strawberries & cream macarons

June 6, 2013

in Macarons

Once you begin making macarons, the sandwich cookies quickly become addictive. After a successful first round (see my tips here), I decided to try a flavored version. Freeze dried strawberries (available at Trader Joe’s or online) give the shells an intense strawberry essence without changing the final texture.

Strawberries & Cream Macarons | Tutti Dolci

To balance the sweet strawberry cookies, I used tangy cream cheese frosting as the filling. I gave a few of the macs a quick roll in pearlized sprinkles to complete the dreamy look (though I’m certain the French would frown on my adornment!). Embellished or not, each bite offers the ultimate taste of strawberries and cream.

Strawberries & Cream Macarons | Tutti Dolci

Strawberries & Cream Macarons | Tutti Dolci

Strawberries & Cream Macarons
Adapted from Brave Tart
3/4 ounce freeze dried strawberries
115g almond flour
230g powdered sugar
144g egg whites, at room temperature
72g sugar
2g (1/2 tsp) salt
1 or 2 drops burgundy gel food coloring (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 280°F and fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a third sheet of parchment paper, trace out 24 1.5-inch circles (use a round cookie cutter or stencil as a guide), spaced 1 inch apart. Set aside as a master guide.

Process freeze dried strawberries and almond flour in a food processor until finely ground. Use a fine mesh sieve or sifter to sift strawberry-almond flour mixture and powdered sugar together twice; use a firm spatula to push any large particles through. Set aside.

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Whip for 3 minutes on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid), until egg whites begin to foam. Increase speed to medium-high (7 on a KitchenAid) and whip for 3 minutes, until meringue forms soft peaks. Increase speed to 8 and whip for another 3 minutes. Turn off mixer and add gel food coloring; whip another 1 to 2 minutes on high speed to evenly distribute color until meringue is stiff and dry. The meringue should clump in the center of the wire whip attachment; knock against mixer bowl to release.

Add dry ingredients to meringue all at once. Use a rubber spatula to fold dry mixture into meringue, smearing the mixture against the side of the bowl to knock the air out (you want to deflate the whites, so don’t worry about folding them gently). After 25 folds, your mixture may still look lumpy. Continue to fold about 10 to 12 more times, checking texture after each fold. The batter is ready when it holds its shape when spooned onto itself and slowly flattens out after 15 to 20 seconds. If the batter is stiff and doesn’t flatten out, it’s undermixed. If the batter is runny and fluid, it’s overmixed and won’t hold a shape.

Transfer half the batter to pastry bag. Slide master guide of circles between baking sheet and parchment paper. Hold piping bag vertically and pipe batter to within 1/8″ from the edge of the circle. Carefully remove master guide from underneath piped circles and transfer to second baking sheet, repeating with remaining batter. Remove guide and save for future use. Tap pans sharply on counter; rotate 90 degrees and tap two more times (to deflate air bubbles and prevent cracked shells).

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from the macaron. Place pans on wire racks and cool completely before removing shells. For the cream cheese frosting, beat butter, cream cheese and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time and beat just until smooth.

When ready to assemble, fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip and fill with frosting. Pipe about a tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of half the shells, then sandwich with remaining shells. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Yield – 64 shells, 32 macarons
Calories – 104 (per macaron)
Carbs – 15

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44 Comments

1 The Café Sucre Farine June 6, 2013

Did I ever tell you that you’re one of my favorite bakers Laura? These macarons are amazing, certainly they should be on the menu in heaven!

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2 Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen June 6, 2013

Gorgeous Strawberries & Cream Macarons and photography, Laura! Innovative styling making use of the crystal ring holder, too! Very dreamy with the sprinkles, like you mentioned. LOVE IT! (Who cares what the French think, right?) Oh, freeze-dried strawberries are a baker’s secret weapon. Plus, they’re just great to munch on. (I get mine from Whole Foods and am using them in a recipe coming soon to the blog.) BRAVO! xo

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3 Sue/the view from great island June 6, 2013

That pale powder puff pink is irresistible, and your photos are stunning, Laura!

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4 Valerie June 6, 2013

Two successful macaron recipes in a row! Congrats!! Beautiful colours + delicious flavor combination – strawberries and cream cheese are a dreamy pair. :)

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5 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet June 6, 2013

So gorgeous! Beautiful macarons, Laura!

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6 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today June 6, 2013

OMG, once again – amazing. Macaroons are so dreamy and on your pictures they look like a dream. I checked your tips and hope it will help in my first attempt.

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7 Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) June 6, 2013

These are just soooo gorgeous! I would love these at a girl’s birthday party. Darling!

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8 Liren June 6, 2013

Brilliant use of those freeze dried strawberries (which I inhale out of the bag, shh). These are sooo pretty, Laura :)

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9 Tiffany | baking at tiffanys June 6, 2013

These look beautiful! The sprinkles are cute :)

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10 Carol | a cup of mascarpone June 6, 2013

These macarons and photos are beautiful, Laura!

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11 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough June 6, 2013

So, so pretty! Almost too pretty to eat! Almost ;)

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12 dixya| food, pleasure, and health June 6, 2013

so prettty :)

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13 Deb June 6, 2013

How irresistible! I have been experimenting with TJ’s freeze dried fruit but my strawberry creations lack the iridescent luster of your little beauties! A lovely post Laura!

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14 Grubarazzi June 6, 2013

Gorgeous!

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15 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom June 6, 2013

Wow! These are so perfect and beautiful!! I hope one day to conquer macarons!! LOVE!

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16 Maria@PinkPatisserie June 6, 2013

So lovely! I am more than a bit partial to pink, I have to say. These look so lovely, delicate and light. I bet those strawberries give it a really beautiful flavor!

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17 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 6, 2013

I love the use of the white sprinkles Laura! It would give the soft macarons a really nice crunchy texture! :D

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18 Laura @ Family Spice June 6, 2013

How beautiful! Pink always reminds me of my little girl. She has brought so much pink to our house and she would love these cookies because of their rosy color!! Love the idea of using pulverized freeze dried strawberries! Genius!

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19 Suzanne June 6, 2013

These are so pretty and pink is my favorite color. Looks like you may have the macaroon bug, well I’m sure your family won’t mind a bit!

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20 Kate@Diethood June 6, 2013

WOW! I loooove that color! These are gorgeous, Laura! Beautiful job! I, too, love baking macarons… and eating them! :-D

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21 Lail | With A Spin June 6, 2013

Gorgeous! Love that pink.

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22 Rosa June 6, 2013

Beautiful macarons! So perfect.

Cheers,

Rosa

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23 Lan | morestomach June 7, 2013

these are so flipping adorable. i’ve only ever made macarons once and i failed. your pictures make me want to attempt it again!

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24 Patty June 7, 2013

Beautiful macarons Laura! Love the freeze dried strawberries mixed in with the almond flour-truly inspired ;-)

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25 Liz June 7, 2013

Oh, Laura, you’ve outdone yourself with these picture perfect macarons! I showed them to my kids (it’s been YEARS since I’ve made any)and they demanded a chocolate version! Wish me luck!

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26 tanja@tanjascookingcorner June 7, 2013

Absolutely gorgeous macarons, Laura! Too pretty to be eaten :-)

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27 Karen (Back Road Journal) June 7, 2013

How lovely…I love the little sprinkles on the edges.

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28 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) June 7, 2013

Great tip on the freeze dried strawberries–these macarons are so gorgeous, Laura. I came close to giving them a try last week. Getting closer–your beautiful creations are really inspiring me! :)

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29 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious June 7, 2013

Whoa, these macarons look like perfection!

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30 Mercedes June 8, 2013

These are so gorgeous Laura! What a great idea to use freeze-dried strawberries so that it does not affect the texture of the shells!

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31 Charles June 8, 2013

I can’t get over how perfect those macarons are Laura – so well made, and fantastic flavouring too! Yum!

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32 suzanne Perazzini June 8, 2013

I so love coming in here to see your photos. Those pink macaroons are to die for. I have been watching different cooking programs on TV lately and they make such inventive macaroons. Maybe one day I will try though they do seem very tricky.

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33 Kankana June 8, 2013

I am yet to get any success at all with these cuties. Yours looks super pretty and the airy light works beautifully here.

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34 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings June 8, 2013

Ooooh, interesting…with the freeze-dried strawberries! What a great idea! I wouldn’t know what to do with free-dried fruits – hehe. Just have to say it again…I learned how to make my first macarons from The Brave Tart’s recipe! In fact, that’s the only recipe I know how to make because I never found a reason to deviate from it! It IS that reliable!

Anyway, perfect macarons, Laura! I think you should start selling these! I am not kidding!

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35 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme June 8, 2013

Laura, these are absolutely stunning! Such a perfect flavor for summer!

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36 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 9, 2013

Absolutely stunning, Laura!! Must try macarons soon!

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37 Terra June 9, 2013

These are the prettiest macs I have ever seen! I love the idea of creating a gorgeous strawberry flavor macaron:-) Your pics are just beautiful! Hugs, Terra

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38 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} June 9, 2013

Laura – these are some of the MOST beautiful macarons I have seen. You have a perfect pink color and the candy sprinkles add that royal touch. Beautiful!!!!

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39 Dina June 9, 2013

these look great. i love the sprinkles!

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40 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 10, 2013

How beautiful! those sprinkly things are clever

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41 Averie @ Averie Cooks June 11, 2013

So beautiful!!! Pinned! :) I need to try to make macarons one day! Yours are are a work of art!

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42 angela @ another bite please June 11, 2013

i love these photos…that color pink is so pretty…and i am sure the cookies are pretty tasty too :-)

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43 Nami | Just One Cookbook June 13, 2013

Sorry I’ve been a bit behind on your blog. I’ve seen your pictures on pinterest and they all look absolutely amazing! You are already master (how do you call for female master?) of macarons, Laura! Do you think I can suddenly jump on to make macarons? You know my baking skills… not sure if I have even basic baking skills (knowledge and everything) but your macarons really seduce me!

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