There’s something so special about macarons. They are the cutest little cookies that are so delicious and always impress everyone. Now take a regular macaron, and make it a pistachio macaron – I’m in X 10000.
How to Make Pistachio Macarons
I will start by saying that macarons aren’t the easiest things to bake. They take practice and patience. But once you’ve got the basic techniques down, the flavor possibilities are endless. If you’ve never made macarons before, I would recommend visiting Erin from Cloudy Kitchen’s post on making them. She has so many good tips that will help you be successful! Then, once you’ve mastered the basic techniques you can start going crazy with flavors!
Make the Macaron Shells
I decided to keep the shells simple, they’re just vanilla flavored. The pistachio flavor comes in with the filling. To make the shells, first measure out all of your ingredients. I always recommend doing this because it just makes baking so much more enjoyable to have everything ready to go.
In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and 82 g of egg whites. The mixture will be thick and paste-like, but just keep folding it together until it’s all combined. Set aside.
*Most macaron recipes will suggest using aged egg whites (meaning you’ve separated the eggs and then let them sit in the fridge for multiple days) I really don’t find this to be necessary, and have been able to get great results when using eggs straight from the fridge.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the water and granulated sugar. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the heat and stir occasionally. While the sugar syrup is heating up, add the remaining 90g of egg whites and a pinch of sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Once the sugar syrup has reached 200 degrees F, turn on the mixer to medium speed to begin whipping the egg whites.
Continue to whip the egg whites until you have glossy soft peaks. By this time, the sugar syrup should be about the right temperature. When it reaches 248 degrees F, remove it from the heat. With the mixer on medium low, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl and into the egg whites. Once it’s all incorporated, add the vanilla extract and any food coloring you want, and turn the mixer up to medium high (I set it to 8-9) and whip until you get stiff peaks. To get this pistachio macaron color, I used 3 drops of Americolor Olive.
Now, add the egg white meringue to the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time. Fold to combine between each addition. Once it is all incorporated, continue to fold the batter together until you get a ribbon-like texture. This means that when you pick up some of the batter with your spatula, it should fall off in a continuous ribbon, and not break and fall back into the batter in clumps. Once the batter is ribbon-like, we’re ready to pipe these babies onto sheet pans. Fit a piping bag with a small round tip, and fill with batter.
This recipe will make roughly 80 macaron shells. (40 assembled pistachio macarons) If you don’t have enough sheet pans to pipe this many at a time, it’s totally okay, you can do it in batches and the batter will be just fine sitting in the piping bag while the other cookies bake. I like to use a silicone macaron mat. It just helps each cookie be completely uniform. However, you can totally just use parchment and eyeball it, then match up the baked cookies based on size and shape.
Pipe the macarons onto the baking sheets and then let them rest for 30 min to an hour. This is important for getting those cute little feet. The shells should feel dried, and not stick to your finger when you lightly touch them. While you let them rest, preheat the oven to 320 degrees and prepare the pistachio buttercream.
Make the Pistachio Buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 7-10 minutes. The butter should be soft, creamy, and lightened in color. Add the vanilla extract, mix to combine. I didn’t add any extra salt because the pistachio butter I used is salted.
Add the powdered sugar 1/2 at a time, mixing for 3 minutes after both additions. Add in the pistachio butter and mix to combine. Add in the cream, 1 TBSP at a time, until you reach your desired consistency, then fill a piping bag with the buttercream. I used a plain round tip for these, but you can use any tip you’d like!
Baking and Filling the Pistachio Macarons
Once the shells have rested, bake them at 320 for 17 minutes. Note that every oven is different and you might have to experiment with the bake time slightly, but this is what works for me and my oven. The shells are done baking when you touch the top and they have little to no give or wobble. There should be no browned edges.
Once baked, let them cool completely on the baking sheet, then remove, and fill with buttercream. When filling, pipe the buttercream almost to the edge, then when you press the other half of the cookie on, the buttercream will reach perfectly to the edges without oozing out. I also drizzled about half of these with some melted dark chocolate and crushed pistachios.Print
Classic almond and vanilla macaron shells, filled with salty pistachio American Buttercream, and drizzled with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios.
For the Macaron Shells
- 212 g Almond Meal
- 212 g Powdered Sugar
- 172 g Egg Whites (separated into 82 g and 90 g)
- 235 g Granulated Sugar (plus a pinch)
- 158 g Water
For the Pistachio Buttercream
- 1/2 C (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 2 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 TBSP Pistachio Butter
- 2–4 TBSP Heavy Cream, at room temperature
For the Macaron Shells
- In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and 82 g of egg whites. Will be thick and paste-like. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine water and granulated sugar.
- Heat over medium, stirring occasionally and use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add 90 g of egg whites and a pinch of sugar.
- Once the sugar syrup has reached 200 degrees F, begin whipping the eggs in the mixer on medium speed. Whip until soft peaks.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove from heat.
- With mixer on low, slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Keep mixing until combined, them turn the mixer up to high and whip until stiff peaks. Add vanilla and any food coloring you’d like to use.
- Add the whipped egg whites to the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time, folding to combine with each addition.
- Once combined, continue to fold until you reach a ribbon-like consistency.
- Fit a piping bag with a small round tip and fill with macaron batter.
- Prepare baking sheets with silicone macaron mat or parchment paper.
- Pipe macarons onto baking sheet and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour.
- Bake at 320 for 17 minutes on silicone mat. (If using parchment paper, they will bake faster, about 13-14 minutes)
- Allow to cool completely, then remove from sheets.
For Pistachio Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter alone for 7-10 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract, mix to combine.
- Add the powdered sugar 1/2 at a time, mixing for 3 minutes after both additions.
- Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add the pistachio butter, mix to incorporate.
- Add the heavy cream, 1 TBSP at a time until you reach the consistency you like.
- Fill a piping bag with buttercream, and them pipe the buttercream onto half of the macaron shells.
- Press matching shells together.
- Optional: Drizzle with dark chocolate and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
Keywords: macarons, pistachio macarons, italian method macarons
Yay for tackling tricky, but worth it macarons! Be sure to check out my recipe for Triple Chocolate Macarons here!