Where can I find the original treat?
- This seasonal treat is available at Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure Park.
This past week, Disneyland released a bevy of pink and red treats in anticipation of Valentine’s Day and their after hours Sweethearts’ Nite. But what summed up this holiday the most for me (in treat form) was the oversized red and white heart macarons. And that’s what we’re making today!
It’s a giant macaron heart, with a surprise strawberry jam filled center surrounded by strawberry buttercream and decorated with tiny candy hearts. I think it would make a sweet gift for a loved one (and you bet I’m gifting myself a few of these too..).
These use the classic macaron base (with a little food coloring), store bought or homemade strawberry jam, and a Swiss meringue buttercream frosting flavored with that same strawberry jam. Using a Swiss meringue buttercream, as opposed to an American style buttercream, yields a light and slightly sweet frosting that pipes beautifully and softens quickly out of the fridge. Yes, you need to whip out a double boiler to warm your egg whites here, but American buttercream would be much too sweet alongside the jam and the cookies. Trust me, it’s worth dirtying a few extra pans.
You could freehand pipe the hearts out, however, to make it easy on you all, I’ve gone ahead and created another FREE printable sheet you can download below to make the hearts. You’ll need to print two as this recipe yields around 8 heart macarons. Or you can enlarge on your printer and make bigger cookies. That would also work!
More experienced kid bakers can help pipe out shapes, mix batters, weigh out ingredients by themselves, and younger hands can plop jam and decorate with the sprinkle hearts.
Lots of notes after the recipe as macarons can sometimes be a bit finicky, but you’ll get through this and create something awesome! Now let’s make some sweets for our sweets!Print
- Yield: 8–10 Heart Macarons 1x
Oversized heart-shaped macarons filled with strawberry Swiss buttercream and strawberry jam are a special sweet for your valentine. A Disneyland-inspired treat.
For the macarons:
- 180g (2 cups) almond flour
- 240g (2 cups) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 140g egg whites, from about 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 80g (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- red gel food coloring, like Americolor
For the filling:
- 35g egg whites, from about 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons strawberry jelly or jam, divided
For the decoration:
- mesh strainer
- pastry bags
- First sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt back and forth twice between two bowls using a mesh strainer. Alternatively you can pulse a few times in a food processor as well. Set aside.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment and place the templates underneath if using. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add in the egg white and whisk until slightly foamy about 30 seconds on medium speed. Add in the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks appear. Then slowly pour in the sugar. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer.
- Sift half of the dry mixture into the egg whites and fold until barely incorporated, about 10 turns. Repeat with remaining dry mix. Fold until batter forms a ribbon when dropped into bowl.
- Add 1/2 of the batter into a piping bag and pipe out the white heart shapes, banging the sheet pan on the counter 2 or 3 times to remove any air bubbles.
- Next add two drops of red food coloring into the batter still in the bowl. Mix until no white streaks remain. (Batter will look light red in color but will bake bright red when finished.)
- Pour the red batter into a new piping bag and cut the tip off the bag. Pipe out the red hearts, banging the sheet pan on the counter 2 or 3 times to remove any air bubbles.
- Let both sheets of hearts rest 45 minutes on the counter. Do not cover.
- Preheat your oven to 350°f. Place cookies in oven to bake, and lower the temperature to 300°f. Cook for 17-18 minutes.
- Let the macarons cool at least 20-30 minutes before filling.
For the buttercream:
- First make the Swiss strawberry buttercream frosting by whisking the egg whites, sugar, and salt together over a double boiler (or bowl set over simmering water on the stove), until temperature reaches 160°f.
- Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.
- When the bowl is cool to the touch, add the butter, one piece at a time, whipping between pieces to incorporate butter, but not fully mixing it in.
- Next, add in vanilla and strawberry jam. Whip everything on high until smooth.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe out along inside edges of the white macarons, leaving a center well to fill with the jam. *You may have leftover frosting. Storage instructions in notes below.
- Fill the wells with a small amount of jam.
- Place red hearts on top of the filled white hearts.
- Then, over a bowl, sprinkle heart decorettes on the outside of the macarons where the frosting is. Set aside and repeat until all macarons are decorated. Enjoy!
- Sifting the almond flour and powdered sugar together is necessary for the absorption of oils and to prevent clumping of batter.
- Using gel based food coloring will give a much deeper, and vibrant color, than standard food dye.
- Any left over macaron batter can be piped into smaller cookies and baked off for 15 minutes.
- Swiss buttercream heats the egg whites to 160°f to kill off any bacteria.
- Leftover buttercream can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks, brought to room temperature, and whipped before using. It can also be stored in the freezer up to 3 months.
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to one week.
Keywords: treat, Sweethearts’ Nite, heart, Valentine’s Day, macarons, strawberry