- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with 1/4” wide round tip. Place almonds and 1 3/4 cups icing sugar in a food processor and pulse until mixture is a fine powder.
- Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whip attachment. Beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly beat in extra fine sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Now add the extract and food colour to this meringue and beat 1 minute more.
- Add almond mixture to meringue all at once. With a thin rubber spatula, cut down through the centre of the two mixtures and bring the heavy mixture back up to the top. Keep folding this way until this batter is completely smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin, flat ribbon, about 40 strokes.
- Transfer batter to the pastry bag. Vertically hold bag close to the baking sheet, and then pipe 24, 1 1/2” circles of batter on each one, spacing them about 1” apart. Firmly tap each baking sheet against the counter to release air bubbles in the batter. Let cookies sit at room temperature 30 to 60 minutes, until the tops are no longer sticky when gently touched with your finger.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F using regular heat, not convection. Bake cookies, one sheet at time, 15 minutes, or until risen and crisp. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
- To make butter cream filling, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Mix until melted and blended together. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- In another bowl, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups icing sugar until well blended. Slowly mix in melted chocolate mixture and beat until well combined.
- Turn 24 macarons domed side down. Fit a clean piping bag with 1/4” wide round tip. Pipe a 1/2” tall ring of filling on each macaron. Spoon 1/2 tsp. of raspberry jam in the centre of each ring and top each macaron with another macaron, setting it doomed side up. Serve macaron with fresh raspberries, if desired.
Extra fine sugar is sold in small bags in the aisle other types of sugar are sold. Any leftover butter cream filling could be frozen. Thaw and use when you need something sweet to spread on a cupcake, brownie or other baked good.
Recipe options: Instead of filling each cookie with a small spoon of raspberry jam, try another preserve, such strawberry jam, or red currant jelly.