In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar, then set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Continue to beat until your whisk begins leaving visible trails in the foamy egg whites.
Once you can see trails, gradually add the granulated sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on medium-high until the meringue forms soft peaks. Add orange gel food coloring and orange extract, then beat on high until stiff peaks form. (Be sure not to over-whip your egg whites otherwise you risk drying them out.)
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward then press the flat side of your spatula through the middle against the side of the bowl. (The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold.) Continue folding until the batter gets to a lava-like consistency.Pro Tip: The figure 8 test is a great way to check your batter’s consistency; pick up the batter with your spatula and let it flow down into the bowl while drawing the figure “8”. If it can do that without the batter breaking, immediately stop folding. Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag with a medium-sized round tip, such as a Wilton 2A plain round tip.
Holding the piping bag at a 90 ̊angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Feel free to print out a macaron template if you’re worried about size/uniformity). Sprinkle ground cinnamon on the top of each shell, if desired.
Holding the baking sheet with both hands, carefully bang the sheet firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. (If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack your beautiful macarons shells.)
Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all the batter (usually about two sheet pans worth.)
Let the macarons rest and dry for 30 minutes or until a skin has developed before baking; on a humid day, it might take an hour or more. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. (Don’t forget to remove the macaron templates, if using, before baking!)
While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C) and position the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Bake the macarons, one tray at a time, for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the baking process.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and cooling completely on a wire rack. (If the bottoms are a tiny bit sticky, keep them on the tray to cool off for an additional 10-15 minutes. If, however, the bottoms are already brown, they peel off cleanly, or they appear over-baked, then carefully take them off the tray immediately to cool down.) Repeat the baking process with the remaining sheet pans.Pro Tip: It’s always better to over- rather than under-bake your macarons as the maturation process can typically salvage ones that are over-baked.
While macarons are drying and baking, prepare the blood orange buttercream filling. Beat the butter and blood orange zest until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, salt, and blood orange juice and beat until well combined. You may need to add more blood orange juice to achieve desired consistency.
Transfer the blood orange buttercream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons, then gently sandwich together.
Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and bring back to room temperature before enjoying.