The best flavor combination on earth.
It’s safe to say that these chocolate macarons were gobbled up in 1/2 the time it took to make them.
With their delicate texture, crunchy exterior, nougat-like chew, French macarons are a blank canvas for a variety of flavors. One of my first flavors was chocolate peanut butter.
Start with good quality cocoa powder. You can use either natural or dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder. (And if you’re interested in a little lesson on the difference between the two, check out my post on Dutch process vs. natural cocoa powder). The better quality, the richer the chocolate flavor will be. Ghirardelli is my preferred brand.
Cocoa powder is a finicky little ingredient. I found its addition caused the macaron shells to be just a little thinner; they spread out slightly more. Not a problem in my eyes, nor on my tastebuds.
Sandwiched between two macaron shells? Peanut butter frosting, of course. Creamy, nutty, luxurious peanut butter goodness.Print
Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- Yield: 40 shells / 20 filled macarons
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: French
Be sure to read through all of the recipe instructions before you begin, as well as my quick tips below this recipe. It’s important to use a kitchen scale to weigh the macaron shell ingredients. The peanut butter filling ingredients aren’t as particular, so I list them in US cup measurements first.
- 10g good quality unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch process or natural (2 scant Tablespoons)*
- 200g confectioners’ sugar (close to 2 cups)
- 100g almond flour (close to 1 cup)
- 120g room temperature egg whites (around 3–4 large egg whites)*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 40g sifted granulated sugar or caster sugar (3 Tablespoons)
Peanut Butter Filling
- 1/2 cup (125g) creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- optional: 1-2 Tablespoons milk, as needed to thin
- Place the cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and almond flour in a food processor or blender and pulse or blend for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and fine in texture. Set aside.
- In a completely dry and grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites and salt together on medium speed for 1 minute. Switch to high speed and beat *just* until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Do NOT overbeat. Gently fold in the sifted granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the confectioners’ sugar/almond flour mixture until combined. Be very gentle and light-handed while doing so. Once completely combined, the mixture will be smooth, sticky, and glossy.
- Let the batter sit uncovered at room temperature for 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile, fit your piping bag with the piping tip. Line 2-3 baking sheets with silicone baking mats– I find bare nonstick sheets and parchment paper difficult to work with; the macaron shells spread more and are harder to remove from the sheet.
- Fill the piping bag with the batter and pipe evenly sized rounds onto the baking sheets– make sure you are holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet. While piping, the batter will slightly spread out, so keep that in mind. You want around 2-inch circles. Gently tap the bottom of the baking sheets on your counter to rid any large air bubbles. You can lightly sprinkle a few sprinkles, a dash of cinnamon, or any edible decorations onto the wet round shells at this point.
- Let the piped rounds sit for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour. This is crucial to making macarons! The air will will help the rounds set and form a dry shell. They should not be sticky going into the oven.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Bake the macarons for 10 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. Rotate the pan at the 5 minute mark. The tops should be crisp and the macarons should have formed their signature crinkly “feet.” Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling.
- Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the peanut butter and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth. On low speed, mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Increase to high speed and beat until light and creamy. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk to thin out, if desired.
- Fill and sandwich two shells together to form the macaron cookie. Leftover macarons keep well covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Any leftover filling? Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s great on cupcakes.
- Cocoa Powder: Use good quality cocoa powder. I love Ghirardelli brand; it’s what I usually use in all my baking recipes. Another wonderful option is Scharffen Berger brand.
- Egg Whites: Age your egg whites. This is so important! Separate them first. Then, let them sit out at room temperature for a few hours; overnight preferred.
- Special Tools: Kitchen scale (great options here, here, and here), food processor or blender, piping bag (disposable or reusable), 1/2 inch tip (I use Ateco 806 (size 6) tip)
Keywords: chocolate peanut butter macarons, chocolate macarons
I shared these macaron tips on my blog earlier this week, but if you’re new to SBA– I’m adding them here as well.
Quick Tips for Success
- If your macarons aren’t perfect looking, that’s ok! Don’t give up just yet. Practice makes perfect. It took me awhile too.
- Make sure you weigh all of your ingredients before beginning. You might think this is unnecessary but, if you read anything in today’s post, you know it’s crucial.
- Overbeating the egg whites will introduce more air and create an airy, hollow cookie. Avoid overbeating. Only beat *just* until stiff peaks form. Here is a GREAT post from Ms. Humble on avoiding hollow centers.
- Always handle macaron batter with finesse and care. Mixing and folding too much? All will be lost!
- Avoid making your macarons on a particularly humid day. Right now in the summer, look for the day of the week with the least humidity. Cool, dry weather is best.
- Macaron rounds should be dry going into the oven. That is why letting them sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes (the longer the better) is imperative.
- Take notes as you go. I suggest this because if you run into any problems, you can refer to your notes to make adjustments such as, letting the egg whites age longer, turning up/down the oven temperature, using a different baking sheet, etc.
Reader Comments & Reviews
This recipe doesn’t say to refrigerate egg whites to age them but your other in depth recipe says to refrigerate them. I unfortunately left them set out on counter all night. Can you please clarify?
Hi Lori, our guide to French Macarons is our most updated and complete guide, we recommend applying these principles and tricks to this recipe as well. Happy baking!
I’m hesitant to try the recipe as a local bakery has Macarons and they are HEAVEN so dont mind the lack of a review. I was wondering if I could use all purpose flour instead of almond? Money is tight but I love making my family smile with sweet treats. By the way thank you for ALL the recipes, ever since I’ve found this site I havent searched for a recipe anywhere else!
Hi Luna! Almond flour is a very ingredient in macarons and can’t be substituted. Here’s our guide to macarons with more detailed instructions if you’re interested.
I used half regular cocoa and half Special Dark but they didn’t taste like chocolate at all… :/ Probably the first time one of your recipes didn’t turn out amazing for me!!
I used 1/2 Hershey’s special dark cocoa and the other 1/2 black cocoa powder. My macarons cracked and they usually don’t.. Should I have done something different?
Hi Beth, we’re happy to help troubleshoot. Overmixed and thin batter can produce cracked macarons. We also recommend popping any bubbles you see in the macaron shells (right before drying), otherwise the air bubbles can create cracks. It’s also possible they were simply a little over baked! Hope these tips are helpful for next time.
My second time making macarons and my first time doing chocolate ones. They didn’t have quite as much of a rise as my first batch, I would guess because of the cocoa powder. I also went ahead and added cream of tartar as the “beginners guide” suggested, is there a reason it isn’t included in the chocolate recipe?
Anyway, they taste delicious, still nice and chewy. I made an orange curd to use my egg yolks and for the filling.
This was my first time making macarons. They came out perfect! Foot and everything! These may be the best cookie I have ever eaten. There was just enough filling that I didn’t have any left over. I followed the recipe and notes to the letter with all the tips and I’m certain that is why they turned out so great! Thanks Sally!
Several differences between this recipe and your macaron basics instructions…got a bit confusing. My macarons looked picture perfect, but flavor was really lacking. I used Ghirardelli cocoa but there was still hardly any chocolate flavor. Peanut butter filling was also underwhelming—just tasted like very slightly sweetened peanut butter. Felt like a lot of work for very little reward.
Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out terrible. The chocolate shell mixture was too thick to use a piping bag and broke through 2 bags without a single shell piped successfully. Shells didn’t puff but instead spread into one piece
Your “Beginners Guide to French Macarons” explains the macaronage step at length, whereas it isn’t mentioned in this recipe. Should this recipe include that, or does the additional standing time in this recipe before piping replace it? TIA
Hi Michelle! Our guide to French Macarons is our most updated and complete guide, we recommend applying these principles and tricks to this recipe as well. Happy baking!
Hi Sally, I have an important question? I read your in depth instructions and it says to beat the sugar into the egg whites (as you do with most other macaron recipes), however, in your step by step instructions, it says to fold the sugar in, after the egg whites are stiff? I wanted to check before I attempt these. I LOVE all your recipes and you NEVER disappoint. I just want to make sure I understand this one 🙂 thanks for all you do!
Your peanut butter filling is the perfect choice for decadent chocolate macarons. Thank you!!!
Hi Sally! Would it be possible to halve this recipe, particularly the shell ingredients? Or is it best to make it as written?
Yes, you can cut it in half.
First time attempting these and it was a major fail. I used silicone baking mats. They looked good coming out of the oven (crisp top, crisp “feet”) but they would not come off the mats. They were very sticky.
Any suggestions? I will not let this deter me from trying again.
Hi Samantha! If the macaron shells are sticking to the baking sheet or mat, they need a little more time in the oven. Bake for a little longer next time and let them cool completely before removing from the pan.
Hi Sally!! So excited to try your recipe. Can I add cream of tartar to the egg white before turning up the speed to stabilize the meringue, or will that mess it up?
Hi Kate! That shouldn’t be a problem at all. It’s always good to have extra insurance when it comes to meringue!
I see in your instructions you say these can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and still be good… I want to make these for a Thanksgiving that is on a Saturday. Would these be good then if I make them on Wednesday? If so, should I go ahead and assemble them on Wednesday or wait until Friday evening/Saturday morning to do so?
Thank you for always posting wonderful recipes! I made these Sunday and although they were definitely not perfect, received lots of compliments. I know I can always trust your recipes! 🙂
Hi Lindsey! I’m so glad you gave these chocolate peanut butter macarons a whirl. They can be made (in full) on Weds to serve on Saturday. Will still be delicious!
I followed this recipe to a T…weighed everything, beat *just* to stiff peaks, folded carefully with fewer than 50 strokes, piped evenly, preheated the oven… and the baking time was way off for my kitchen. After 10 minutes, they were nowhere near done. After they cooled slightly and I realized the issue, I popped them back st 340 for 6 more minutes, to no avail…those suckers are soft and stuck. Any ideas where I might have gone wrong?
I’ve successfully made macarons before (using Sally’s beginner’s guide), but this one did not work for me. I had the same problem! Sticky and underbaked!
These came out perfect!!! Fantastic recipe. Thanks for making it easy to follow and the additional tips.
These look totally amazing! One question – can I substitute the almond flour with peanut flour? I now macarons are usually almond based, but I’m more of a peanut butter fan.
Can’t wait to make them!
You know, I’ve never tried it before! I’m unsure how it will work. Let me know if you try it though, Mindy!
Hi, I was wondering if it’s okay to double this recipe or maybe make 1 and 1/2 of the recipe? (I was looking to make about 30 of them. So excited!)
Do not double this macaron recipe– make two batches. Enjoy!
I’ve been struggling with baking perfect macarons for a long time and nearly gave up on having shells with feet until I saw that you had a recipe! I was extra careful in all the steps and while my first batch had cracked shells (should have let them sit out for longer), I finally got a few perfect shells in my second batch! And this is probably the best tasting macaron recipe I’ve come across- perfectly chewy!
Macaroons were flat and sticky- not sure what happened. Peanut butter filling was delicious.
Success! Mine aren’t as pretty as yours but like you said it takes practice! I love the peanut butter filling and thank goodness I had just a little bit leftover because I couldn’t get enough!
Thank you for such detailed instructions. You are the best teacher in the food blogging world and it’s clear that you want your readers to have success in the kitchen! We love you for it. Now I’m patiently awaiting more french macaroon flavors from you Sally!
Hi Sally, just tried the recipe, there were a few aesthetic problems but they tasted great! My macarons were lacking feet, and they also turned out a more white-grey colour which I thought was weird, and not the delicious looking chocolate colour that yours are! Used the same cocoa and everything..Any ideas? Thanks 🙂
Megan, that’s so strange they were gray?! Mine are a light brown shade. You used Ghirardelli? Was the batter gray? I am at a loss.
But hey! I’m so glad they tasted wonderful. 🙂
This is such a fantastic combination idea. Your explainations are always so easy to follow. My grandson’s favorite muffin is your lemon- orange poppy. I love your skinny chocolate peanut butter with the hidden banana. And for this summer your peach squares. I just made another batch using up nectarines and plums that went soft. I know I sound a bit gushy but you are my all time favorite recipe developer, inventor, pure genius. I live in Israel but visit my family often in the Boston area. I have your book, and follow your blog and instagram.
Now after rambling on I have a question about the chocolate macaroons.
After the egg whites are beaten you write to fold in the sugar. So the egg whites are beaten with the salt and then the rest is folded in?
Thanks Helen– I really appreciate your message! Yes, fold in the sugar. You *could* beat it in on low speed, but I prefer to just gently fold it in.