Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons

My college roomy and best lady got me hooked on these delicious French cookies.  For her bachelorette party last summer, the ladies packed into a cute little bakery for a macaron cooking lesson.  I don’t remember everything we were taught (oh, wine) but I do remember how amazing the cookies were.

This is my third attempt at making macarons.  My first batch was a major flop; my egg whites did not get fluffy  (see note 2).  My last batch was good, but not as fluffy as batch #2 (see note 3).  Therefore, the recipe below is a combo of a few recipes, one of which was adapted from Martha Stewart.  

This way, your first batch will be a smashing success, and won’t leave you crying in the kitchen with a Silpat full of runny cookie batter.  (That’s just a “for instance”, I obviously had no problem controlling my emotions over failed cookies.)

A few notes:
#1: Macarons taste better the next day (but that certainly doesn't stop me from eating a handful on day 1!)
#2: The chef at the cooking class said you can use boxed egg whites, but the kind I tried did not form stiff peaks, so I suggest sticking to egg whites straight from the egg!
#3: Sifting may seem tedious, but it’s worth it

My cookies may be slightly ugly duckling, but one of these days, attempt 8 or 9 maybe, they’ll look like something from a P√Ętisserie.  In the meantime, I will happily eat each batch!

Chocolate Macaron Ingredients
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar pulsed in a food processor for about 1 minute will work)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form.  Reduce speed to low then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and gently fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined or silicon mat-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes.
Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting.  Mix the butter and peanut butter together in an electric mixer on high speed, then add the vanilla.  Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just combined.  Add more confectioners’ sugar if desired for a thicker, sweeter frosting.

Match up like-sized cookies and pipe about 1 teaspoon of frosting on one macaron, and gently press another macaron on top to make a sandwich.

1 comment:

  1. Bizi! Why am I just now seeing this post! These turned out beautiful! I need to try this recipe! I've converted you to a macaron-a-holic like me!!!! Also, its the best time of year for macarons: try pumpkin spice and eggnog flavors!


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