March 15, 2018
Iowa State Fair
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2-3 drops food coloring gel
2 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In large bowl, sift powdered sugar and almond flour together; set aside. In medium bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and almond extract until foamy. Beat in sugar until shiny stiff peaks form. Add food coloring if desired. Gently fold egg white mixture into almond flour mixture. Spoon into a pastry bag (with a 1/2-inch tip). Pipe 1 1/2-inch circles onto parchment paper on baking sheets. Bang the cookie sheet 3 times on the counter (lightly drop from one inch height onto countertop). Let sit 30 minutes to form a hard skin on top. Preheat oven to 295 degrees F. Bake cookies in 12-14 minutes. Let cool.
For Italian buttercream: combine egg whites and sugar in a double boiler (heatproof mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water). Whisking constantly, cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is at 160 degrees F. Beat until stiff peaks form. (A stand-up mixer with whisk attachment works great.) Continue beating until mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes. Set aside. In large bowl, cream the butter and vanilla. Add the egg/sugar mixture. Mix until smooth. Spread on the flat sides of half the cookies, about 2 tablespoons each. Top with second half of cookies. Makes about 20.
-Recipe (adapted) from Marianne, 2015 Iowa State Fair, Midwest Living Cookie Division