Today is national peanut butter and jelly day. To be honest, I’m not really a huge fan of PB&J. This might not come as a surprise to you if you saw my post on national peanut butter lover’s day about not being a huge peanut butter fan! Maybe it is because I did not grow up in America where PB&J sandwiches are a staple? We definitely had peanut butter sandwiches when I was a kid, but I was a much bigger fan of the savory spread Marmite on my sammies! Anyway, I digress…while I am not a huge fan of PB&J, I am a huge fan of macarons! When I heard national PB&J day was approaching I figured what better way to celebrate than with peanut butter and jelly macarons!
What is a macaron?
A macaron is a delicate cookie made from meringue and almond flour. These cookies are then filled with ganache, buttercream, jam or other sweet sticky concoction and then sandwiched together. Macarons may also been called French Macaroons, not to be confused with macaroons (cookies made from coconut or almonds).
Making the peanut butter and jelly macarons
Macarons can be notoriously finicky to make. There are a few key steps that you need to get just right in order for your macarons to come out perfect. The first step is to ensure your egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks, like really stiff! Under beating your egg whites can cause your macarons to be flat.
Secondly you do not want to over mix your batter. Over mixing your batter will lead to flat and crispy macarons with no ‘feet’. Similarly, you do not want to under mix your batter. This can lead to misshapen, hollow or cracked macarons. The process of mixing the macaron batter is know as ‘macaronage’ and is achieved by folding the stiff eggs whites and almond flour mixture together until the desired consistency is reached.
According to Phillip at Southern Fatty when properly mixed your batter should resemble thick lava. Another test that many people use to test the consistency of the batter is to ribbon the batter from the end of the spatula in a figure 8 motion. If you cannot complete a figure 8 in one motion your batter is still too thick. If the figure 8 disappears before you can complete a second figure 8, your batter is too thin (over mixed).
Other macaron shell tips
- Use a scale to weigh everything according to the recipe measurements. Do not use cup or volume measurements
- Use fresh egg whites from whole eggs. Do not use egg whites from a carton
- If coloring the macaron batter use gel or powder color. Avoid liquid food coloring as the water content can effect the consistency of your batter
- Let your filled macarons chill in the fridge for 24 hours before eating them. This will help the macaron shells reach the perfect consistency
There are so many great Youtube videos and blog post out there that will help you create the perfect macarons. My favorite is Southern Fatty’s Macaron’s 101. In fact, Phillips recipe is what I use for most of my macarons. He also has a GREAT printable piping template that I love.
Coloring your macaron shells
For these peanut butter and jelly macarons I used one macaron recipe and split it into two. I then colored each half of the batter purple and peanut butter brown accordingly. Once the egg whites are beat to stiff peaks, weigh the mixture and split it into two bowls of equal weights. Then add a few drops of the desired food coloring to each bowl and lightly whisk the color into the meringue being mindful not to deflate them. Next, weigh the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar mixture into two equal portions and add half to each bowl of colored meringue.
Peanut butter and jelly filling
The peanut butter filling in these macarons is from Pies and Tacos peanut butter macarons recipe. It has a cream cheese base base and holds up great for piping. For the jelly you can use your favorite store bought jelly, or if you are feeling extra adventurous you can always make your own!
Assembling the peanut butter and jelly macarons
If you plan on adding the melted peanut butter and chopped peanuts to the macaron shells do this now. You want to complete this step before you fill the macarons. Next, pipe a ring of the peanut butter mixture on one macaron shell and fill the center hole with the jelly. Place the top shell on and pop in the fridge for a few hours, but preferably overnight. Leaving the macarons in the fridge before eating them will help the shells absorb some of the filling and get that perfect chewy texture.
Looking for other sweet ways to celebrate?
Check out my national food day celebration ideas below.
Did you make these peanut butter and jelly macarons? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. And as always, we would love to see your photos on social media. Tag us @mandy.macc.bakes!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Macarons
Delicate macarons pair with creamy peanut butter and jelly for the perfect treat!
Optional Macaron Shell Toppings
Shift almond flour and powdered sugar together 2-3 times removing any large chunks after each sift. Set aside
In a large bowl whisk eggs whites with an electric or stand mixer until foamy, about 30 seconds
Add granulated sugar and cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form
Separate the stiff egg weights into two equal portions using a scale to measure
Add purple food color to one half of the egg whites and whisk lightly being careful not to deflate meringue
Add brown food color to remaining half and repeat process
Split sifted almond flour and powdered sugar into two equal parts using a scale. Add one half to each of the egg white mixtures
Fold the egg whites and almond flour mixture together until you can form a figure 8 with a consistent ribbon of batter. If you have never done this before I recommend looking up some YouTube tutorials
Pipe the batter in circles on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
Drop the pan of piped circles several times onto a flat hard surface. Then set aside for 30 minutes until the tops begin to harden
Bake at 300F for 15-16 minutes
Let cool completely on baking sheet before removing and filling
Peanut Butter Filling
Beat cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy
Add vanilla, 2 tablespoons of milk and powdered sugar and mix on low until combined
Once combined, beat on high for an additional 2 minutes. If filling is too thick add additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time
Add to piping bag for assembly
Melt peanut butter chips in the microwave until smooth. About 30-45 seconds
Add melted peanut butter chips to a piping bag and pipe small stripes over the brown macaron shells
Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the wet peanut butter and set aside to dry
Pipe a ring of the peanut butter filling onto the purple macaron shells
Add a dollop of jelly into the center of the peanut butter filling ring
Top with brown macaron shell and enjoy