Chocolate Macarons To Impress Everyone—Even Yourself

March 20, 2024

Chocolate macarons are a sensory delight: They have a shatteringly crisp exterior that gives way to a delicately chewy, then melt-in-your-mouth, interior. That’s contrasted by a silky ganache filling within which has a bold yet balanced chocolatey depth that really drives home the flavor profile. And this recipe for chocolate is not only impressive and delectable, it’s also incidentally gluten free.

French macarons like these are not the easiest cookies in the world to make. We admit they can be finicky, and you might need to watch the weather before you bring out the pans and mixing bowls. (Humidity is not a friend.) But if you have the patience, these chocolate macarons are so special and really impressive. Everyone will be thrilled to enjoy one, especially you.

Learn how to make chocolate macarons, and surprise your friends and family with this delicate, special dessert for any occasion.

Chocolate Macarons Ingredients

Chocolate macarons have a few specific ingredients you might not have used before, but we’ll explain what they are and why they’re needed.

  • Egg whites: Macarons are a , so you will need fresh egg whites for the best results. Don’t use the pasteurized egg whites in a carton. They are unlikely to whip properly, and you’ll be disappointed.
  • Powdered sugar: This type of sugar adds sweetness to the cookies and blends well with the batter.
  • Superfine blanched almond flour: Almond flour is the secret of the perfectly crisp but chewy texture for macarons.
  • Kosher salt: A little salt always balances the sweet.
  • Unsweetened cocoa: Preferably Hershey’s because it has the best flavor and color in our experience, and it is less likely to break the macaron batter. Some cocoa powders have too much oil and can impact the final cookie.
  • Fine instant espresso powder: A trick of bakers: A little espresso powder added to chocolate desserts enhances the flavor of the chocolate. It won’t overwhelm the cookies.
  • Vanilla extract: Rounds out the flavors of the cookie.
  • Granulated sugar: Helps to stabilize and sweeten the whipped egg whites.
  • Cream of tartar: Helps to further stabilize the egg whites once they’re fully whipped, though it isn’t strictly necessary.

Ganache Ingredients

If you’re using our suggested chocolate ganache filling for these chocolate macarons, here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Semisweet chocolate baking bars: Splurge for the good chocolate. It has the best flavor, and if you’re doing all this work for great macarons, you’ll want a high-quality chocolate.
  • Heavy whipping cream: A classic ganache ingredient, you’ll warm it slightly to melt the chocolate before stirring.
  • Light corn syrup: This helps stabilize and thicken the ganache so it is pipe-able.
  • Fine instant espresso powder: Another chance to double down on enhancing the chocolate ganache’s flavor.
  • Kosher salt: A little bit of salt boosts the sweetness.
  • Vanilla extract: This adds warm and toasty notes of vanilla to the ganache.

You’ll also need semisweet chocolate baking bars to melt and drizzle over the macarons once assembled, if doing.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Chocolate Macaron Tips

We’ll be the first to admit macarons aren’t the easiest recipe, but you can conquer this—and we will help. Here are a few tips from the pros in the Southern Living Test Kitchen that will guide you through this process:

  • Pick the right baking surface: Silicone baking mats give these macarons the most even bake and most uniform shape. Parchment paper can also be used with great results; some macarons, however, may have less uniform, round shapes using this method.
  • Check your temperature: Accurate oven temps are essential to macaron success. Use an oven thermometer to make sure yours is measuring properly.
  • Drizzle later: The chocolate drizzle will turn matte over time, especially when refrigerated, so if you want it to be bright and shiny, wait to add the drizzle until a few hours before you plan to serve the cookies.
  • Use clean bowls and utensils: Egg whites will not whip if there is a speck of grease in the mixing bowl or on utensils. Make sure they’re washed and well dried. Some people swear by wiping everything down with vinegar first.
  • Watch the weather: Macarons are unlikely to develop the much-needed shell before baking if you’re experiencing an especially humid day. In a pinch, you can use a space heater, but this might affect the final texture.

How To Serve Chocolate Macarons

Serve chocolate macarons all on their own alongside a steaming cup of coffee or tea. Or assemble them on trays alongside other dainty sweets and savories for a posh afternoon tea vibe. You can use them to top a sundae; extra shells can be broken up and used over ice cream or in parfaits and trifles. We also love this beautiful .

What’s the Difference Between a Macaroon and a Macaron?

In addition to the pronunciation and a slight tweak to the spelling, are altogether different from macarons. While both are cookies, macaroons are typically drop cookies made with coconut—much more easily than macaroons—and are much more dense and chewy. Macarons, on the other hand, are sandwich cookies made with meringue and often brightly colored.

French Macarons Aren’t French

Despite being called French macarons, these cookies are in fact Italian. They’re given the term “French” because some versions use a French meringue.

This recipe, however, uses a Swiss meringue method rather than a French meringue method; both can be used to make macarons (some macaron recipes even use an , which is the most sturdy of all the types). A Swiss method makes for a slightly more stable meringue which is a little more forgiving when it comes to whipping/overwhipping.

More Great Cookie Recipes

Macarons are certainly treasured, but many cookies are beloved, including these:

Editorial contributions by .

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