Sweet cotton candy macarons filled with cream cheese icing and topped with cotton candy colored sprinkles.
Oh macarons, the queen of finicky cookies. I’m just going to come out and say it, store/bakery bought macarons don’t compare to homemade ones. I’ve had a macaron from just about every location I’ve travelled to, including Paris, and although Paris had the best, homemade are better.
I won’t take all the credit for these beautiful babies though. I got the base recipe from Sarah Crawford over at Broma Bakery. You can read about her trip to Israel where she learned how to make them! After testing, literally hundreds of macarons, this is by far, the best base recipe I’ve come across.
How to make cotton candy macarons
Macarons are essentially a sandwich cookie made out of meringue that gets folded together with almond flour and powdered sugar. Traditional macarons are made using the French or Italian meringue method. This base recipe uses a Swiss meringue method.
Swiss meringue method for french macarons
A Swiss meringue combines the egg whites and granulated sugar over a double boiler, whisking constantly until the egg whites are frothy and the sugar is fully dissolved. If you have a candy thermometer, you can bring the mixture up to about 150F for a more stable meringue.
Cream cheese frosting for cotton candy macarons
I chose to pair my cotton candy macarons with cream cheese frosting because it balances well with the sweetness. Cream cheese is tangy and macarons, especially cotton candy flavored, are super sweet.
To make this cream cheese frosting, simply beat the butter with the cream cheese until they’re pale and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar, beating for 5 minutes, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add in the cream and vanilla, mixing until they’re fully combined.
How to store cotton candy macarons with cream cheese icing?
Make sure to store the macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’re best served after setting in the fridge overnight and they’re good for about a week. They can be frozen for a couple months as well, just bring them to room temperature before eating.
For more macaron recipes, make sure to check out:
- Peppermint Mocha Macaroons
- White Chocolate Raspberry Macarons
- Cookies ‘n’ Cream Macarons
- Peanut Butter Cup Macarons
- Mocha Macarons
- Lemon Macarons with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Buttercream
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour, spooned and leveled
- 7/8 cup (100g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 3 large (100g) egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cotton candy extract
- pink gel food dye
- pink, blue & white sprinkles
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Start off by measuring all of your ingredients out. Sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar and set them aside.
- Heat up a small pot of water on the stove to create a double boiler for the Swiss meringue. Whisk the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer over the double boiler until the sugar is fully dissolved and the egg whites are frothy, about 140F (60C).
- Remove the mixture from the heat and use the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, at high speed, to beat the egg whites and sugar just until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cotton candy extract and food coloring; mix for a few seconds, until they are fully incorporated.
- Use a firm spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. This may take a while, just keep folding and pressing the batter against the wall of the bowl until the mixture is able to ribbon off and form a complete figure '8' without breaking. Don't over-mix.
- Using a piping bag, with a small circle tip, pipe out 1 1/2 inch size circles onto a lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Rap the tray on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles from within the batter (use a toothpick to remove any air bubbles that are visible and won’t come out).
- Top each cookie with a few sprinkles (don't push them in at all, just sprinkle them on top). Allow the cookies to form a shell for about 20-40 minutes while preheating the oven to 300F (149C). Bake one pan at a time in the center of the oven for 13 minutes. Remove and allow them to cool completely before filling.
- Cream together the butter and cream cheese until they are pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the powdered sugar and beat the mixture for about 5 minutes, until all the sugar is fully dissolved. Scrape the edge of the bowl as necessary.
- Add in the vanilla and heavy whipping cream, and whip on medium speed until the icing is fully combined.
- Pipe the icing on half of the cookies, leaving some room on the edge. Sandwich with the top cookies and allow them to set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g