French Vanilla Macarons

These macarons are essentially the same as the honey ones I posted about previously. The only difference is the filling, which in this case is a vanilla buttercream. I decorated the shells with a few strokes of a paintbrush dipped in liquid food coloring and water.
For the shells, follow the same recipe I posted for the honey macarons. Below is a recipe for the vanilla buttercream.

French Vanilla Macarons
   Vanilla Buttercream
     1 stick butter
     1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or a little more or less to desired consistency)
     1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract can be substituted, the paste just gives nice vanilla flecks)
   Paint Strokes
     5-7 drops blue food coloring (or any other color)
     1 tsp water (adding more water will produce a less concentrated and light "paint" and adding less    
        will have the opposite effect)

   Vanilla Buttercream
Beat the butter with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer until light and fluffy and add the powdered sugar in smaller increments on a low speed. Once the butter and sugar are combined, add the vanilla paste or extract and beat again until combined. 
   Paint Strokes
Once you have peeled your macarons off the parchment, but before you have piped on the frosting and assembled them, blend the food coloring with the water in a small dish (I used an espresso cup). Dip a small, square-tipped paintbrush in your food coloring mixture and practice doing a few brushstrokes on a piece of paper before actually painting the macarons, as the technique takes some getting used to. Once you feel confident enough, gently brush the food coloring onto each macaron in a few quick strokes. Let them dry out a bit before assembling.


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