Red Velvet Macarons – A classic french cookie made with a red velvet cookie and cream cheese filling. A elegant little dessert perfect for bridal showers and tea parties!
Ever since we visited Paris last year, I have been in love with macarons. If you haven’t had a macaron before, you’ve been missing out! They are these traditional French sandwich cookies made from almond flour. They are chewy, yet light; small, yet flavorful. In a word: delightful.
They are also notoriously challenging to make. Now, before you run away in fear, keep reading. I promise it’s not that bad. We’re going to get through this together.
If you’ve been reading the blog from the beginning, you know that I welcome challenges. I don’t get scared by much. I’ve made croissants, baked Alaska, and even cheese soufflé without breaking a sweat. But macarons terrify me, guys. They are so damn finicky! You have to weigh the ingredients, you have to sift the ingredients three times, and you have to make sure you stir the ingredients the correct amount (not too much and not too little!).
After I got over my fear, I became determined. How bad could this be? You just follow the recipe and you should be good, right? Exactly. It’s no different from any other challenge I’ve had before. You just stay focused and prepare yourself and you’ll do great.
So how did my first batch go? Pretty damn good! They aren’t perfect, by any means. See the cracks on top? I didn’t get all the air out of the shells so when the air escaped…CRACK. But they taste amazing! And that’s what matters most, right? I have more practicing to do in order for them to be perfectly shaped (see the cracks in the tops), but for my first time, I’ll take it! They were so chewy from the almond flour and tangy from the cream cheese filling. Totally worth the effort. Stay tuned for my future attempts at perfecting these!
Before I get into the recipe, I just need to direct you to an amazing resource I used when preparing to make these. Shinee at Sweet and Savory has a French Macaron 101 post that tells you everything you need to know about making the perfect macaron. It is so detailed, which I absolutely love! Take a read of this before you get started and you’ll feel ready to tackle the challenge ahead!
Recipe (adapted from Sweet and Savory):
Makes about 25 macarons
Ingredients (for any ingredient that comes with weight measurement, I recommend weighing it for exact measurement):
For macaron cookie shells:
- 1 cup (100gr) almond flour
- 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites (about 70gr)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-1 ½ teaspoons red gel food coloring (this Wilton one comes recommended)
For cream cheese filling:
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy (whipping) cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- In medium bowl, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder twice.
- In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks form. Add vanilla extract and red food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
- Sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture over the whipped egg whites.
- Gently fold the mixture running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though. Every so often test the batter to see if it reached the right consistency.
- To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon dissolve within ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat, do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter couple more times and test again. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not to over mix the batter.
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. (I use this Wilton A1 large plain round tip.)
- Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I don’t trust myself to pipe the right size, so I printed these sheets out for free online and place them under the parchment paper so I could trace them with the batter. Click here and scroll to the bottom for the download.
- Tap the baking sheets 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 the beautiful macarons shells. I got cracked macarons, and they just aren’t as pristine-looking.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so, like mine did. 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 before baking! But don’t remove until the batter is dry. This will ensure that the batter doesn’t move around.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. To check the doneness, gently remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets.
- While macarons are drying, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
- Using a small spoon, drop some filling into one shell, about a teaspoon. You can also use a piping bag to do this, if you want to be more precise. Take an empty shell and sandwich them together. Be delicate! You don’t want to smash the shells.
- Store the filled macarons in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in airtight container for up to 5 months.
I hope you enjoy them! Let me know how you like them in the comments below!