Heart-Shaped Macarons Recipe

If you really want to wow somebody this Valentine's Day, why not bake them a batch of homemade macarons? Pretty pink heart-shaped ones, of course! But just a heads up: Don't try these if you're not a highly-skilled baker. As recipe developer Eric Ngo admits, "This is an advanced-level recipe because of how specific the batter needs to be." 

As Ngo says, in order for macarons to look right, the batter needs to be just the right texture and the shells need to be piped correctly (something that takes practice). He also says you'll need to make the cookies at least a day in advance in order for them to achieve the right texture. Although Ngo's directions call for refrigerating the filled macarons for 24 hours, he tells us that they should probably stay in the fridge for 2 days in order to achieve the proper level of chewiness. As he explains, "The filling and humidity from the refrigerator will soften them up."

If you're skilled enough to able to pull off this cookie-baking tour de force, you'll have a very impressive gift worth giving. These macarons also taste as good as they look, with Ngo describing them as "Crispy on the outside and chewy in the center" with a smooth, creamy ganache filling that contrasts nicely with sweet and tangy raspberry jam.

If your baking skills aren't up to such a challenge? You may need to buy your Valentine's Day macarons from Costco or Trader Joe's instead. 

Assemble the ingredients for the heart-shaped macarons

To make these macarons, you'll start with white chocolate chunks or chips. The melted white chocolate goes into the ganache filling along with whipping cream and vanilla extract (you can also scrape the seeds from ¼ vanilla bean, if you want to be fancy). Raspberry jam makes for a secondary filling.

To make the macaron shells, you'll need egg whites, sugar (both granulated and powdered), almond flour, and a few drops of red food coloring. And yes, because these macarons are made with almond flour, Ngo does say that they are entirely gluten-free.

Make the ganache filling

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts until it is completely melted, something that will take up to 2 minutes. Stir the melting chocolate between each burst of roughly 30 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted, heat the cream for about 1 ½ minutes until it's almost at the boiling point, then stir it into the chocolate. Mix these 2 ingredients until they're smooth, then stir in the vanilla.

Spoon the ganache into a piping bag and pop it in the freezer. This filling needs to chill for about an hour so it can firm up.

Prepare the macaron batter

Once the filling is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 F. Beat the egg whites until they've doubled in size, then add the granulated sugar in 3 parts, a little bit more than a tablespoon at a time. Each time you beat in the sugar, let the mixture rest for 30 seconds afterwards. Add the food coloring, stirring until you get a uniform shade of pink. Finally, fold in the confectioner's sugar and the almond flour.

Ngo warns not to over-mix the batter at this point. "The macaron batter is ready when it looks smooth [and] shiny and falls off the spatula while creating a ribbon pattern," he tells us. Folding the dry ingredients in with a spatula helps to prevent against the dreaded overmixing, so make sure to do this rather than using a stand mixer or hand mixer to do the job.

Bake the macaron shells

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, then get out your trusty piping bag — a different piping bag than the one you put the ganache in, of course — and pipe heart shapes onto the sheet. You should wind up with 36 hearts in all, so plan accordingly. If you need to use a second cookie sheet, do so. Once you're done piping, take the sheet and bang it down on the counter. This may seem a bit weird, but Ngo says this will "eliminate micro bubbles in the batter."

Bake the macarons for 13 to 16 minutes. Ngo says you can check to see if they're done by giving the sheet a little shake. "If they wiggle," he says, "it means they are baked on the outside but still raw on [the] inside." If they pretty much hold their shape when they're shaken, though, you can take them out of the oven. Let the macaron shells rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then gently remove them.

Fill and chill the macarons

Sort the macaron shells into pairs, trying to match size and shape as best you can. Take one shell per pair and pipe an outline of vanilla ganache all along the edge, then fill in this "frame" with the raspberry jam. Cover with the other macaron shell to make a cookie sandwich, then repeat until you've filled and sandwiched all of the remaining macaron shells.

Put the filled macarons into an airtight container and stick them in the fridge to sit for at least 24 hours, or preferably 48, before you serve them. They can be kept in that same container for up to 5 days — or longer, although they'll be slightly past their peak of perfection after that time. Ngo does say, though, to "Take them out of the refrigerator for 30 [minutes] before serving."

Heart-Shaped Macarons Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
Macarons aren't the easiest sweet to bake (they require some skill), but this recipe for heart-shaped macarons is perfect for a fancy Valentine's Day gift.
Prep Time
Cook Time
heart-shaped macarons on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ¼ vanilla bean
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring (more, as desired)
  • ½ cup raspberry jam
  1. Heat the white chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes to melt. Stir every 30 seconds to prevent burning.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until nearly at the boiling point — roughly 1 ½ minutes.
  3. Add the hot cream to the white chocolate and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the vanilla extract to the cream mixture, stirring until fully incorporated.
  5. Fill a piping bag with the cream mixture and chill it in the freezer for 1 hour, or until firm in texture.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  7. Beat the egg whites until they double in size.
  8. Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites in 3 parts, allowing 30 seconds between each addition.
  9. Add the red food coloring to the egg whites and mix until the color is uniform. Start with 2 drops and add more to achieve your preferred pink color.
  10. Add the confectioner's sugar and almond flour to the egg mix and fold them in with a spatula until they're fully incorporated and the batter runs off the spatula like a ribbon.
  11. Pipe heart shapes onto a parchment paper or silicon-lined cookie sheet.
  12. Slam the cookie sheet down onto the counter to eliminate any micro bubbles in the batter.
  13. Bake the macarons for 13-16 minutes, depending on their size.
  14. Cool the macarons for 10 minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.
  15. Pair up similarly-sized macaron shells.
  16. Pipe the vanilla filling along the inside edges of one of the paired macarons, then fill the center of the vanilla outline with raspberry jam.
  17. Top the ganache and jam-covered macaron shell with its unadorned mate to make a cookie sandwich.
  18. Repeat until all the macaron pairs have been filled and sandwiched together.
  19. Chill the macarons for 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Calories per Serving 162
Total Fat 7.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 9.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 19.6 g
Sodium 20.0 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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