These chocolate peanut butter pretzel macarons are the best flavor combination on earth.
Hopefully you’ve checked in this week and have learned anything and everything about making French macarons at home. If not, here is my lengthy post on the subject: The Ultimate French Macaron Guide.
With their delicate texture, slightly crunchy exterior, and nougat-like chew, French macarons are a blank canvas for a variety of flavors. You can flavor the macaron batter, as I explain in the post linked above– or you can sandwich a flavored frosting, jam, spread, etc between two baked macaron shells. The options are endless!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Macarons
This recipe starts with my basic chocolate macaron recipe. Make sure you use a good quality cocoa powder; you can use either natural or Dutch-processed, just PLEASE make sure it's the good stuff. The better the quality, the more rich the chocolate flavor will be! I like to use Valrhona or King Arthur Flour brand.
Sandwiched between the chocolate macaron shells? Peanut butter frosting, of course. Creamy, nutty, luxurious peanut butter goodness. And then they're topped off with a drizzle of chocolate and crushed pretzels for good measure. The entire macaron, the delicate pretzel-covered chocolate shells and creamy peanut butter filling, will just melt in your mouth.
Tips to Make the Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Macarons:
- An extensive list of macaron tips can be found at the bottom of my Ultimate French Macaron Guide. (Click 'jump to recipe' and scroll up)
- Double up on sheet pans when baking. Preheat an empty sheet pan in the oven; once your macarons are ready to bake, place the pan with the rested macaron shells on top of the preheated pan in the oven. This helps keep the distribution of heat even and can help prevent hollow shells.
- Use a commercial brand peanut butter such as Skippy or Jif in the frosting. Avoid natural, oily, or homemade peanut butters as the consistency will cause this frosting to separate and curdle.
I hope you enjoy these chocolate peanut butter pretzel macarons just as much as I do. Which is, like, A LOT.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Macarons
- 120 grams egg whites (approx. 4 large eggs)
- 120 grams granulated sugar
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 130 grams almond flour
- 15 grams cocoa powder
For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 55 g unsalted butter softened
- 180 g powdered sugar
- 45 g heavy cream
- 65 g creamy peanut butter
For the Garnish:
- 85 g dark chocolate (70% cacao), melted
- 20 g crushed pretzels
- Make the macarons: In a medium bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Continue to beat until your whisk begins leaving visible trails in the foamy egg whites.
- Once you can see trails, gradually add the granulated sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue forms stiff peaks. (Be sure not to over-whip your egg whites otherwise you risk drying them out.)
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the meringue, and fold with a rubber spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward then press the flat side of your spatula through the middle against the side of the bowl. (The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold.) Continue folding until the batter gets to a lava-like consistency. Pro Tip: The figure 8 test is a great way to check your batter’s consistency; pick up the batter with your spatula and let it flow down into the bowl while drawing the figure “8”. If it can do that without the batter breaking, immediately stop folding.
- Transfer the batter into a large pastry bag with a medium-sized round tip, such as a Wilton 2A plain round tip.
- Holding the piping bag at a 90 ̊ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Feel free to print out a macaron template if you’re worried about size/uniformity).
- Holding the baking sheet with both hands, carefully bang the sheet 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 your macaron shells.)
- Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all the batter (usually about three sheet pans worth.)
- Let the macarons rest and dry for 30 minutes or until a skin has developed; on a humid day, it might take an hour or more. To see if they're ready to be baked, lightly touch one. If the batter doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s ready. (Don’t forget to remove the macaron templates, if using, before baking!)
- While the macarons are resting, preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C) and position the oven rack in the center of the oven with an empty sheet pan preheating inside.
- Bake the macarons on top of the preheated sheet pan one tray at a time for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through the cooking process.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and cooling completely on a wire rack. (If the bottoms are a tiny bit sticky, keep them on the tray to cool off for an additional 10-15 minutes. If, however, the bottoms are already brown, they peel off cleanly, or they appear over-baked, then carefully take them off the tray immediately to cool down.) Repeat the baking process with the remaining sheet pans.Pro Tip: It’s always better to over- rather than under-bake your macarons as the maturation process can typically salvage ones that are over-baked.
- Make the peanut butter frosting: Beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and peanut butter and beat until well combined. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more milk if the mixture is too thick. Add salt if the frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon).
- Transfer the peanut butter frosting into a pastry bag. Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size and then fill the macarons, gently sandwiching together.
- Drizzle the filled macarons with the melted chocolate and then immediately sprinkle with crushed pretzels. Store the filled macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and bring back to room temperature before enjoying.
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