Are these Raspberry Swirl Meringue cookies better than macarons?
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
Gel red food coloring
For lemon buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar
Lemon zest from 2 large lemons
Yellow food coloring
Preheat oven to 260°F. Line 3 to 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare 3 pastry bags, 1 large bag and 2 smaller ones. Tip the large bag with a #847 tip; set aside.
Place the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cream of tartar. Turn mixer on to medium speed and add the sugar to the egg whites, whisking at the same time. After adding all of the sugar, turn the mixer to high speed and whisk for 10 to 12 minutes, until egg whites form stiff and glossy peaks. The meringue should look like marshmallow cream. Add the raspberry extract and whisk for 30 seconds.
Divide the meringue between 2 large bowls. Into one bowl, add a few drops of red/pink food coloring and fold the color in.
Transfer the different colored meringues into two separate pastry bags. Cut off the tips and carefully slide the two bags, side by side, into the third pastry bag. Pipe the meringue in a swirl pattern onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 1/2-inch space between each cookie.
Bake the meringues in preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the cookies sound hollow when tapped. They should come right off the parchment paper. If your cookies start to brown, open oven door and turn temperature down by 10 degrees. Transfer baked meringues to cooling racks.
Prepare the lemon buttercream. Cream the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add a few cups of confectioner's sugar and whisk again until fluffy. Zest two large lemons and add the lemon zest to the buttercream. If desired, add a few drops of yellow food coloring.
Keep meringue shells and buttercream separate until ready to serve. Spread a generous amount of buttercream onto one shell and top with a second one. Keep meringue shells in an airtight container. Recipe makes about 25 cookie sandwiches.