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Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons Recipe & Video

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French Macarons come in a rainbow of colors and flavors. They are all made with two almond flavored meringue cookies sandwiched together with a filling. Typically you color the meringue cookies to match the flavor of the filling. Since we are making Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons, I like to color the meringue a deep shade of pink. The filling really does taste like Strawberry Cheesecake and the intense strawberry flavor and pretty pink color of the filling comes from finely ground freeze dried strawberries

So a few notes on making these Macarons. There is a detailed headnote (here) with information on ingredients and technique that you may want to read if this is the first time you're making Macarons. I also recommend you watch the video. For coloring the meringue a bright pink color, my preference is to use a red colored soft gel paste (available on amazon). Always color your meringue a little brighter than you want the cookies to be because the color will fade during baking.

This Strawberry Cheesecake Filling is so good. The strawberry flavor comes from freeze dried strawberries which we process to a fine powder. I just love the concentrated flavor of freeze dried Strawberries and how they color the filling a pretty pink. The added bonus of using freeze dried strawberries is that, unlike a strawberry sauce or even a strawberry jam, it doesn't make our filling soft. There are many brands of freeze dried strawberries and you should be able to find them in most grocery stores or on line. I used Trader Joe's freeze dried strawberries.

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Macarons: Have ready three baking sheets lined with parchment paper. To make all the Macarons the same size, I like to make a template. Take a piece of parchment paper and draw 24 - 1 1/2 inch (3.75 cm) circles, spacing the circles about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (See video for demonstration). Place the template under your parchment paper so you can use it as a guide.

Next, place the ground almonds, confectioners sugar, and freeze dried strawberries in your food processor and process until finely ground (about 1 minute). Sift the mixture to remove any lumps.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (can use a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, on medium low speed, just until soft peaks form. Gradually add the superfine white sugar, and beat, on high speed, until the meringue holds a stiff peak (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue is straight up, no drooping). Beat in the red food coloring. Then, in three additions, fold the ground almond/sugar mixture into the meringue. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. (See video for demonstration.) Once the almond mixture is completely folded into the meringue (the batter will fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon) it is time to pipe the Macarons.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with 1/2 inch (1 cm) (Wilton 1A) plain tip, with the batter. Pipe rounds onto the parchment paper, using the template as a guide. Gently remove the template. Then tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles (can also break air bubbles with the end of a toothpick). Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen) or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degree F (160 degree C).

Bake the cookies (one sheet at a time) for about 13 - 15 minutes, rotating the pan front to back, about halfway through baking. The Macarons are done when you can just barely separate the cookies from the parchment paper. (If you find that the bottoms of the cookies brown too much, double sheet your baking pans.) Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet that is placed on a wire rack.

Strawberry Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of your food processor, place the freeze dried strawberries and confectioners sugar. Process until finely ground. Then, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar mixture and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the very soft cream cheese in three additions (scraping the bowl after each addition), beating until incorporated and the frosting is nice and smooth. Place in a piping bag fitted with a 1/4 inch (.5 cm) plain tip (I used a Wilton #12). To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with your filling (place filling on flat side of cookie). While you can serve the Macarons the day they are made, these cookies are best when allowed to 'mature' for at least a day in the refrigerator. Can be stored for about 5 days in the refrigerator or they can be frozen for about one month. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes about 30 Macarons.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons:

100 grams (1 cup) ground blanched almonds

180 grams (1 1/2 cups) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1 teaspoon (1 gram) freeze dried Strawberries (I used Trader Joe's) (optional)

100 grams "aged" egg whites (about 4 large), at room temperature (Separate eggs at least 24 hours before using (or up to five days).) Cover the egg whites with paper towel or cheesecloth and place in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.)

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) cream of tartar

35 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) superfine sugar (can make your own by processing 35 grams of granulated white sugar in your food processor)

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red gel coloring (available on amazon) (I used AmeriColor Super Red Soft Gel Paste)

Strawberry Cheesecake Filling:

1/4 cup (5 grams) freeze dried Strawberries (I used Trader Joe's), or to taste

1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners (icing or powdered) sugar

3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) pure vanilla extract

3 ounces (85 grams) full fat (regular) cream cheese, softened

 

 

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