Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons

(adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)

Chocolate Macarons

100 grams egg whites
25 grams sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
225 grams powdered sugar
125 grams almond flour
15 grams cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Separate the egg whites at least 24 hours prior and let sit at room temperature for a few hours before starting to make the macarons. This will help them get rid of some moisture and become more acidic, which will help form a stable meringue. Tip: Microwaving the fresh egg whites for 10-20 seconds on medium heat mimics the aging process.

Whip the egg whites and the lemon juice until they are almost fully whipped. Sprinkle in the sugar while still mixing. Continue to whip to a full meringue. The whole process should take about 4 minutes, but no more than 5, in a stand mixer on high speed.

Sift the powdered sugar, salt, almond flour and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add the meringue into the dry ingredients and fold until a shiny mass is formed. Pipe the batter onto silicon mat- or parchment paper-lined sheetpans. Tip: Hold the pastry bag vertically and keep its tip as close to the surface as possible. Tap the sheetpan on the counter once or twice to eliminate any extra air bubbles.

Let the macarons dry at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, although I've read that 45 minutes to an hour yields better results. Bake them at 300F for about 8 minutes. Rotate the sheetpan and bake for another 8 minutes.

Salty Peanut Butter Filling

125 grams creamy peanut butter
70 grams powdered sugar
25 grams softened butter
25 grams whipping or heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 grams fine sea salt

Cream all ingredients together for a smooth filling.

Once the macarons have cooled completely, pipe or spoon some of the peanut butter filling on one shell and sandwich with another one. A quarter turn usually helps seal the sandwich and even the filling.

Macarons are best served at room temperature, but only after being refrigerated for 24 hours in airtight container.

Yields 25-30 small macarons.

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