Take to heart these special Valentine’s Day macarons. The perfect target for Cupid’s arrow, they will prove irresistible for whomever you share them with, on the 14th of February or beyond. A wonderful way to say “I love you”, or whatever.
These heart macarons were made with a French meringue where you add sugar directly to the egg whites, the same method as these macarons.
One recipe will yield 32 assembled two-inch macaron hearts or 64 macaron shells.
Here’s the heart template I used that’s based on a heart I rough sketched and then scanned. It’s formatted on standard letter size paper, 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Just print it out twice and tape the sheets together in the center so the template spans the width of the cookie sheet. I used tip # 10 to pipe the batter. Follow the outline first then fill in the space inside. Remember to slide the template out before baking the macarons.
You’ll find detailed notes in How to Make Macarons – French Meringue Method. The technique in making the batter is the same. The heart macaron recipe is at the bottom of this post, but here’s a general outline of the steps.
Directions on how to make love heart macarons:
- If measuring by volume first sift the almond meal/flour and powdered sugar separately and then measure. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine and then sift to remove any lumps. Set aside.
- Add the sugar and salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks. Whip in 1 -2 drops of gel food coloring.
- Fold the meringue with the dry ingredients with a silicon or rubber spatula. Drag your spatula on the surface each time you fold over. Continue folding until the mixture turns to a batter that flows when you run your spatula down the center, as opposed to a stiff mass that holds it shape.
- Fill a piping bag with the macaron batter fitted with tip # 10 or any similarly sized tip.
- Place the heart template underneath the parchment paper on your cookie sheet. Pipe the batter along the outline of the heart first, and then fill in the space in the center. Any marks left by the icing tip will dissipate in minutes if the mixture is of the right consistency.
- Tap the cookie sheet on your work surface to remove any air pockets, but just lightly so you don’t lose the shape of the hearts.
- Preheat oven to 300°F at this point. Let the piped mixture stand at room temperature until it forms a skin and your finger remains dry when you lightly touch the edge, about 30 minutes.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 13 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through baking after the feet have formed.
- Let the macarons cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Use a piping bag or Ziploc bag to pipe the filling onto one macaron shell and then top with another shell. Store the macarons in the fridge or in the freezer for long term storage in an airtight container.
I used just a basic frosting to fill the macarons, but most any filling would work. Preferably one that can hold its shape so it doesn’t spill out of the macaron.
If you’re looking for regular heart cookies, here are some options:
Everyone will appreciate whatever you decide to bake for Valentine’s Day because anything home baked is great, and they will more than likely love heart macarons. The heart of the matter is, love heart macarons anytime.
- 126 g almond meal / flour (1 ½ cups)
- 183 g powdered sugar (1 ½ cups + 5 tablespoons)
- 3 egg whites from Extra Large Grade A eggs (can range from 100 – 120 g)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (45 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (3 g)
- 1 – 2 drops pink or red gel food coloring
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (113 g)
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (280 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (3 g)
- 3 – 5 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Line three large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- If measuring by volume sift the almond flour and sugar separately, measure out, whisk together in a bowl to combine, then sift to completely blend. If measuring by weight, just weigh the ingredients, whisk to combine and then sift altogether to blend.
- Whip room temperature egg whites, granulated sugar and salt to make a thick, glossy meringue that holds stiff peaks. Whip in 1 – 2 drops of gel food coloring.
- Fold the meringue into the almond flour mixture with a silicon or rubber spatula. Scrape the bowl as you pass the spatula underneath, then fold over the top. Drag your spatula on the surface each time you fold over. This action will smooth out the batter. The mixture will start out rough and thick but will smoothen and flow when the meringue is completely incorporated. When the batter flows back slowly if you cut through the center with your spatula, stop mixing.
- Transfer the batter into one large (or two medium) icing bags fitted with a medium round tip (I used #10).
- Place the heart template underneath the parchment paper of your cookie sheet. Pipe the batter first following the outline of the heart, then pipe to fill in the center space.
- Lightly tap the cookie sheet on your work surface to break up any large air pockets. Tap only once or twice so the batter doesn’t spread too much which might cause the hearts to be less defined.
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes or however long it takes for the surface of the batter to dry and form a skin. It’s ready for the oven when you lightly touch the edge and your fingertip remains dry.
- Bake cookie sheets one at a time for 12 - 13 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through after the feet have formed.
- Remove from the oven and let the macarons cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Sift the powdered sugar. Cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in salt.
- Add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Filling should be on the thick side but soft enough to pipe.
- Blend in the almond extract.
- Transfer the filling into an icing bag or Ziploc bag fitted with a medium round tip, or just snip the corner of the bag.
- Pipe the filling onto one macaron heart shell then sandwich it with another macaron.
Love Heart Macarons