Have you ever met a lemon dessert you didn’t like? Now, imagine your favorite lemon bar tucked into the perfect macaron shell. Now we’re talking! These Lemon Macarons with Lemon Bar Filling are so delicious!
How to Make Lemon Macarons
This recipe was a hard fast favorite from day one. Maybe it’s the sour curd center or the sweet lemon buttercream, or maybe it’s the pie shortbread crumble, or maybe all three, but whatever the reason, let’s get to it.
Begin with the Sweet Mac Shop shell (recipe below or at this blog post), and color the shells with 1-4 lemon yellow drops, depending on the intensity of color you want. We used Wilton Color Rite, but any gel-based yellow would work. Bake, then let cool.
Next, mix up a batch of our creamy buttercream. TIP: Sometimes we make huge batches of buttercream and store it in the fridge so we can pull out and use it when needed. To the buttercream itself, you can flavor it two ways. The first way is by adding lemon extract. It’s tasty, but nothing beats amazing like fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. So that’s what we use. Once your buttercream is mixed and tested you always need to test. Trust me, there has to be one perk to making these amazing cookies.
But the heart of our Lemon Bar Macarons is the tangy yellow curd. So let’s start there:
How to Make Lemon Curd
I love making lemon curd at home. It’s an awesome way to use up all those yolks from all the egg whites I use in my macarons! I always feel embarrassingly proud of myself when I find a resourceful way to use my leftover egg yolks. Anybody else? Haha.
Anyway. My lemon macarons are so dang delicious because of this amazing lemon curd. It’s sweet and tangy and smooth and just perfect in every single way. And it’s so easy to make at home. I’ll even walk you through it.
First, I whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and place over medium heat. I let that heat up and then add the butter and lemon zest. Then, I cook it until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (Isn’t that weird that that’s what determines whether or not it’s done? Idk where it comes from but it works!). Be careful not to let it boil! I strain my lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve so that it is super smooth and luxurious. Then, I let it cool and stick it in the fridge until I’m ready to use it. That’s it. So easy.
Now that we have all the parts made, let’s assemble.
First, take your lemon shells and with the lemon buttercream, pipe a circle around the bottom shell. Fill the inside of the “well” with a half-teaspoon of lemon curd, then add the crumble. Place top shell on and store in an airtight container for 12 hours before serving. Before serving dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Sit back and watch as you now become the most congratulated baker in the room.
High five! Let me know on Instagram how these turned out for you!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter Let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- Place butter in bowl of mixer, and attach paddle flat beater. Mix on medium speed until butter breaks up and is starting to look smooth.
- Add vanilla and salt; mix for 30 seconds until combined.
- Add in heavy whipping cream.
- Measure powdered sugar on scale. Slowly add to the mixer, 1 cup at a time.
- PRO TIP: Start the mixer speed back up slowly after adding the cup of powdered sugar, otherwise, pull out the mop.
- Once ingredients are all mixed, turn the mixer to medium high and set timer for five minutes.
- Flavor or color the buttercream to your preference. We make a huge batch of plain, then add flavor and color depening on the amount of buttercream we need. Making one large batch saves time in the long run.
- NOTE: American Buttercream will keep up to two weeks in the fridge, and one day at room temperature.
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbls lemon zest
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
For Lemon Curd:
- Whisk lemon juice, sugar, and egg yolks in a saucepan until completely combined over medium heat (10-15 minutes)
- Once the mixture coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat and add salt, zest and butter, stirring until incorporated.
- Place in a shallow container and place saran wrap on top to prevent film from forming. Place in the fridge until completely cooled. Once cooled, place an air tight lid over top. I make this at least a few hours before I need to use it.
SweetMacShop Macaron Shells
- baker's half sheet pans: high quality baking sheets with rimmed edges
- KitchenAid stand mixer
- parchment paper or silpat baking mats (with macaron template)
- oven thermometer
- piping bag
- Wilton Tip #12
- food scale that will measure in grams or ounces
- scribe (a sharp, pointed tool), or a toothpick
- digital minute timer
- 160 grams egg whites room temperature
- 88 grams granulated sugar
- 256 grams powdered sugar
- 200 grams almond flour
- 1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 285 for steel pans, or 300 for aluminum pans. Preheat for at least 10 minutes.
- Measure out your granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Measure powdered sugar, almond flour together, then use a sifter to combine. This will make them smooth and lump-free. Set aside.
- Place your bowl on the surface of your food scale. Hit the "tare" button to zero out the weight of the bowl. Now measure the room temperature egg whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid stand mixer.
- Add the clear vanilla extract.
- Place bowl on mixer stand (this recipe is for the KitchenAid mixer), and attach the wire whisk beater. Set timer for one minute. Turn mixer to Speed 4, and slowly add sugar to egg whites, shaking it in a little at a time during that first minute.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 6, and set timer for 2 minutes.
- When timer goes off, set mixer to Speed 8, and set timer for 1 and 1/2 minutes (90 seconds). Coloring may be added just before this last mixing. Egg whites should look silky, yet stiff enough to hold the peak.
- Now we'll make the macronage: blend in dry ingredients, by moving a flexible spatula around the bowl, then cutting down through the middle, making sure to scrape the bottom for the flour and incorporate it into the meringue. You know you are done when the batter rolls off the spatula in a continuous ribbon. Batter will be thick…but can flow like a ribbon.
- BAKER'S NOTE: I have several videos of making macronage in my Instagram Highlights.
- Insert Wilton #12 tip into the small opening of your piping bag. Scoop the macronage into the bag, filling only half-way full, leaving room to twist the top closed in order to keep the batter from spilling out the top. Pipe the macrons by applying pressure until the batter flows out and just reaches the inner rim of the marked circle on your mat. Immediately release pressure and swirl tip to incorporate point back into the center of the cookie. See my tips on Instagram Highlights.
- NOTE: if you will be using parchment paper — search for online — then download a template of circles and place underneath your parchment paper. You'll remove this before baking.
- Once the full pan is piped, gently (or aggressively–no judgement here) bang the pan down onto the counter to release air bubbles. I usually place a towel on the counter before banging the pan. Use your scribe or toothpick to pop any large bubbles, in order to create smooth shells.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD ONE: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the bottom of an upside-down baker's half sheet. Pipe your circles. Let rest about 5 minutes, bang (see above) then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- PREP FOR BAKING, METHOD TWO: Place your parchment paper or silpat mat on the inside of a baker's half sheet (like normal). Pipe your circles. Let rest until your finger can glide across the top of the mac without stickiness, often up to 30 minutes. Bang (see above), then place them to bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, DO NOT — I repeat — do not remove from pan until they are completely cooled.
- This recipe yields 36-42 completed cookies (about 72-84 shells).