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.
Hopefully you’ve checked in this week and have learned anything and everything about making French macarons at home. If not, here is my lengthy post on the subject. A French Macarons: Decoded class, I call it.
With their delicate texture, crunchy exterior, nougat-like chew, French macarons are a blank canvas for a variety of flavors. You can flavor the macaron batter, as I explain in the post linked above– or you can sandwich a flavored frosting, jam, etc between two baked macaron shells. The options are endless!
But one of my first flavors was chocolate peanut butter. I made these a few months ago and again last week to photograph and share with you. You’re going to (obviously) go bbbbbbbbonkers.
The recipe starts with my basic macaron recipe. To it, add good-quality cocoa powder. You can use either natural or dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder, just make sure it is of good quality. The better quality, the more rich 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. The entire macaron, the delicate chocolate shells and lip-smackin’ creamy filling, will just melt in your mouth.
Prior to making these, I had never had a chocolate peanut butter macaron before. I’ve had raspberry almond, coconut, strawberry shortcake, orange creamsicle, pink lemonade, vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, hazelnut, and a slew of other flavors at weddings, parties, and other events. All extraordinary, as you can imagine!
But chocolate peanut butter macarons? This flavor is in a whole other world!
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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.
- 12g 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 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, 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.