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½ cup plus 2 tablespoons almond flour

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1½ teaspoons matcha (green tea) powder*

1/16 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites, room temperature

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

*Find matcha at fine tea stores or online

¼ cup (about 2 ounces) almond paste

2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream, room temperature

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, matcha and salt. Pulse to make a fine powder. Set aside. In the small bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Set mixer to high, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add superfine sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Turn off mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in almond mixture in 2 or 3 portions, folding after each portion but being careful not to deflate the batter. Mix until combined and no almond crumbs remain. Do not overmix, as this will cause crackling in the macarons. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch plain tip (#8) or a heavy-duty zip-sealed plastic bag with a small opening cut in one corner of the bag. Pipe 1-inch round cookies onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches part. Lift each cookie sheet, and sharply rap down onto the countertop 3 or 4 times to flatten any peaks. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until firm to the touch and tops are shiny but not cracked. Cool completely on cookie sheets. In the small bowl of an electric mixer, with speed set to low, beat almond paste. Add butter and sugar. Set speed to high. Beat until combined. Add heavy cream and vanilla to the mixture. Beat until combined. Chill filling in refrigerator for 10 minutes, until set. On the flat side of the cookie, spread ½ teaspoon filling. Place a second cookie, flat side down, on top of filling and gently press cookies together. Repeat with remaining cookies. Refrigerate filled macarons in an airtight container for 12 hours before serving, so that the aroma of the filling infuses the cookies. Bring to room temperature before serving. Store filled cookies in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, or up to 3 days. Makes 30 to 40 unfilled cookies or 15 to 20 cookies, “gluten-free.”

Baker’s note: If you follow a gluten-free diet, check the label of the almond paste, as not all almond pastes are gluten-free.

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