roasted peach streusel macarons
It's that time of the month again—you know, the last day of the month, which means one thing... Erin and I are squeezing in our macarons for July! We say every month that next month will be the month we don't wait till the eleventh hour to get our collab baked, shot and posted but it's sorta become our tradition thus far, ha! But this time, we beat tradition and finally—I cant believe I'm saying it—got ahead with August's macaron recipe! Sneak peek was shown on our instagram stories (Mint Chocolate Chip!). TBH, we're both shocked at ourselves.
So what had been holding us up? We'd been plagued with an issue from the beginning of the summer: too many misshapen shells. For some reason, many of them came out oval or egg-shaped so we read as much as we could on this issue, watched tutorials, and analyzed every step to correct it. It wasn't until last Friday that we figured it out. Ever since the summer began heating up, we've been cursed with oval shells at my apartment, while Erin got perfectly round shells at hers. As we stood around my dining room table (where we rest them before baking) starring at, yet another, batch of ovals, we realized that the most faintest of air movement was coming from the AC units. So faint that it really would have gone unnoticed had we not been standing in silence and disbelief. We decided to make a quick second round and got a head start on our August recipe to test this theory. Behold: perfection!
We concluded that the mild draft was drying one side of the shell too fast, not allowing the batter to fully rest and extend out.
I do have to say that these roasted peach streusel macarons are now my most favorite flavor we've come up with yet. As we were planning our baking day and shooting around ideas, I found some streusel I had leftover from a recipe I'd made of Erin's, Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel Cookies, and thought it would be so delish on a macaron shell. With it being smack dab in the middle of peach season, it was a no-brainer that we landed on the idea of a peach cobbler inspired macaron!
Most of the components may be made ahead of time, which will make for a easier baking day. As always, please check out my Good to Knows where I have consolidated a bunch of tips for perfecting this recipe as well as baking macarons in general. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did creating them!
…Good to Knows…
To save space and prevent you from scrolling for hours, I've complied a section for all my macaron notes from my kitchen journal here! I'll keep this list updated and current as I discover new ideas, tricks and/or tips.
To streamline this recipe, which has many steps, make your custard, purée and streusel the day/s prior. The morning of, allow your butter and eggs to come to room-temp and prepare and bake your macaron shells. Then finish your buttercream as directed, assemble your macarons and enjoy!
Ideally you want make the German buttercream custard, roasted peach purée and streusel a few days (at least one day) in-advance. Store the custard and purée in your fridge in an airtight containers and streusel in an airtight container in a dry, cool place until you're ready to make buttercream the day of your macarons.
The streusel recipe will make more than you'll need for this recipe. You can store the remaining streusel in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It makes for the most amazing addition to yogurt, ice cream, puddings or fresh fruit with whipped cream.
If you are new to making German buttercream, here is my favorite Youtube tutorial. Please note this is not the recipe I use but it's a good guide on how to make this style of buttercream.
Erin also discovered an amazing parchment, it's seriously macaron magic paper. We haven't had any macrons stick to this paper since. Again, it's magic! You can order this a non-stick parchment paper on amazon.
Since we are in the middle of summer, please be aware that AC units create air vibrations that can affect the drying of the macaron shells. Erin and I sorted out that we were getting oval/egg shaped shells because of AC's slight draft in my apartment, which dried one side of the macaron much quicker than the other as the batter was settling. I suggest you turn off your AC if it's in proximity to your shells during the drying process.
roasted peach streusel macarons
…makes around 24 sandwich cookies…
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g white sugar
peach gel food coloring - we used 12 drops of americolor #117 'peach'
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Roasted Peach German Buttercream
255g (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) white sugar
12 (1 1/2 tbsp) corn starch
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
190ml (3/4 cups) whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste, extract, or the seeds from one vanilla bean pod
339g (1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature.
300g roasted peach pure (see recipe below)
Roasted Peach Purée
600g (4-6 medium size) fresh peaches, sliced into segments
70g (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste, extract, or the seeds from one vanilla bean pod
pinch of salt
Brown Butter Streusel
80g unsalted butter, cubed
100 Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp allspice
165g all-purpose flour
Cut four sheets of light colored parchment paper to fit your baking sheets. Draw 1.5 inch (3.81cm) circles on one sheet of your pre-cut parchment paper to be used as your template guide for piping evenly shaped macarons, spacing them at least ¾ -1 inch apart and about 2 inch from the edge of the pan.
To save you time, here is a printable template. Note: This templet is 8x11 and you will need to print two sheets and lay side by side to fit on a half sheet pan.
Scale all dry ingredients. Separate your egg whites and yolks and prepare your equipment.
Sift almond flour and confectioners’ sugar through a medium-mesh sieve and place in a bowl. Repeat this step, discarding any bits that are too big to go through the sieve. Set mixture aside.
Some people like to place the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and pulse them together before sieving. This is usually a great step if your almond flour is not finely ground or if you are making almond flour at home. I use a store-bought flour with a consistency that works great for me, so I don’t do this step but please feel free to try it out for yourself and see what’s best for you.
In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk your room-temp egg whites till bubbles start to form then beat them on high speed with the whisk attachment until they start to foam and become cloudy white. Turn down to medium speed, and gradually add granulated sugar to the egg whites until all sugar is incorporated. Turn speed back to high and beat until you start to see stiff, glossy peaks form (about 5 minutes). At this time, add your americolor gel food coloring and continue to whip the meringue on medium for a minute more, making sure you don’t over beat your meringue.
For a great guide to measuring meringue peaks and to see what is under-, perfect and over-whipped, check out Zoë François’s instagram stories @zoebakes and her website zoebakes.com. She has the most amazing how-to’s and tip tutorials. Zoë is an invaluable resource for baking!
Once your meringue reaches optimal peaks, slowly start adding your almond flour/confectioner sugar mixture. I like to add this 1/4 at a time. Start to fold the mixture into your meringue using a flat spatula. Tilt the mixing bowl to a 45 degree angle, mix the dry ingredients (1/4 at a time) into the meringue, scooping from the bottom towards you and folding everything onto itself while maintaining the body of your meringue. (Smashing through the center of the mixture will cause the meringue to deflate and we’d need to start from scratch.) Continue to add the dry ingredients with this folding method until everything is added.
At this time, start pressing and spreading the batter against the bowl’s walls. This step, which I think is the hardest to perfect and to understand, is called macaronage.
Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this process about 15-30 times.
So here is where I want to explain some things I’ve learned over the years. There are NO set times, folds or strokes. It really depends on how your batter is looking and feeling. While you are folding, pressing and spreading the batter, you want to constantly check the consistency. You are looking for something that resembles a nice lava that slowly flows off your spatula. Erin mentioned to me that as it falls off the spatula, you should be able to draw a figure 8 into the bowl without the stream breaking. The 8 in the bowl should then slowly incorporate back into itself.
Once the batter is to a thick lava consistency, you are ready to pipe your shells. Here is the youtube video I still use as reference for getting my macaronage techniques down.
Now get your prepared piping bag with a round ateco #805 tip. [Make sure to twist and seal the tip of the bag with a clothes pin so the batter doesn’t leak out.] I like to place my pastry bag into a large glass so the bag is upright and sturdy.
Pour all batter into piping bag and again twist and seal the top of the bag with a clothes pin so it’s not exposed to air.
I don’t always do this trick, but sometimes I will seal the top of the bag with a rubber band to make it a bit easier and cleaner when piping. This recipe does make a large amount of batter, so if you aren’t yet confident with holding a larger pastry bag, the rubber band will help. Or you can split this amount into two smaller bags.
It’s now time to pipe your shells. Pipe the batter onto your prepared parchment lined sheet pans fitted with your printed or drawn circle templets. Hold the pastry bag at a 90 degree angle and, with the tip very close to the parchment, pipe the batter until you’ve filled the circle. Quickly lift and twist the bag away creating a small tail to point. If your macaronage is correct, this will fall back into itself and the top will become smooth. The shells will spread just a bit. That is why having a inch of space between them is important.
Once the tray is full, carefully slide out the template and repeat on your other prepared sheet pans. After the trays are full, I like to take a small dab of batter and adhere the corners of the parchment to the sheet pan to make sure the parchment stay in in place during baking.
Firmly tap the sheet pan against the counter or a flat surface a few times. Keep the distribution of the vibrations as even as possible to prevent from deforming your circles to ovals. This step helps the shells hold their rounded shape and knock out as many air bubbles as possible.
Pointer from I Heart Macarons: As macarons bake, small pleat-like frills form at the bottom of each shell. This pleat is called a pied, or “foot”. Without it, the pastry cannot be called a macaron. Some bakers attribute the pied to the macaronage, some to the oven temperature, and some to a good tap of the sheet pan on the counter before baking.
After you have piped all your shells, and before they have formed a skin, generously sprinkle half of the shells with the brown butter streusel. These will be your top shells. If you prefer more streusel per macaron, you may sprinkle all the shells.
Preheat your oven to 300˚f/150˚c and place your rack in the center of the oven, along with an empty sheet pan. You are going to preheat this sheet pan to use as the bottom sheet pan for baking the shells. You always want to have them double tray’d to prevent the bottom of the cookies from burning. I have found that when preheating the second pan, it helps give the shells some extra lift compared to a pan at room temp.
While your oven and sheet pan are preheating, let your shells dry uncovered at room temperature for 15-45 minutes. There’s no “set in stone" time for drying. It’s going to depend on the temperature of your space, the weather and time of year.
As they dry, you are looking for thin skin to form on top like heated milk. You should be able to gently slide your finger across and leave no marks. I like to designate one or two shell as my testers in case one is still tacky and I scar the top.
Once the shells have their skin, place the sheet pan onto the preheated sheet pan and bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through baking. At the 15-minute mark, check them by lightly pressing on the shell with the back of your finger. If it’s sturdy without movement, they are done. If there’s a little movement on the pied “foot” (the ruffled bottom part), any jiggling at all, they need another minute or two. I will now set the timer at 1-minute intervals and watch them very, very closely. They can go from underdone to overdone in a matter of 60 seconds.
Maracons are a learning experience and no two bakes are the same. Sometimes I have different baking times for the same batch of shells. The key is to be alert to each of your macarons’ needs.
Once they are fully set, place sheet pans on wire racks to cool, leaving the shells on the parchment and on the pan for 15-30 minutes. When the macarons are completely cooled, very carefully remove them from parchment paper by pulling the parchment paper away from the sell. If they are still sticking to the paper, toss into freezer for a few minutes and they’ll easily release from the paper.
Roasted Peach German Buttercream
In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the whole milk and vanilla until they are just moments from simmering. (You're looking for those wisps of seam but no bubbles.) Remove milk mixture from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, whole egg, egg yolks and salt until combined.
Now continue whisking with one hand and pour just a bit (about a half cup or so) of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture so that you are tempering the eggs. You do not want to cook them - they will turn to scrambled eggs! Then, while still whisking, add half of the milk mixture and whisk until it's combined, followed by the remaining portion of milk. Once everything is combined, pour the milk/egg mixture back into the medium saucepan.
Now heat the milk/egg mixture over medium heat, again constantly whisking, until it begins to bubble. You do not want it to boil so do not look away. This thickens quickly. Once it has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon, cook for just one minute more. Remove from the heat and pour into a container or mixing bowl and press plastic wrap over the surface. This is a must so that you avoid a think skin from forming and altering the texture.
Place into the refrigerator until cold—a minimum of four hours, or for best results, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425˚f/220˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss sliced peaches with sugar, vanilla and salt and place on prepared baking sheet. Place peaches in the oven, on the lower rack, and roast for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown.
Remove peach skins and place the roasted peaches into a medium-size heat proof bowl. Smash them with a fork until you have a purée that is the consistency of apple sauce. Allow the purée to cool before adding to your buttercream. Note: You do not want to add a warm purée to your buttercream as it may cause it to curdle and/or break.
When your macaron shells are ready for filling, place your whisk attachment on your mixer. Press the cool pastry cream through a sieve in order to remove any bits of cooked egg. Add this to your mixer bowl. Slowly add the butter to the custard on medium speed until everything has been added and your buttercream looks creamy, fluffy and lump-free.
Now add the roasted peach purée to the buttercream and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large round ateco #805 tip.
Brown Butter Streusel
Preheat the oven to 350˚f/180˚c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Heat the butter, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue cooking until the butter begins to foam and starts to give off a nutty aroma. You will notice it turning a rich, deep golden brown color with little dark bits on the bottom of the pan. This is what you are looking for. Remove pan from the heat and pour the browned butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well with a rubber spatula until everything is incorporated and you have pebble to pea size pieces. You may use your hands to mix if you'd prefer.
Now spread your streusel on your prepared baking sheet and place in oven on the center rack, and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Set streusel aside to cool while you prepare your macarons.
…ASSEMBLY and SERVE…
It’s time to play match maker! Pair your shells with matching mates of equal size, then pipe a mound of roasted peach buttercream in the center. Gently top with its corresponding shell. It is best to store your finished macarons in the fridge for a few hours (for optimal results, overnight) to allow the flavors to mingle and “mature” so they develop that ideal soft interior texture with that perfect crisp exterior. Macarons may be refrigerated for about one week or frozen in the freezer for a few months in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Surface: Erickson Surfaces
Baking Pan: Vintage
Linen: Made by me!