Vegan “Oreo” macarons

Randomly enough, one of my earliest childhood memories in Taiwan was actually buying Oreos from the 7-11 at the first floor of our Linkuo apartment, and dipping them into Taiwanese milk. Besides the fact that Taiwanese milk is absolutely delicious(it’s something in the grass those cows eat, I swear, but it’s naturally a lot sweeter and I’m all for that), Oreos have been a huge part of my childhood because of the fact that they were both in Taiwan and America, so they sort of followed me through my entire life! What I personally love about them is that they are 100% vegan. So with this recipe, I went the same route, and made the macarons with only plant-based ingredients! I have done vegan macarons in the past, so it’s not that huge of a revelation, but I still wanted it to be a fun homage to the original cookie!

For the shells and the filling, I am using aquafaba, or chickpea water meringue. I’m also using black or Dutch-processed cacao powder in my shells, just to get that deep, rich dark color that Oreos have. For the filling, I’m folding the aquafaba into vegan butter(I use Earth Balance but really any vegan butter substitute works), to create essentially a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream, just to act as that delicious Oreo filling! This cookie is 100% vegan and gluten-free, which is always a fun time for me, since I love experimenting with substitutions and non-traditional means of eating more-traditional foods!

Makes about 30 macarons:
For the shells:
3oz aquafaba(reduce 1 can of chickpea liquid by 1/2 before measuring out)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cups almond meal
1 tbsp black cacao powder

Whip aquafaba with granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. In a bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar with almond meal and cacao powder. Fold that into the whipped aquafaba until you have a batter that is just combined – with vegan macarons, they tend to retain less air from the aquafaba, so they need to be folded less to lose less air during the baking process. On lined sheet trays, pipe out each cookie to be about 3/4-inch in diameter, spacing them at least 3 inches apart, as they will spread. Tap the trays to release any excess air pockets, and allow the shells to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before baking – make sure that they form a skin that does not break when you brush your finger over the shells! Bake at 325 degrees F for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through to guarantee even baking. Cool completely before attempting to remove from the trays, as the shells are brittle when warm.

For the filling:
1/3 cup aquafaba
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 stick vegan butter substitute

Whip aquafaba with sugar, salt, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Whip into that the butter to finish. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe between the macarons to finish.

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