Baking macarons is no easy feat. They’re an achievement of precision and technique. When you really nail it, though, the result is an impossibly delicate, lightly sweet, crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside meringue cookie. This recipe adds activated-THC distillate to the traditional vanilla buttercream. It may take a few tries, but creating perfect macarons is a truly satisfying accomplishment. Good luck, and enjoy the journey!
For the Shells
- 250 grams aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas)
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- Pinch of finely ground sea salt
- 150 grams superfine almond flour
- 130 grams icing sugar (without cornstarch)
- 110 grams superfine caster sugar
For the Infused Filling
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar (without cornstarch)
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- .5 grams 60 percent activated-THC cannabis distillate or Rick Simpson Oil
- .5 grams liquid sunflower lecithin
Strain the aquafaba from the can of chickpeas, then pour it into a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until it’s reduced by more than half. Periodically check its weight by pouring it into a heatproof bowl or cup until it weighs 110 grams. When it’s reduced, pour the liquid back into the heatproof container, cover and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Next, sift the almond flour into the icing sugar, then whisk the two ingredients together to aerate and separate lumps. Sift the dry ingredients again, repeating until the mixture is as fine as possible. Pour the reduced aquafaba into a stainless-steel mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-low with a hand or stand mixer for about one minute. Add the cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Continue to beat on medium speed, until soft peaks consistently form.
Slowly add the superfine caster sugar into the aquafaba mixture and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form—about 10 more minutes. It’s ready when you can flip the bowl upside-down and the batter won’t fall out.
Immediately sift in half the dry ingredients to the meringue, using a flexible spatula to fold the mixture together. Use a figure-eight pattern and count each full stroke. After 30 strokes, sift the rest of the dry mixture into the batter and continue to fold until fully incorporated. Aim for a consistency that is smooth and shiny (it should drop in thick ribbons that reincorporate after about 7 to 10 seconds), about 40 to 45 more strokes.
Fill a piping bag with the meringue batter and, at a 90-degree angle, pipe equally sized circles onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheets (for a tie-dyed effect, paint vertical stripes of gel food coloring on the inside of the piping bag with a long watercolor brush).
Drop the trays firmly on a level countertop or table four to five times to remove any air bubbles and smooth the tops of the cookies. Place the trays in a cool, dry place and let the cookies sit for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a dry skin has formed and you can touch them without batter sticking to your finger.
Preheat the oven and establish a steady temperature of 248°F. Then bake each tray of macarons individually for 25 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn off the oven when the timer goes off, and wait 15 minutes before cracking the door and letting the cookies cool for an additional 15 minutes inside the oven.
Next, make the infused vanilla butter-cream frosting by beating softened butter and slowly adding the icing sugar, clear vanilla extract, activated-cannabis distillate and liquid sunflower lecithin until fluffy and fully incorporated (makes 1 1/2 cups butter-cream). Pipe one tablespoon infused buttercream onto each half of the meringue shells. Top with the remaining shells.
This recipe makes 24 macarons containing approximately 12.5 milligrams of THC each. The cookies will keep for two to three days if refrigerated in a closed container. Remember to clearly label macarons as containing cannabis.
Originally published in the September, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.