normal). Pipe your circles. Let rest until your finger can glide across the top of the mac without stickiness, often up to 30 minutes. Bang (see above), then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven, DO NOT -- I repeat -- do not remove from pan until they are completely cooled.
  • This recipe yields 36-42 completed cookies (about 72-84 shells).

 

American Buttercream

This recipe makes enough for about 2 batches of shells.

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
  • 250 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

  • Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
  • Add vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
  • Add in heavy whipping cream.
  • Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time.
  • PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
  • Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
  • Flavor or color the buttercream to your preference. We make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depening on the amount of buttercream we need. Making one large batch saves time in the long run.
  • NOTE: American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and one day at room temperature.

comments +

  1. Jen says:

    Do you know how much the egg yolks weigh by chance? I have some large duck eggs I want to use but obviously they are larger than chicken eggs 🙂

  2. Christine says:

    I think your missing how to bake the crumble….

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