As I continue to crave the chocolate-peanut butter flavor combination, keep looking for different things to do with it.  At one end of the spectrum, we have the super indulgent, no frills peanut butter cheesecake swirl brownies.  At the other end are these peanut butter chocolate French macarons.  The light, delicate texture and subtle flavor balance of these cookies makes them a perfect hybrid – fancy French cookie meets classic American flavor combo.  One that this baker is pretty darn happy about.

If you are unfamiliar with macarons, you may want to read my first post about them here.  Also, Helene of Tartlette is the queen of macarons and has a fantastic tutorial with some troubleshooting tips.  In this particular recipe, a portion of the almonds are replaced with peanuts so the shells have a peanutty flavor.  I filled all of them with a thin layer of ganache, as you can see, but also added a surprise little dollop of straight peanut butter in the center of each cookie.  I think that really took these from good to great, and kicked the sweet-salty combo up a notch.  Each time I experiment with macarons they get better and better.  Now I just need to decide what flavor to make next.

Note: All of the measurements for this recipe are listed by weight.  A kitchen scale is necessary for making macarons.  Attempting to make these by volume measure would likely be a waste of time and ingredients, so volume measurements are not provided.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Macarons
Yield: about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

For the shells:
55 grams almonds (blanched or slivered)
55 grams peanuts (blanched, unsalted)
200 grams confectioners’ sugar
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
50 grams granulated sugar
Finely chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

For the filling:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾  cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Pulse the almonds, peanuts and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground and well blended.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth, shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms.  Add the ground almond-peanut mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.

Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.  Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip.  Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart.  Sprinkle half of the rounds lightly with chopped peanuts for garnish, if using.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Bake for 12-18 minutes, depending on size.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.

While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache.  Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.  Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.   Bring the cream mixture to a simmer, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk gently in small circular motions until a smooth ganache forms.  Let the mixture cool until it is thick enough to pipe.  (To speed chilling, transfer the bowl to the freezer or refrigerator and let cool, stirring every 10 minutes, until thickened.)

Once the cookies are totally cooled, match them up by size.  Pipe a thin layer of ganache onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  With the peanut butter in a separate pastry bag, pipe a small dollop of peanut butter in the center of each layer of ganache.   Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the ganache to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Tartlette

  • Now this is a wonderful combo. I am dying to try macaroons, and these flavors are my fav.

  • I have been dying to try Macarons but there is no way I can resist with this flavor combo!

  • Well you know we love ANYTHING with peanut butter & chocolate…and we happen to adore macarons! We’ve never attempted to make our own but the pb/chocolate love might just give us the push we need…these look amazing!

  • Macaroons are one of those baked goods that I always want to try but never get around to baking. These look fantastic, though! I feel you can never go wrong with the peanut butter/chocolate combo.

  • I’ve never tried making my own, but they’re on my baking “bucket list”.

    These look incredible

  • Your macarons are gorgeous, as always! These might be my favorite version yet – I LOVEEE peanut butter and chocolate! :)

  • I recently had cinnamon macaroons at a lovely french bakery/cafe (Provence Bread if you’re ever in Nashville). They were REALLY good! So if you’re contemplating macaroon flavor combos, add that to the list!

  • Beautiful macaroons. I am inspired to try making them. My children like to eat very much. Thanks very much for sharing.

  • These cookies are beautiful! I tried making macarons once and they did not come out like yours. I want to give them another try though.

  • Lindsay

    Oh, this is fantastic! I’ve been planning on making sampler / taster boxes of macarons for Valentine’s day, and I am so excited to add this one to the mix! Great idea!!

  • These look absolutely beautiful, Annie. And the sweet/salty combo? My favorite. I’ll have to try these for the husband and his pb/choc addicted dad the next time they tackle some dirty and dreaded project for our house.

  • My first time making macarons ended up going very well. I attempted three different variations of them and they all worked great! Your cookies are gorgeous. I love how you topped them with peanuts. Adorable!

  • These are gorgeous and my FAVORITE flavor too!!

  • A Blog POst Idea For Annie:
    Okay.. I know I cannot possibly the only one who is amazed that you have time to post everyday and be a mom, a wife, a cook, and a DOCTOR! How do you do it? You once mentioned you are organized, but how? I think it would be brilliant if you can just write a post of what’s a day like for Annie? Please, oh please, do this! I am at home, recently quit my job, blog, no kids, and I can’t find the time like you. I probably waste time browsing more than anything. Help us Annie, help us!

  • I’ve never been interested in making macaroons but these may just change my mind. I also have a recent obsession with any chocolate/peanut butter combo. :)

  • Yum! My mom would have absolutely loved these!

  • Liz N

    I have blanched almond flour at home. Is this an acceptable substitute? Thanks for the link to Tartlette’s tutorial. I love it!

  • Annie

    I’m not sure about that. If Tartlette doesn’t mention it, I would think not. I’ve only ever tried with real almonds, I’m just too afraid to mess them up somehow!

  • Annie

    Really and truly, I’m just organized and motivated – that’s it! All my blog posts are written on the weekends so I don’t work on the blog much during the week.

  • Annie, these are just stunning. I think it’s remarkable that you’re just as good of a baker as you are a cook. A nice reminder that we all don’t have to be one or the other. You are so talented! Keep up the amazing cooking AND baking!

  • Oh my goodness! I love pb+chocolate & these sound amazing! I just need to muster up the courage for making macarons.

  • Perfect pictures of a perfect macarons :)

  • I love eating macaroons, but am terrified to make them. I’ve read how tempermental they can be.

    This combo of peanut butter and chocolate sound delish!

  • I think I need to go for a run just thinking about these. There’s peanut butter and it’s a sandwich. Can it count as lunch?

  • I have never even tried a macaron, they always seemed a tad too formal for my liking but this PB version sounds awesome!

  • Wow I’ve never seen peanut butter chocolate macaroons before, but these look amazing!

  • YUM these look amazing!!! I haven’t been brave enough to try making macarons yet, but these look hard to resist…!!

  • learningtobake

    hey Annie, i would really love to try this recipe, but unfortunately i dont have a balance to measure the weight of the ingredients, is it possible for you to upload a metric version of this recipe? that would really be helpful, thanks!

  • Annie

    Learningtobake, these measurements are in metric. I think you mean volume measurements. In any case, please see the note at the bottom of the post for why volume measurements are not included. Thanks!

  • Safinaz

    Excellent combination !!! My favourite flavour too and also dying to try this out :-)