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Apricot Macarons with Mascarpone Filling

apricot macarons

To be honest, I didn’t really care for macarons the first time I tried them. I can’t even remember where or when it was, but I just remember that the macaron was dry, hard, and tasted bland. So when I went to Paris for the first time, getting a macaron wasn’t the first thing on my to-do list. Actually, it wasn’t even on the to-do list. Yes, I wanted to visit the famous Ladurée pastry shop, but more for the cream puffs and tarts than the macarons. So, I passed on eating macarons for a long time. Until one day, when I was living in New York, my roommate came back from the Ladurée shop that had just opened up in the Upper East Side, bearing a caramel macaron that she had bought for me. I kindly accepted and thought, what the heck, might as well try it. Suddenly, I understood what the entire craze over macarons had been. This macaron was chewy, light, and filled with delicious caramel flavor. It had that inexplicable macaron texture; you know, the one where you bite into the cookie and it sort of sticks to your teeth because it’s so chewy. 

apricot macarons

apricot macarons

After that experience, I tried macarons from all sorts of shops in both the U.S. and Paris, and what I learned is that, while macarons are incredibly popular, not all macarons are created equal. I guess I was somewhat in the right by being turned off by them because, to be fair, which macaron you try can make a big difference in what your first impression of them may be. Macarons are also incredibly expensive here in the States (and in some Paris shops too). The most foolproof way of enjoying a macaron, keeping both taste and cost in mind, is to make them yourself. Making macarons can be a daunting task, especially because it requires exact precision in weighing your ingredients and the actual technique used. As a pastry instructor, it’s one of my favorite classes to teach because it’s such a visual process. Photographing, and evening videotaping, the process never quite demonstrates the exact stiffness of the egg whites or the velvety, ribbon-like flow of the batter the way teaching it in person does. Macaronage, or the act of mixing the dry ingredients with the egg whites, is such a delicate act and is done by feeling and eyeing the batter. Over mix the batter, and you’ll get pancake macarons that may never grow their “feet” (the ruffled edges on the bottom of the shells), and under mix the batter, and your macarons may never even themselves out into the flat, smooth looking shells they’re known to be.

apricot macarons apricot macarons apricot macarons

These macarons are made with a basic macaron recipe, which can be tweaked to reflect whatever color you desire your macarons to be. I added a small drop of red dye to give them a slightly pinkish/peach appearance, as I wanted them to match their apricot mascarpone filling. Classic macaron fillings tends to be some kind of jam, ganache, or buttercream. I wanted to make the filling a little bit more decadent by adding some mascarpone cheese to my apricot buttercream mixture. The cheese gives an extra creaminess to the filling, subduing the overt sweetness that can sometimes arise with a buttercream filling. They also say that macarons are better after they’ve been refrigerated for a day, which is entirely true. It makes the macarons chewier, and in this case, it also made the filling that much more creamy. You normally might bite into a macaron and feel the chewy texture of the shells and taste the slightest hint of buttercream as it quickly dissolves in your mouth. With these mascarpone filled macarons, the taste of the filling is preserved in your mouth just a second or two longer as the creaminess of the cheese is slower to dissolve than simple buttercream. The apricot preserves also add a slight fruity essence to the filling, adding depth of flavor to the sugar-based cookie. I tried to be as detailed in the recipe notes as I could to help you create your macarons at home, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask below or send me an email. You can also always join one of my classes if you’re ever in my area! 

apricot macarons copy apricot macarons 6 copy apricot macarons

Apricot Macarons with Mascarpone Filling
Yields 16
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for the macaron shells
  1. 90 g almond meal or almond flour
  2. 175 g powdered sugar
  3. 45 g granulated sugar
  4. 3 egg whites
  5. 1 drop of red food dye, or powdered dye (powder is better)
  6. gold sprinkles (optional)
for the mascarpone filling
  1. 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 4 oz mascarpone cheese
  3. 1/3 c powdered sugar
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp apricot preserves
  1. Begin by adding your almond meal and powdered sugar to a food processor. Pulse for 10 to 15 seconds, until the two are combined well. Pour the mixture through a flour sifter to break up any clumps and catch any unwanted scraps from the almond meal; set aside.
  2. In a large stainless steel bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk your egg whites on high speed until they lose their yellow tint and become extremely frothy.
  3. Gradually add the granulated sugar in and continue mixing on high speed. Once the egg whites have obtained soft peaks (meaning when you lift the whisk in the air, the egg whites tips easily curl downward), add in the drop of dye if using liquid dye. Continue whisking until the egg whites have obtained stiff peaks. You want to keep checking on the egg whites during this entire process so that you don’t overmix them. They should still have a slightly glossy appearance, but they should look much stiffer than they did at the soft peak stage; only the very, very tips of the egg whites should slightly curl. You should also be able to hold the bowl at a slight angle and not having any of the egg whites moving around.
  4. Now, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites. This will help loosen up the batter. Again repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, gently folding them in.
  5. Now, add the remaining dry ingredients and very, very delicately fold them into the batter. You want to end up with batter than falls off your spatula slowly and evenly, dropping into the bowl in a ribbon-like manner. If it’s falling way off way too slowly in clumps, continuing folding a few more times and check again.
  6. Line a baking sheet with a macaron-stenciled silicone mat, or a piece of parchment paper. Place a large pastry bag fitted with a plain tip into a large, tall glass. Then, fill the pastry bag with your macaron batter. The batter will probably be oozing out of the tip so just work quickly to transfer the bag from the glass to your baking sheet. Pipe 1 inch wide blots of batter; after 15 seconds, the batter should smooth out and become closer to 1 1/2 inch wide rounds. Space the macarons about 3/4” apart. If you’re using a macaron-specific mat, then simply fill in the stenciled circles just until you’ve almost filled the entire circle, leaving room for them to even out.
  7. Give the baking mat a gentle tap or two to pop any air bubbles. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Then, let the macarons rest on the mat for about 15 minutes or so, until they’ve slightly dried in appearance. Then, very gently drop a tiny pinch of gold sprinkles in the center of half of the macaron shells. Let the macarons rest for another 5 minutes, then place in the oven to bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 285°F and continue baking for another 7 minutes.
  8. Let the macarons cool on the sheet. While the macarons cool, create your filling. Beat the butter and mascarpone on medium speed until they’re combined and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar and apricot preserves and mix until combined.
  9. Once the macarons are cool, fill a ziplock bag or pastry bag with the filling. Make a small cut on one of the tips of the ziplock bag (if using), and pipe the filling onto the bottoms of the macaron shells that don’t have sprinkles. Take a macaron shell (with sprinkles) that matches in size and gently press down onto the filling to create a sandwich. Place in airtight container and refrigerate overnight for best results.
  1. You might end up with a few cracked shells, and this will most likely be due to pesky air bubbles, so don’t fret!
Adapted from Oh So Very Pretty
Adapted from Oh So Very Pretty
Mon Petit Four
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  • Reply A Taste of Madness

    I have only tried macarons once, and I agree, I didn’t really like it. I guess I just didn’t try a really good one.
    These, on the other hand, look so good!

    July 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks so much! Yes, it totally depends which one you try! 🙂 XO

      July 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply Marissa

    Confession: I’ve never had a Macaron that answered what the fuss was all about. But looking at what you’ve made here – absolutely perfection – I’m inspired to try them at home with your recipe.

    July 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thank you, Marissa! Don’t get me wrong; a great macaron is as good as a great chocolate chip cookie, so I don’t know if the fuss over macarons is well-deserved, but these are definitely delicious macarons so I hope you get a chance to try at home! 🙂

      July 5, 2015 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Dan from Platter Talk

    Incredible post here! Informative, beautiful and just delicious. These macaroons can make a believer out of anyone, Beeta. Thank you for doing this post because now I want to try making these; they look just lovely and perfect!

    July 2, 2015 at 7:57 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks Dan! I’m sure you’d come up with an inventive twist for these that would just be drool worthy! <3

      July 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm
  • Reply Shinee

    Oh my gosh, you’re so right. Not all macarons taste the same! I just recently had a macaron from fairly fancy place in Mongolia, and I was quite disappointed after the first bite. It was completely hollow inside! Yours look absolutely perfect, and the apricot mascarpone filling sounds to die for! So summer-y!!! 🙂

    July 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thank you, Shinee! I feel your pain…some macarons just aren’t done justice! :p

      July 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm
  • Reply Jessica Holmes

    These look magical Beeta! I totally agree with you, macarons can be hard to master and I too have had ones that have been on the bland side of things. Then I went to a chocolatier in Vancouver, had a salted caramel one, and suddenly heard the angels singing. It was a food moment to remember. I have tried a couple of times but haven’t quite mastered them at home – I wonder if its because I live in quite a warm climate. But I think I will try again with your recipe!

    July 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Mmm, salted caramel! That sounds like a flavor I MUST make! Thanks, Jess<3

      July 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Adam J. Holland

    My limited experiences with macarons are very much like your (early) experiences. I need to come take a class, because I can assure you that my little town in Longview, Texas isn’t offering up anything this divine. Impressive, Beeta.

    July 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks so much, Adam! I’d love to have you in class XO

      July 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Aysegul Sanford

    I have always been intimidated about macaroons. Like big time.. But then I took a class and realized that it is not that hard. Since the class I have yet to try at home, because I am worried about the humid climate here in the Caribbean. But I intend to give it a try some time very soon.
    I wish I was living close to where you are to take one of your classes. These macaroons look gorgeous. I love the idea of adding mascarpone into the filling. I can only imagine how tasty these must be. Well done, my friend.

    July 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Aw thanks so much, Aysegul! Humidity can be such a pain to deal with when you’re trying to make macarons. I’ve learned that it will take the egg whites longer to turn into the stiff peaks you want, and it will take longer for the piped macaron batter to get that dry looking appearance before baking, so I think lots of patience is key when you’re dealing with humidity. One thing you might want to try is placing your piped macaron batter in the oven (turned off, of course) to dry there…it’s a draft-free place that might help protect the batter against some of the humidity in the air. Anyways, I’m sure your macarons will taste perfect as you’re such a lovely baker yourself! XO

      July 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm
  • Reply Kelley @ Chef Savvy

    These look wonderful! I have never tried making macarons at home but it seems like it is the only way to go. I can’t wait to try out your recipe!

    July 3, 2015 at 8:12 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks so much, Kelley! It’s definitely the way to go when you’re living in the States. Plus, lots of customization options! 😉 XO

      July 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm
  • Reply Amanda Desire

    These are just gorgeous! I have had a few bad macarons in my life, so I can understand how you may not have really been interested in them for a while. I can never get mine just right, so I will have to try out your recipe because honestly, they look perfect and I love the flavors here. I am so glad you used mascarpone here.

    July 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thank you, Amanda! I hope you give them a try again; let me know if you do! XO

      July 5, 2015 at 7:13 pm
  • Reply Harriet Emily

    Oh my Beeta!!!!!!!! I love Macarons. Fortunately, I’ve only ever tried nice ones – but I haven’t eaten them too many times so I must have been lucky. One of my favourite ones is a raspberry macaron with a dark chocolate ganache filling – so tasty (it was like $9/10 for one but so worth it lol, and it was huge). It’s definitely the chewiness I like best too, and the way it eventually just melts away in your mouth. Mmmm!! Now these look perfect, and I would definitely pay a lot if I could buy one! Apricot is one of my favourite flavours, and it’s always been my go to choice if I’m ever eating jam. There’s definitely something special about them – they’re such a versatile fruit. Especially dried ones – even non-sulphur ones taste incredibly different to sulphur ones, it’s crazy! Anyway, back to the recipe. These look absolutely delightful. I love them – pinned!

    July 4, 2015 at 9:54 am
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks so much, Harriet! Mmm, the melting part is the best. Raspberry with dark chocolate sounds absolutely perfect! Thanks for your sweet words and pinning! <3

      July 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm
  • Reply Cailee

    Oh wow! These look amazing! So delicate and delicious! I just adore macaroons! 🙂 …great recipe and beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing!

    July 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thank you, Cailee! You also have a beautiful blog (and you’re beautiful yourself too)! <3

      July 6, 2015 at 2:56 am
  • Reply Kelly - Life Made Sweeter

    Oh my, these macarons are just beautiful, Beeta! The color is so so pretty and I love the apricot and mascarpone filling!

    July 6, 2015 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thanks so much, Kelly! <3

      July 7, 2015 at 3:44 am
  • Reply Louise | Cygnet Kitchen

    They are so perfect, I bet they taste as amazing as they look. I always buy macarons from Ladurée, I can’t resist those pastel coloured boxes filled with every flavour. My one and only attempt at making them myself was a decidedly sticky and frustrating experience. I think you are right, nothing beats watching someone who knows how to make them. Please send me some! x

    July 6, 2015 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Ladurée always has the most gorgeous macarons! <3 Macarons can definitely be frustrating. But you’re such a wonderful baker that I have no doubt that you’ll get them down and create stunning ones! Thanks for your kind words; I would send you macarons in a heartbeat if I lived on the same continent! :p

      July 7, 2015 at 3:46 am
  • Reply Sam @ SugarSpunRun

    I’m so jealous of these absolutely perfect, exquisite macarons and wish I lived close enough to take one of your classes! I recently began trying my hand at making them and have had a growing handful of not-quite-right results, but hopefully I’ll get there! These are truly so impressive and beautiful!

    July 7, 2015 at 1:45 am
    • Reply Beeta @ Mon Petit Four

      Thank you so much, Sam! Macarons take some practice to get right, but once you do, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for. I have no doubt you’ll get them just perfect! XO

      July 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

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