A surprisingly easy recipe to make this popular bakery treat at home. The light macaron shells pair perfectly with this tangy cream cheese filling for a deliciously sweet bite.
Macarons seem to be all the rage right now, and I can see why with their fun colors, cute ruffled shape, and unending array of flavor options. But, I’ll be honest, I hadn’t actually tried one until recently! Because of their popularity and allure, these cookies can be expensive! I mean they are cute and all, but they really are only a bite or two, and for the three to five dollars they cost I would much rather get a big gooey chocolate chip cookie.
When we received a box of macarons as a gift in my office from a local Seattle bakery, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for me to try them! One bite and I instantly knew that they were worth all the hype that they have been getting lately. The light shells with their crispy edges and soft centers were heavenly.
Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner I decided to try out making some at home as an out of the ordinary treat for my special someone. Making macarons at home can be quite tricky! Making the meringue is a delicate process, and the consistency has to be just right for them to turn out perfectly. I found this foolproof French macaron recipe and decided to give it a try. To my surprise the macaron shells turned out beautifully! No hollow centers, perfect ruffled feet, they were just like the ones I had tried in my office!
Since these are a pretty sweet treat with all of the powdered sugar, so I thought a tangy filling would give them a nice balanced flavor. I decided on strawberry cream cheese because the pink color matched the shells perfectly, and was very fitting for my Valentine’s theme. They turned out so cute and were a big hit! What Valentine’s treats will you be making for your sweetheart this year?
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 120 g almond flour
- 3 egg whites
- 50 g white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves ( I used smuckers simply fruit)
- Sift almond flour and powdered sugar together into a mixing bowl. Sift the mixture again to make sure the ingredients are completely incorporated, and discard any almond pieces too large to fit through the sifter.
- In a separate clean bowl, beat egg whites starting on a low speed. Gradually increase the speed until the egg whites are foamy, then add in the sugar and cream of tartar. Continue beating on a high speed just until the whites form glossy stiff peaks. It is important not to overbeat your egg whites.
- Next, dump the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar over the egg whites and begin folding the dry ingredients in. It will look very grainy, and thick at first, but keep folding and scraping the edges of the bowl with your spatula until the mixture forms thick ribbons.
TIP: The best way to tell if you have mixed enough is to place a spoonful of the batter onto a plate. It should hold its round shape, but the top should be smooth and flatten out within 10 seconds.
- Once your batter has reached the right consistency, you can add in some gel food coloring if desired. Then transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and begin piping 1 inch circles about 1 inch apart from each other on a parchment lined baking sheet. After piping it is important to drop the baking sheet on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles in the batter.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and let the macaron shells sit out for at least 30 minutes before baking. When they are ready to bake the tops will be dry to the touch, not sticky or wet.
- Bake each tray individually for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure that the tops of your macarons are not browning.
- Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and strawberry preserves.
- Transfer filling to a piping bag and match shells by size before filling. Pipe a small circle on the underside of one shell and then sandwich together with a shell of similar size.