About this recipe:These are such a beautiful treat for celebrations such as weddings, christenings or summer parties. Make different colours and flavours depending on the occasion and sandwich them together with butter icing. Best eaten within two days of being filled.
Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas 3. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Sieve together the icing sugar and ground almonds.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt til soft peaks are formed, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar till thick and shiny. At this stage, add the flavour extract and colouring you would like - to the intensity you would like; such as peppermint extract and green food colouring, or lemon extract with yellow food colouring or strawberry flavouring with red colour. You can, of course, divide the mixture and create different colours.
Fold the icing sugar and almond mixture into the egg whites. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. pipe small rounds of macaroon mixture, about 3-4cm in diameter, onto the baing sheet. Give the baking tray a good tap on the work surface and leave to stand, at room temperature, for 15 to 20 minutes to form a slight skin.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. remove and leave to cool on their trays before sandwiching them together in pairs.
To make the butter icing: Place the icing sugar and cooking margarine into a mixing bowl. Mix till pale and fluffy. Add the appropriate flavours (and colourings) you'd like and continue mixing until fully incorporated. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
Arrange the macaroons in pairs. Pipe a circle of the icing onto a macaroon then sandwich together.