These Valentine’s Macarons are filled with a spicy chocolate buttercream and decorated with royal icing to look like conversation heart candies. They may look difficult but you won’t believe just how easy they are to make!
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These adorable Valentine’s Macarons are a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. You can make them all the same color or divide the batter into different colored portions for a very colorful treat!
Valentine’s Macarons Recipe
- Almond Flour – Use blanched, fine almond flour
- Powdered Sugar – Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together because almond flour has a lot of moisture and doesn’t sift well alone
- Egg Whites – They should be at room temperature so that the meringue comes together easily and quickly
- Granulated Sugar – Just regular granulated sugar is fine
- Egg White Powder – If you’re having trouble getting a strong meringue, using egg white powder will help. Mix it into the granulated sugar before adding to the egg whites so it doesn’t clump up
- Vanilla Extract – Adds sweetness to the shells
- Gel Food Coloring – Use gel instead of liquid so you don’t add more moisture to the batter which can affect the texture of the macaron shells
How Do You Color One Batch of Macarons Different Colors?
If you want to make different colored macarons from the same batch, all you need to do is divide the batter into separate portions after you have mixed the meringue with the dry ingredients.
Since this is a recipe for a small batch of macarons, I suggest only dividing the batter into three portions max because you’ll be folding a very small amount of batter for each color and will risk over mixing the batter very easily.
Can I Use Royal Icing to Decorate Macarons?
Yes! Royal icing is a great way to decorate macarons after they’re baked. There are several ways to use royal icing in macaron decorations and the consistency of the icing will be different for each type.
Decorating Macarons With Royal Icing
Below are some of my recipes using the different types of simple royal icing decorations. The consistency of the royal icing needed for each decoration is explained in the post:
- Salted Caramel Macarons – royal icing drizzle
- Ladybug Macarons – character macarons
- Splatter Paint Macarons – painting on royal icing
- Candy Cane Macarons – royal icing swirl
Easy Royal Icing Recipe
- Powdered Sugar – No need to sift unless it’s very clumpy
- Meringue Powder – Used in place of egg whites
- Water – Room temperature water
How Do I Make Royal Icing?
To make this simple royal icing, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until the icing reaches a stiff consistency. If you lift the spoon and the icing forms a stiff peak, it’s ready.
How Do You Stiffen Royal Icing?
If you added too much water and the icing is runny, you can add a bit more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.
Using Stencils on Macarons
These Valentine’s Macarons use a different method of royal icing decoration in order to resemble conversation heart candies. Using a stencil, you will brush on the royal icing as you see in the pictures below.
These stencils are great because the letters are the perfect size for macaron shells. When using stencils, you will need a stiff royal icing consistency so that the icing doesn’t smear when you remove the stencil.
Decorate the shells before filling them because it will be easier since the shells will lay flat on the table.
Spicy Chocolate Buttercream
- Salted Butter – Softened and at room temperature
- Powdered Sugar – No need to sift unless it has clumps
- Cocoa Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Heavy Whipping Cream – You can also use milk if you don’t have cream
Whisk the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add cocoa powder, cayenne pepper and heavy cream and continue whisking until creamy and smooth.
More macaron art
More chocolate macarons
- Kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- 16 inch pastry bag (or more if dividing batter)
- 8 inch pastry bag
- Round piping tip (I used the Ateco 10)
- Two silicone mats
- Two half sheet pans
- Oven thermometer
- Small bowl (to mix royal icing)
- 90 grams powdered sugar
- 80 grams almond flour
- 70 grams egg whites (room temperature)
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 2 grams egg white powder (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 drops pink gel food coloring (Or other colors if dividing batter)
Spicy chocolate buttercream
- ¼ cup salted butter (½ stick)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp meringue powder
- ½ tsp water (room temperature)
- 2 drops red gel food coloring
Prepare dry ingredients
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour using a whisk to break down any clumps. Set aside.
- Line sheet pans with the silicone mats.
- Insert the piping tip into the 16 inch pastry bag.
Make the meringue
- Whisk the egg whites on medium speed (speed 4) until you see small bubbles (this can take as little as 15 seconds sometimes).
- Slowly add 3 tbsp of granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between each tbsp.
- Whisk until you start to see tracks in the meringue.
- Increase speed to 6 and continue slowly adding the remainder of the granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until you’ve added all the sugar.
- Once you have soft peaks, stop the mixer, scrape the sides and add the vanilla extract.
- Whisk for about 5 more minutes, or until you have stiff peaks.
- Add in the powdered sugar and almond flour mixture in three parts, 1/3 at a time, folding each part until fully combined.
- Once the meringue and dry ingredients are fully combined, stop folding.
- At this point you can add 4 drops of pink gel food coloring OR if you want several different colors, divide the batter into 3 parts, and add the different colors to each bowl and fold each until color is mixed in.
- Now you need to deflate some of the air in the batter by taking the spatula and smearing the batter on the sides of the bowl two or three times, and then folding once or twice.
- Repeat the process of smearing some of the batter on the side of the bowl and folding until the batter looks smooth and glossy and runs down the spatula slowly in ribbons.
- You can test the consistency by lifting the spatula and letting the batter run down. If it falls in ribbons and sinks back into itself within 30 seconds, the batter is ready.
- Transfer the batter (if one color) to the 16 inch pastry bag or each separate color batter to 3 different pastry bags.
Pipe the macarons
- Take the pastry bag and, holding the bag at a 90° angle, pipe the shells in 3/4 inch circles.
- Tap the tray against the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles. I usually tap about 7-8 times.
- Let the macarons rest until they form a skin and are no longer sticky.
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 315°F.
- Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes.
- Macarons are ready when they no longer shift if you touch the tops.
- Let the macaron shells cool for at least 30 minutes to an hour before decorating.
Make the royal icing
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and a few drops of water and stir with a spoon.
- Continue stirring adding a few more drops of water if necessary.
- Check the consistency by lifting the spoon. If the batter forms a stiff peak and doesn't sink back into itself, it's ready. Add 2 drops of red gel food coloring.
Decorate the macarons
- Take a macaron shell and gently place the stencil on top, being very careful not to press down as the shell can crack.
- Dip your brush in the royal icing and paint the icing over the stencil.
- Lift the stencil very carefully so as to not smear the icing.
- Let the royal icing dry for at least an hour.
Prepare the spicy chocolate buttercream
- In a medium bowl, using the stand mixer, whisk the butter until smooth.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until combined.
- Add the heavy cream, the cocoa powder, and the cayenne pepper and mix until creamy and smooth.
Assemble the macarons
- Fill an 8 inch pastry bag with the buttercream and cut a ½ inch opening at the tip of the bag.
- Pipe the buttercream in the center of the bottom shells.
- Top the filled macaron shells with the decorated shells and refrigerate for at least 24 hours so that the macarons can mature.
- When ready to eat, remove the macarons from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature at least 20 to 30 minutes before eating.