The delicate French meringue cookie made even more indulgent with the addition of chocolate. Chocolate Macarons spread with peanut butter buttercream are a little bite of Parisian heaven!
After showing you How to Make Macarons, I decided its time to let you in on one of my favorite iterations. It’s chocolate, of course!
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Recipe
I don’t know a lot for sure but if there’s one declaration I can make with utmost confidence it’s this: people love Chocolate and Peanut Butter recipes!
It makes sense. Sweet and rich chocolate plus creamy, lightly-salted peanut butter is a magical combination.
These Macarons—NOT to be confused with Coconut Macaroons–-are the perfect vehicle for bringing these two flavors together.
The light meringue cookie carries the cocoa beautifully with the peanut butter filling tying it all together.
Almond flour. This is NOT the same as almond meal. I use Besti brand of super fine almond flour. (You can order it online.)
Powdered sugar. The finer sugar incorporates easily into the flour, creating an airy and light cookie crumb. Caster sugar works well too.
Cocoa powder. I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa.
Egg whites. You can bring your egg whites to room temperature if desired but it’s not necessary.
Peanut butter. Use creamy shelf-stable peanut butter such as Jiff or Skippy in the frosting for best results (not the natural kind you have to keep in the fridge.)
STEP 1. Prepare your pans
Line baking sheets with parchment paper, making sure the parchment lies as flat as possible. This helps ensure you can make the macarons as round as possible.
STEP 2. Combine dry ingredients
Sift the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl and set aside.
STEP 3. Make the meringue
Bring a half filled saucepan of water to boil.
Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, then place the bowl over the pan of hot water (off the heat).
Whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar melts and dissolves. Return the bowl to the base of the mixer and whip on medium-high speed. Continue until stiff peaks form.
STEP 4. Add dry ingredients to the meringue
Use a spatula to fold half the dry ingredients into the meringue in batches. Fold until no lumps remain and the batter is smooth.
Deflate the puffy batter by “smushing” it against the sides of the bowl. Then use the spatula to fold the batter in on itself. Repeat several times.
STEP 5. Pipe and rest
Transfer the meringue to a frosting bag and pipe into 1 inch circles onto the baking sheet. Space them 2 inches apart for even baking. Release any air bubbles in the unbaked macarons by holding the tray off the counter a few inches and setting it straight down again.
Now, let the macarons rest for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 315 degrees.
When the macarons are ready to bake, they should have a delicate skin on top.
STEP 6. Bake
Bake the macarons in for about 10 minutes or until set. Let cool to room temperature on the baking sheet.
STEP 7. Peanut Butter Frosting
To make the frosting, whip the peanut butter, softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix.
If the mixture isn’t as creamy as you’d like, beat in a little heavy cream until you get your desired texture!
To Assemble the Macarons:
Pipe a small dollop of frosting onto the center of half the cooled cookies. Place another cookie on top. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Use an oven thermometer. Temperature makes all the difference for successful macarons. Many home ovens aren’t accurate so an oven thermometer helps tremendously.
- Remove trapped air. Before piping the batter onto the cookie sheet, make sure the meringue batter is thick and smooth, like caramel. (Also called the “lava” stage.) After pipping, dropping the baking sheet on the counter several times will remove any remaining trapped air.
- Round tips work best. I used a Wilton #10 tip for piping batter onto the pan.
- Try our lemon macarons next! Filled with a homemade lemon curd frosting.
For more tips and tricks to make perfect Macarons, visit my complete guide for How To Make Macarons!
Macarons crack on top when baking when too much air is trapped in the batter. Make sure to “deflate” the meringue batter by smooshing it against the sides of the bowl and folding thoroughly.
The batter should slide off your spatula in a single stream.
Macarons spread outward when they are deflated too much. You can tell if your batter is too deflated when it pools at the bottom of the bowl.
If the center of your macarons are still wet, they have not been baked
long enough or your oven temperature may be too low. Check the temperature and bake another 2 -3 minutes before testing for doneness again.
You can prevent the tops of the macarons from overcooking and browning by placing a sheet of foil over the chocolate macarons half way through baking.
Yes, macarons need to be kept in the refrigerated until you’re ready to serve them. Let them come to room temperature before enjoying.
More Chocolate Desserts
For the Macaron Shell
- 75 grams almond flour
- 65 grams powdered sugar
- 10 grams cocoa powder
- 75 grams egg whites
- 75 grams granulated sugar
For the Filling
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon butter softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream if needed
Make the Macaron Shells
- Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper lies flat so you can achieve perfectly round macarons. Add the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder to a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl, discarding any large lumps that remain. Set aside.
- Fill a small saucepan half way with water. Bring it to a boil over high heat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Remove the saucepan of water from the heat and place the bowl on top of the water.
- Whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved— about 2 minutes.
- Return the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed using the wire whisk until stiff peaks form.
Once the meringue has reached a stiff peak, add half of the dry ingredients and fold it into the egg whites using a silicone spatula.
- Once no large lumps remain, add the second half of the dry ingredients and repeat the folding until they are fully incorporated.
- Next, deflate the meringue by smushing the batter against the sides of the bowl and then folding it back onto itself. Repeat until the meringue is at the “lava stage”.
- Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a round tip (I like a Wilton #10). Pipe 1” circles about 2” apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Hold the tray a few inches off the counter and drop it straight down to release any air bubbles. Repeat 5 times, or until you don’t see any large air bubbles.
- Allow the macarons to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, or until they have developed a skin. While the macarons rest, preheat your oven to 315F.
- When the macarons are ready to bake, you should be able to touch them without the batter sticking to your finger.
- Bake the macarons in a pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they are set and no longer wet in the center.
- Leave the macarons on the baking sheet until they’ve cooled to room temperature.
Make the Filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter and softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar. When all of the powdered sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and allow the icing to whip until light and soft— about 2 minutes.
- If the mixture is dry and not coming together properly, add the heavy cream and whip on high again until light and fluffy.
- Transfer the filling to a piping bag and set aside.
Assemble & Store
- Once the macarons have cooled, place them in similar sized pairs. Pipe a small dollop of frosting in the center of one macaron.
- Then, place the seance shell on top and gently press down so the filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with the remaining macarons. Drizzle with melted chocolate chips, if desired.
- Store the macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator to age overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Make sure to use Superfine Almond Flour— it is not the same thing as Almond Meal. My preferred brand is Besti.
- I like using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. Note: I have tested this recipe with Valrohna Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder many times and it has never worked.
- Your egg whites can, but do not have to be, at room temperature.
- When your meringue is at the “lava stage”, it should flow smoothly like caramel. You should be able to draw a figure 8 in the batter without the stream of meringue breaking.
- Knowing your oven is very important when making macarons. Most home ovens are not accurate so an oven thermometer is highly recommended.
Impressive and delicious, Chocolate Macarons with Peanut Butter frosting elevate the classic meringue cookie to divine heights. With rich cocoa flavor and fluffy peanut butter buttercream, these treats are delicious!