Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper or silpat mats. Fit a large piping bag with a small round tip (I like a Wilton #10).
Place a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Add the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved-- about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks-- about 5 minutes.
Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into the egg whites.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Make sure to fold all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
Once all of the dry ingredient have been incorporated, add the vanilla bean paste and continue folding, smushing the batter against the sides of the bowl as you go. Repeat the smush-and-fold process until the meringue reaches the figure 8 stage. If you can draw a figure 8 with the batter without the stream breaking, the meringue is ready. If the meringue falls off in clumps, smush and fold it a few more times before retesting for the figure 8 again.
When the meringue flows smoothly, transfer it to the piping bag fitted with the round tip.
Pipe 1.5” macarons on the baking sheet. Hold the pan 6” off the counter and drop it straight down. Repeat 4-5 times or until it appears that any large air bubbles have popped.
Set the macarons aside to rest for 25-30 minutes, or until they have developed a skin (when you can touch them gently without the meringue sticking to your finger). While the meringues rest, preheat the oven to 325F.
Bake the macarons, one tray at a time, for 14 minutes. If your oven cooks unevenly, make sure to turn the trays 180 degrees halfway through baking.
Remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool fully on the tray. Trying to remove the macarons while they are warm may result in sticking.
For the Filling
Heat the heavy cream and tea bags in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the cream starts to bubble, remove it from the heat and cover it with a lid for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, making sure to press any extra liquid out of the tea bags.
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until it becomes light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar followed by the tea infused heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then turn the mixer to high speed and allow the buttercream to whip for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip.
Set aside until ready to use.
Assemble and Age
Place the macarons in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small amount of filling onto the center of one macaron and place another macaron on top. Press down gently-- just until the filling reaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons.
Transfer the macarons to an airtight container and place them in the fridge to age overnight.
Bring the macarons to room temperature and enjoy.
This recipe can be made with your favorite kind of tea-- black tea and chamomile are also delicious.
If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, you can substitute the caviar from half of a vanilla bean.