Heart Macarons

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is my first time piping heart macaron shells and I am so thrilled they turned out perfectly!  I have always been intrigued by creative macarons that are not circles, including cartoon characters, animals, and even unicorns.  They all seem so impossible to make since macarons are already so finicky but these heart-shaped ones are great to start with.  They are a lot easier than they look!

For how to make macaron shells, refer to my basic French macaron recipe here.  For heart macarons, you can draw or print out a template of hearts on a sheet of paper and place it under the parchment paper as a guide. I piped my heart macarons without a template and they turned out really well (see detailed steps below).  The pictures sho  I also prefer rounder hearts because they are cuter but my directions below will help you shape these hearts with sharper bottoms if that’s what you prefer.

Similar to my basic macaron recipe, I recommend using Ateco #804 or #806 pastry tip to pipe these hearts. It is also important to use the figure-8 test (see step 1) to check that your batter is ready. Batter that is too runny or stiff may not work well to form heart shapes.  Once your batter is ready, follow steps below to pipe heart-shaped macarons without a template (if you need a basic macaron recipe, click here).

  1. Using the spatula, try drawing an “8” figure with the batter without any breaks. If successful, the batter is ready for piping.  If the figure “8” breaks, continue folding the batter and repeat the figure 8 test until you are able to form a full “8” without breaks
  2. When the batter is ready, pipe the letter “V” with two separate strokes, both from top to bottom, similar to the motion of writing an “x” with the two lines meeting but not crossing each other.  Make sure to leave a little bit of space between the two strokes when making the letter “V” as the batter will spread to form a heart (V’s should still meet in the middle at the ends).
  3. Adjust your strokes depending on how round or sharp you would like your heart bottoms to appear.  If you like very sharp heart bottoms, use a toothpick and draw a line down the middle to the bottom of the heart.  The hearts should continue to spread and create a sharper bottom
  4. If your macaron hearts turned out slightly bigger than regular macarons (1.5 inches in diameter typically), you may need to increase drying time between 60 to 90 minutes.  When the macarons are ready for baking they should lose their shine and look matte. Test it out by lightly touching one of the circles. If the batter is dry and not sticking to your finger, it is ready for baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 275 – 300F.  I usually bake at 290F in San Francisco for 15-17 minutes depending on the size of the macarons. I used to bake at 295F for 13-15 minutes when I was living in Boston so it depends on the oven and the climate. Macarons are ready when you are able to tap the top of the shells without cracking and able to remove the shells from the parchment paper without sticking.  It may take a little bit of experimenting to find the perfect temperature and time that works with your oven.

If this is your first time making heart-shaped macarons, you may find it challenging to match the hearts together.  A few more practice runs should make it easier!  I also recommend using a white buttercream filling for these hearts.  They give these pink hearts a softer look.

I had some edible gold leaf on hand from a good friend who travels the world so I brushed some on one of the macarons. I am so lucky to get souvenirs from all the wonderful places she’s traveled to, including this gold leaf from Japan (see how to apply gold leaf on macarons in my other post here). Nothing beats a little bit of gold to make these heart macarons pop! Hope everyone’s heart is full this Valentine’s day <3

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