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stacked valentine's macarons

Valentine's Day Pink Strawberry Macarons Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 24 macarons
Calories: 74kcal
These cute pink macarons are more than perfect for Valentine's Day! Filled with a sweet cream cheese frosting, these macarons are perfectly light with a chewy, nougat like texture.
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Equipment

Ingredients

For the Shells

  • 3 large egg whites 90 grams
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 90 grams
  • cup powdered sugar 95 grams
  • 1 cup almond flour 95 grams
  • Gel Food Coloring optional

For the Filling

  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese 40 grams
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar 40 grams
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 gram
  • Strawberry jam optional

Instructions

Make the Shells

  • Line 2 large sheet pans with Silpat mats (or parchment paper if you don’t have Silpats). Fit a piping bag with a small round tip (I like a Wilton #10).
  • Set a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water.
  • Add the egg whites and granulated sugar to the bowl. Whisk constantly until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
    3 large egg whites, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed (Kitchenaid #8) until they form stiff peaks.
  • Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into the beaten egg whites. Fold the mixture gently to incorporate the dry ingredients into the egg whites. (See notes for proper folding technique.) When about half of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, add the food coloring, if using, and continue folding.
    ⅘ cup powdered sugar, 1 cup almond flour, Gel Food Coloring
  • Deflate the meringue by smushing it against the sides of the bowl and folding it back together. Repeat the smushing process 3-4 times and then test the meringue to see if it’s at the “figure 8 stage”. If you can draw an 8 with the batter while it flows smoothly, it’s ready. If the meringue falls off in clumps or breaks during the “8”, smush it 1-2 more times and fold it back together. Then repeat the figure 8 test.
  • When the batter flows smoothly, transfer the mixture to the piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe 1 ½-inch circles about 2 inches apart on the Silpat-lined baking sheet. Make sure to hold the piping bag perpendicular to the baking sheet so you don’t end up with lopsided macarons.
  • Immediately after you’ve finished piping the tray, hold it 6 inches off the counter and drop it straight down to release any air bubbles. Repeat the dropping process 5-6 times, or until it looks like any large air bubbles have popped.
  • Set the tray aside to rest for 20-25 minutes, or until the macarons have developed a skin. The macarons are ready to bake when they can be gently touched without sticking to your finger.
  • While the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 325°F (see notes). Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 14-16 minutes, flipping the tray halfway through baking. The macarons are finished when they peel easily off the Silpat.
  • Allow the macarons to cool on the tray. Once they are fully cooled, they can be filled and aged.

Make the Filling and Age the Macarons

  • In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
    3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Place the macarons in similar-sized pairs. Pipe a ring of cream cheese icing around the center of one shell. Fill the inside with ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam, and then place the second shell on top, pressing down lightly until the filling touches the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons.
    Strawberry jam
  • (Optional) Place the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge to rest overnight. Bring the macarons to room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Notes

  • Egg Whites: The egg whites do not have to be at room temperature.
  • Almond Flour: Make sure to use almond flour (not almond meal). My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Proper Folding Technique: Form a “J” shape. Cut the meringue down the middle and scrape all the way to the bottom, then pull the mixture from the bottom over the top. Turn the bowl 90° and repeat the "J" shape. Be gentle with the meringue. You don’t want to deflate the egg whites at this point.
  • Food Coloring: Make sure to only use gel food coloring in macarons, not liquid! I used ¼ teaspoon of neon pink food coloring.
  • Temperature: It’s important to have an oven thermometer when making macarons. You want your oven temperature to be at 325°F. 
  • I recommend using a kitchen scale and gram measurements for this recipe since macarons are a pretty specific recipe.
Storage: Store macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1macaron | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg