These strawberry macarons are infused with strawberry flavor in every layer (no artificial flavoring)! So good, you wouldn’t want to share these adorable little heart-shaped treats!
These heart-shaped macarons are not only adorable, but they’re also insanely flavorful!!! We’re not just infusing strawberry flavor into the shell through the filling, we’re actually incorporating magic strawberry powder into the macaron batter.
I’m telling you, it’s AMAZING!!!
And not only that… We’ll drop a little bit of strawberry jam in the middle for pop of flavor/surprise!
Have you ever had freeze-fried fruits?
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 until the very last bite.
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!!! Except kiwi…
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!
What is freezed-dried strawberries?
They’re melt-in-your-mouth light and unbelievably intense in flavor! Unlike air-dried fruits, freeze-fried strawberries don’t really shrink in size, and they become ultra-light and crisp.
They’re great in homemade snack mixes, oatmeals, and are becoming increasingly popular in baking nowadays! And for a good reason!!! They’re lend so much flavor without added moisture.
How to make strawberry macarons
Step 1. First, we’ll crush the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. I used a rolling pin here, and I don’t recommend using food processor for this step, because overworked strawberry powder can get weird texture and ruin your macaron batter.
TIP: Prepare freeze-dried strawberries right before you make macarons, as it tends to draw in moisture quickly which also can affect the batter consistency.
Step 2. Then sift the powdered strawberries (sounds so weird), almond flour and powdered sugar together couple times.
Step 3. Make french meringue.
Don’t rush through this process, as a good stable meringue is the foundation to successful macarons.
Step 4. Macaronage – the second most important thing for macaron success! Look at the photo below for different stages of macaronage:
- The batter will be super thick when you combined dry ingredients with meringue. Fold gently by running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half.
- As you fold the batter, it’ll get thinner and smoother.
- Once the batter starts to spread in the bowl, start testing 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 batter fallen into a ribbon are dissolved within about ten seconds, then the batter is ready.
If you’re new to baking macarons, I highly recommend starting with plain basic french macarons. Also check out my comprehensive Macaron 101 for additional tips and troubleshooting guide. I won’t go into details again here.
How to make heart shaped macarons
To make the heart shapes, I used smaller round piping tip than my regular A1 tip. It gave me more precision.
I’ve been using this silicone mat with heart shape template. This is the only silicone mat I love to bake macarons, because they’re nice and thin. Otherwise, I just use parchment paper.
TIP: If you don’t want to buy that silicone mat, you can download and print 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!
How to fill strawberry macarons
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!
How to store macarons
These beauties freeze really well. Here’s how to freeze macarons:
- Fill the macarons, as directed.
- Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
For macaron shells:
- ½ cup 10gr freeze-dried 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
- 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
- To make macaron shells, place the freeze-dried strawberries between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, crush the strawberries into a fine powder. (TIP: Do this step right before you begin making macarons, because the strawberry powder draws in moisture and affects the texture of the batter.)
- 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. Continue to beat the meringue until hard peaks form. Add couple drops of red food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute. (Watch this meringue video for more information.)
- 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. If needed, use a toothpick to pop stubborn air bubbles and smooth out the shells.
- Let the macarons rest and dry for at least 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.
- To make buttercream filling, 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.
- To assemble the macarons, pair the shells by size and arrange them on a wire rack, or a baking sheet. Turn half of the shells upside and pipe the buttercream filling around the edges, leaving a small hole in the middle. Using a small spoon, drop a small amount of strawberry jam in the hole, or place strawberry jam in a piping bag and pipe the jam in the middle of the filling. Cover with the other shell and done!
- To mature the macarons, place the filled macarons in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. It's ok to indulge right away, if you're impatient like me!
- 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 3 months.
This recipe was originally published on February 9th, 2016 and updated on February 12, 2020.