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French macarons are my favorite cookie. Sadly, in southeast Iowa, they are not a common luxury as in most cities. I have had to resort to making my own, but have found in doing so that while they take a little extra time, they aren’t too hard. And as an added bonus, you can experiment with flavors and colors! These are my Valentine’s Day version: pink with a black raspberry filling. Any recipient of these will be your Valentine forever!
Watch how to make these French macarons:
These are delectable treats, and while they take extra time and care, they are definitely worth the effort. Always remember, there is no need to fear baking something complicated. Try it out and broaden your recipe book! With these cookies, you will soon be known as a baker extraordinaire!
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For the cookies
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ cup superfine sugar (10x)
- ¼-½ tsp almond extract
- red food coloring (or any color desired)
For the black raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 ½ cups superfine sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup black raspberry jam (or any flavor desired)
For the cookies
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract on medium until they turn foamy. Add cream of tartar and whisk to soft peak stage. Reduce speed and slowly add baker’s sugar. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, sift almond flour and confectioner’s sugar through a fine-mesh sifter. This is an important step and while it takes extra time, it is needed to ensure a great cookie.
- Sift almond flour and sugar a second time on top of the whipped egg whites. Gently fold whites and dry ingredients together until completely incorporated and the mixture looks smooth and shiny.
- Pour into a pastry bag and use a ½-inch tip or cut bag to ½-inch opening. Pipe cookies approximately ¾-inch each on parchment-lined baking pans. Tap pans on counter to release any air bubbles and let the cookies rest for 15-30 minutes. The cookies need to dry slightly on top in order to bake correctly and should be dry to the touch.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will puff up and become firm and crisp, but should not turn brown. Let cool on pans then remove them to a wire rack. Let oven heat back to 325°F between each batch.
For the buttercream frosting
- Heat sugar and egg whites in a double boiler until the sugar is completely dissolved (approximately 160°F). Remove and whisk in an electric mixer on high, adding in vanilla until stiff peaks form, about 8-10 minutes. The whites will also cool off during this period.
- Once at stiff peaks, add butter one tablespoon at a time, making sure to let each tablespoon fully incorporate before adding another.
- Once butter is incorporated, fold in jam by hand.
- To assemble the cookies, put buttercream in a pastry bag and pipe one tablespoon on the back of one cookie. Place another cookie on top.