Age the egg whites for 1-2 days in the fridge before making macarons to liquify the eggs.
To do this, place the egg whites in a bowl, cover with plastic, and make a few slits in the plastic. Store in the fridge for at least 1-2 days. The egg whites lose some of their water content and breakdown during the aging process, which helps to create a better macaron.
To Make the Macaron Shells
Measure out all ingredients before beginning.
Sift almond flour and remove coarse grains. After sifting, weigh out 225 grams of almond flour into a large clean bowl. Then sift powdered sugar into the almond flour.
Strain the egg whites through a fine mesh strainer (this helps to create shiny shells). Add 85 g of room temperature egg whites and stir until a paste forms. If adding food coloring, add at this point. Do not leave any dry bits of almond flour or powdered sugar. The mixture needs to be thoroughly combined. Set aside.
To Make the Italian Meringue
Pour water and sugar into a medium pot and cook over medium high. Place a thermometer in the pot and do not stir.
Meanwhile, add 85 grams of egg whites and powdered egg whites to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When the water and sugar reached 230 degrees, turn the mixer onto high speed so the egg whites start whipping.
When the sugar syrup reaches 244 degrees F, remove from heat, and SLOWLY pour the sugar syrup into the mixer(keep the mixer going) right on the edge of the bowl so that it slowly drips down the side of the mixing bowl into the eggs.
Once all of the sugar syrup is in the bowl, turn down to medium high speed and mix until the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch and stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
Making the Macaronage
Now it is time to combine the almond paste and the Italian meringue. Take 1/3 of the meringue and stir it into the almond mixture to lighten the texture and weight of the batter. This third of the Italian meringue is sacrificed in order to get the proper texture with the remaining meringue.
Add another 1/3 of the Italian meringue, and this time, gently fold it into the batter 6 full turns.
Smear the mixture against the sides of the bowl 2-3 times, and then fold 3 more times. At this point, the mixture may not be fully mixed.
Use the back of your spatula to gently blend the remaining meringue and and almond paste, and fold 2 more times in the process if it needs it. Test the consistency of the macaron batter at this point. You should be able to drizzle the batter in thick lava ribbons that SLOWLY flow into the bowl. It should meld back into the batter in 30 seconds seconds. If the batter is too thick, fold the batter 2-3 times and check again.
The consistency can change quickly, so watch carefully! If the batter is flowing really fast and is more like a puddle, it has been over mixed and will not make good macarons anymore. There is no saving runny macarons, so you will have to start over and make a new batch. So be careful!
Baking and Filling Macarons
Preheat oven to 300 (you may have to try a few temperatures in your oven before you find just the right setting, usually between 300 and 320 degrees F).
Line 2 half sheet pans with silpat baking mats or perforated baking mats. You may also wish to use macaron baking mats with guides on them. Fit a piping bag with a Wilton #12 tip (or similar tip size).
Fill the piping bag with the macaron batter and twist the top of the bag closed. Pipe macarons into 1.75 inch circles.
The best way to do this is by holding the piping bag directly above the parchment paper and piping straight down. Allow the batter to push out into a bigger circle while piping, and then quickly pull the tip away so that there is just a slight point remaining on top of the batter disk.
If batter is the right consistency, the little points will disappear on their own as they sink into the macaron batter after about a minute.
Tap the trays of macarons quite hard on the counter a few times to allow the air bubbles to escape.
Allow the macarons to form a skin- roughly 30-60 minutes. They are ready when they are no longer sticky to the touch and they look matte on top.
Place macarons in oven and bake for 12-18 minutes, relying more on what the macarons look like than the actual suggested time.
Test the macarons around the 12 minute mark by gently wiggling the tops of a couple. If the tops slide or move around some, then they are still not ready. When you try to wiggle the top of a macaron and it doesn’t move, then they are ready to come out of the oven.
Remove baking mats from trays so that the macarons do not continue to bake. Allow to cool completely and gently peel off of silicon mats after they have cooled completely.
Making the Cinnamon Buttercream
Cream butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and mix.
Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and mix for a couple of minutes on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
Pipe cinnamon buttercream on the bottom side of half the macarons, leaving an 1/8 inch border order on the edge. Top with the remaining macaron shells and gently twist together until buttercream comes to the edges.
Macarons need to be refrigerated for the best results, but they can be eaten the same day. They are best to eat after 24-48 hours when they have had time to mature in the fridge. Eat within 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.