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Strawberry Pop Tart Macarons

strawberryandcream
March 20th is National Macaron Day in the United States! To celebrate, I made deliciously amazing and unique strawberry pop tart macarons! The secret strawberry jam in the center is the perfect gooey surprise in this amazing treat!
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Macaron Resting Time 1 hr
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 18 macarons

Ingredients
  

Macarons

  • 190 grams finely ground almonds (about 2 cups)
  • 205 grams powdered sugar (about 1⅓ cups)
  • 144 grams egg whites (about 4 to 5 eggs)
  • 190 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 60 mL water (about ¼ cup)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 230 grams egg whites (about 6 eggs)
  • 400 grams granulated sugar (about 2 cups)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (1½ cups)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp salt
  • tiny bit of red gel food coloring (optional, to make the buttercream pink)

Royal Icing & Sprinkles Decoration

  • 400 grams powdered sugar (about 3 cups)
  • ½ the egg white from one egg (or 15g powdered egg white)
  • 4 to 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Instructions
 

Bake the Macarons

  • Sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar into a large grease-free bowl.
    Add 72 grams (half the egg whites) into the bowl and mix it in with the almonds and powdered sugar until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
  • Pour the granulated sugar and water into a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high heat until it reaches 212°F (118°C) to form a syrup.
    Meanwhile, in the grease-free metal bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the remaining 72 grams of the egg whites until they are frothy.
  • While the eggs are whisking on a low speed, slowly add the syrup from the sauce pan. Drip the syrup down the side of the bowl so it doesn't fall from the pan directly into the egg whites or on the whisk.
    Keep whisking on medium-high speed until it forms stiff peaks (now you have Italian meringue!)
  • Add a large dollop of the meringue into the flour mixture and mix it up to loosen everything.
    Then fold in the remaining meringue with a spatula. Keep mixing until you can drip an unbroken figure-8 back into the bowl from the spatula.
  • Fill the macaron batter into a piping bag. Pipe even-sized shapes onto a baking try lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Leave an inch of space between each macaron.
    Drop them from about a foot off the counter parallel to the counter about four or five times, to allow all the air bubble to come to the top and pop.
    Let the macarons sit at room temperature until they form a hard shell on them. If you run a finger along the top, it shouldn't feel wet or tacky anymore.
  • Bake at 330°F (165°C) for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bottom edges (the "feet") don't squish in when you poke them with a spatula.
    Leave out to cool completely.

Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Pipe it onto the Macarons

  • Fill a small sauce pan with about ½ to 1 inch of water.
    Situate a heat-proof bowl over the saucepan, but make sure the water is low enough that it doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Turn on the stove to medium heat and bring the water to a simmer.
    Pour the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl and pace it on top of the saucepan. Whisk the eggs whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, when you can't feel any grains when you rub a bit between your fingers.
  • Transfer the mixture to the grease-free metal bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until stiff peaks form (now you have Swiss meringue!)
  • If the mixture is at room temperature, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, let it sit until the meringue and the bowl of the stand mixer come to room temperature (so you don't melt the butter when you add it).
  • Replace the whisk attachment with a paddle attachment and begin mixing on a medium-high speed. Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Let each bit of butter fully incorporate before adding the next tablespoon.
  • Add the vanilla, salt and red food coloring (optional to make it pink).
    Mix for about another 30 seconds to a minute, to create creamy swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Fill a piping bag with the buttercream and pipe a circle onto every other macaron shell. (One half of each macaron pair will remain un-piped, since it will go on top of the piped macaron to create a delicious macaron sandwich).

Decorated with Royal Icing & Rainbow Sprinkles

  • Sift the powder sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on a low speed, add the egg whites and 4 tablespoons of water.
    Increase the speed to medium high and mix until there is no more dry powdered sugar and the mixture is creamy. If the royal icing feels too stiff (and therefore, it'll be too hard to squeeze through your piping bag) mix in the additional one tablespoon of water.
  • Fill a piping bag with the royal icing and squeeze out squiggly blobs on the top of each macaron sandwich.
  • While the icing is still wet, add the rainbow sprinkles on top so they stick to the royal icing.
  • Let the icing on the macarons dry completely, then it's time to devour them! Enjoy!
Keyword chocolate macarons, chocolate strawberry macarons, French macarons, gluten free, gluten free baking, gluten free desserts, Italian meringue, National Macaron Day, pop tart, rainbow sprinkles, royal icing, strawberry pop tart, strawberry pop tart macarons, Swiss meringue buttercream