These adorable little heart-shaped strawberry macarons are infused with strawberry flavor in every layer (no artificial flavoring)! So good, you wouldn’t want to share!
Have you ever had freeze-fried fruits?
They’re melt-in-your-mouth light and unbelievably intense in flavor! Unlike air dried fruits, they don’t really shrink in size, and they become ultra-light and crisp. I was first came to know them while traveling through Korea. I got a box of whole freeze-dried strawberries dipped in white chocolate at the Incheon airport. Yes, white chocolate! It was heavenly! I’ve savored each and every one of them like there’s no tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything similar in the U.S., and living in a small town didn’t help at all.
One day I was shopping at our local health store, and imagine how excited I was to see a shelf full of freeze-dried fruits. Not the chocolate covered ones, but it didn’t matter. There were strawberries, raspberries, banana, kiwi, mango, you name it! I got them all!! Ok, I’m lying, I didn’t get freeze-dried kiwi. Don’t care for them much.
After inhaling my first round of purchase, I went back to the store and got more freeze-dried strawberries and made these beautiful macarons!! And guess what? You can find these freeze-dried strawberries on amazon.com! Duh, is there anything that you can’t find on amazon? Probably not!
Anyway, these macarons, my friend, are infused with strawberry flavor through and through. In the shell, in the buttercream and there is even strawberry jam hidden inside!!
Have you watched my video tutorial on how to make macarons? If not, watch it now and let’s bake these pretty heart-shaped strawberry macarons.
First, we’ll crush the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. I used a rolling pin here, but pestle and mortar, or even coffee grinder will work too. Then sift the powdered strawberries (sounds so weird), almond flour and powdered sugar together couple times.
And the rest is the same as any other macaron recipe. Since I’ve written a comprehensive Macaron 101 for you already, I won’t go into details again here. Go ahead and read this post before you start making the macarons.
To make the heart shapes, I used smaller round piping tip than my regular A1 tip that I usually use for my macarons. It gave me more precision.
I also made this template to create the uniform size macarons. To make the heart shape, pipe the batter as if you’re drawing two hooks facing each other, tracing the template. I promise, it’s not as hard as it might seem. Trust me, I was a bit intimidated too. The macarons were little bit closer than I like it, but it worked just fine. Without the template, I wasn’t able to achieve the perfect heart shapes, so it’s definitely helpful. If you’re using this template, please be careful not to overbeat the macaron batter. Otherwise, it will get too runny and all the macarons will run into each other. Not what you’d want!
To assemble the macarons, we’ll pipe some strawberry buttercream with a drop of strawberry jam in the middle. A little sweet surprise, you know!
These beauties freeze really well. In fact, I’m enjoying one right now as I type this! So very good and cute!
Yield: About 25 filled macarons
- ½ cup (10gr) freeze-dried sliced strawberries (Yields about 3 tablespoons of powdered strawberries)
- 1 cup (100gr) almond flour
- 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites (about 70gr)
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Red gel food coloring
- 3 tablespoons (40gr) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam, plus additional 2-3 tablespoons for the filling
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place the freeze-dried strawberries between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, crush the strawberries into a fine powder. (Alternatively, you can use pestle and mortar, or coffee grinder.)
- In a medium bowl, sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and powdered strawberries twice. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks form. Add vanilla extract and red food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
- Sift the almond flour mixture over the whipped egg whites. Gently fold the mixture running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though. Every so often test the batter to see if it reached the right consistency. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon are dissolved within about ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat, do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter couple more times and test again. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not to over mix the batter.
- Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip. (I used this Wilton #12 plain round tip.)
- Place the template with hearts under the parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe the batter as if you're drawing two hooks facing each other, tracing the template. You’ll get about 58 single shells on 2 baking sheets.
- Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. On a humid day, it might take an hour or so. To see if it’s ready to be baked, lightly touch it. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Bake the macarons for 18-20 minutes. To check the doneness, remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then carefully remove from the baking sheets.
- While macarons are drying, prepare the strawberry buttercream. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, strawberry jam, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
- Transfer the buttercream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons, leaving a small hole in the middle. Using a small spoon, drop a small amount of strawberry jam in the hole. Cover with the other shell and done!
- It’s best to serve macarons the next day.
- Store the filled macarons in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in airtight container for up to 5 months.
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