Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Mix together powdered sugar, ground almond meal, and hop powder. Sift through a wire strainer, discarding any large pieces. set aside.
Mix egg whites and sugar in a *very clean* metal mixer bowl. It is very important that not only is the bowl and whisk attachment VERY clean, but that no specks of egg yolk are included with the egg white. The presence of any egg yolk or grease on your bowl or whisk will prevent the egg whites from properly whipping up. This is the only “rule” you really need to be concerned about!
Affix your bowl to the mixer, and whip eggs on high until stiff peaks form. The whites will be pillowy, thick, and marshmallowy. When you remove the whisk from the meringue, it should leave a very definite “peak” – if the tip flips over a little, that’s ok. Add a small amount food coloring, if desired, whisk in.
Dump bowl of dry ingredients into the meringue. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently stir the mixture until everything is well incorporated and very thick.
Once mixture is fairly uniform, beat it until it’s still thick, but oozes a bit. You don’t want to beat it till it’s fully RUNNY, but you’d like it to settle back into place if you remove some and drop it back into the mix. It’s better to under-beat it than to over-beat it.
Spoon macaron batter into a pastry / frosting bag with a 1/4″ or so opening – whether a metal tip, or just the end cut off the bag.
Pipe ~ 1.25″ – 1.5″ rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If the batter isn’t running all over the place, there’s no real worry about placing them close together – I’ll leave an inch or so between the rounds.
Pick up the sheet of piped cookies, and rap it against the counter a couple of times to dislodge any air bubbles.
Bake cookies for 13-16 minutes, or until they lift easily from the parchment. (Undercooked macarons will stick). Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, and prepare the filling.