We've taken the guesswork out of making these patisserie beauties, so you can prepare them at home (for less than 25 cents a pop!). Be sure to weigh the ingredients precisely, and follow the step-by-step directions to make meringue, fold in the almond mixture, and pipe the batter into rounds. Delight one and all with the gorgeous, delicious, professional-looking results.
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 20 to 25 sandwich cookies
Photography: Linda Pugliese
- 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds (71 grams)
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon instant-espresso powder, plus more for sifting
- 1/4 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
- 2/3 cup Swiss meringue buttercream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lower third. Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute.
Pass almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer solids in sieve to food processor; grind and sift again, pressing down on clumps. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains in sieve.
Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high (6) and beat 2 minutes. Then beat on high (8) 2 minutes more.
The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add instant-espresso powder, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds.
Add dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. Repeat just until batter flows like lava, 35 to 40 complete strokes.
Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip (Ateco #804) inside a glass. Transfer batter to bag; secure top. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets; line with parchment.
With piping tip 1/2 inch above sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles.
Sift espresso powder over half of unbaked rounds.
Filling: Dissolve instant-espresso powder in 1/4 teaspoon hot water; mix into Swiss meringue buttercream.
Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, 13 minutes. Let cool. Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies; top with remaining half. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.