Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate macarons can be yours in hours. They’re light and airy and made with dark chocolate, both in the cookie and the rich ganache filling. No fancy French patisserie required. Here’s how to make them.

Three chocolate macarons in paper wrappers in a blue dish.

First made by convent nuns during the eighteenth century, macaroons (macarons in French) are one of my most favorite things about being in Paris, and I love walking through the city nibbling on them. I usually get them from either Dalloyau or Ladurée.

If you’re not going to Paris soon, whip these up and make-believe. They’re not at all like the macaroons most of us grew up with. You’ll love the textural contrast between the crisp cookies and the luscious creamy ganache filling.–Lori Longbotham

But seriously, what's so special about macarons?

These ethereally airy macarons turn decadent beyond imagination when slathered with a sinful ganache-meets-buttercream situation. Natch, the lovely little chocolate macarons are also quite nice—and still quite the indulgence—when nibbled in their simplest form, free of filling and, as a consequence, free of flour or dairy. They’re either sent from heaven above or from Paris abroad. Wait, is there a difference?

Chocolate Macarons

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Makes 48
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the cookies
  • For the filling


Make the cookies

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds with 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the cocoa powder and the remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and pulse until well blended.

Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl just until the whites form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. With a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently fold in the almond mixture.

Scoop the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe out 1-inch-diameter mounds about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the tops are cracked and appear dry but the macarons are still slightly soft to the touch.

Move the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to barely dampened kitchen towels and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel the paper off the macarons and place on wire racks to cool completely. (The macarons can be made 1 day in advance and stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container.)

Make the filling

Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate covered, for at least 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm enough to hold its shape when spread.

Assemble the macarons

If desired, scoop the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe the filling, or spread it with a table knife, generously on the flat side of half of the macarons. Top with the remaining macarons, flat side down, pressing together gently to form sandwiches. (The macarons can be stored in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) Originally published April 20, 2010.

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  1. Hi,
    I have seen a few other macaron recipes, and they all said to tap the air out after piping, and to rest from 45 minutes to an hour before baking. I don’t see the same instructions in your recipe. Just wondering if chocolate has anything to do with it or it was a typo? Thanks.

    1. These actually look more like “macarons à l’ancienne/ macarons de Nancy/ St Emilion” or macarons craquelés- the old style macarons that AREN’T fussy at all and which do not require a rest before baking.

      You can see they do not have the “feet” (the little ruffle around the edges) which the macarons you may be familiar with have – those are made with a more complex technique (there are three different ways of making the meringue for those and yes, you do rest them before they bake) and you’ll see this recipe even says the tops will be cracked (hence the “craquelés” in the French name – something those fancy macarons with feet should never have.

      This is actually a very popular traditional recipe that you will find all over France (many regions have their own versions – photo attached is from the pâtisserie Aurore Capucine in Paris) – the original cookie was simply ground almonds, sugar and egg whites – similar to ingredients used in the fancier version of macarons but completely different in texture (and way less fussy to make!

      Note that the texture of these will not be “airy” – they will be a little bit chewy and a little bit crispy. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi i was wondering if i could skip the almond and replace that with cornmeal or something else would it still be fine?

    1. Ashley, cornmeal is, I suspect, going to change the integrity of the recipe too much. It just won’t be right in terms of taste or texture. Baking is such a precise science, it’s really tricky to change a primary ingredient and have the results be as lovely as the recipe was intended.

  3. I’m very confused how you market these as DAIRY FREE, when cream is a main ingredient in the filling 🙁 Very disappointed!

    LC Flour Free, Dairy Free, and Fancy Free Note

    1. Georgiana, our apologies for the confusion. I think that if you read the note again, you’ll see that we’re extolling just the macarons as having no flour or dairy, explaining that they’re lovely enough to consume even without the buttercream filling. I hope you try the cookies—just the macarons if dairy is an issue for you. they truly are quite nice even without any sort of embellishment.

  4. I’m really enjoying macarons these days and look forward to trying out these chocolate flavored ones. They’re beautiful and I’m sure just as delicious. They are truly an art to master, but if you enjoy eating or serving them, then these delicious little treats are so worth the efforts.

  5. Thanks for the French Macaroon recipe–it’s gluten free, which is wonderful for me. I’m sharing it with other celiacs that I know. We always appreciate gluten free recipes that have not been modified to be gluten free. Please be aware that there are lots of us out here.

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