If you’re looking for a sugar rush and love for Valentine’s Day, this recipe will make all your dreams come true. These salted caramel heart macarons are the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors. They are absolutely indulgent and bring two people closer together on this special day!
As I am obsessed with macarons, I always make different kinds of them for Valentine’s Day. What kind to bake this year is always a difficult decision that takes me a long time.
I am so lucky I came to the idea of making a batch of heart-shaped macarons as well as adding some pandas on top.
I’m sure you’ve never seen anything cuter than these love-themed macarons. Everyone that I know who’s tried them seems to love them, so it should be the same for you.
These cute macarons will be the perfect gift idea for your loved ones. As there is plenty of room on the heart macaron, you can use the space to write there a personal message on them. I am sure everyone would love it.
Tools and ingredients for making heart-shaped panda macaron shells
- Kitchen scale
- Candy thermometer
- Mixer (stand or hand mixer)
- Small saucepan
- Silicone spatula
- Two large bowls (glass or stainless steel)
- Piping bags
- Heart template silicone mat/parchment paper and DIY heart template
- 3 small bowls
- 4 oz (115 g) Almond flour
- 4 oz (115 g) Powdered sugar
- 4 oz (115 g) Granulated sugar
- 1 oz (30 ml) Water
- 1,7 oz (50 g) Egg whites part 1
- 1,4 oz (40 g) Egg whites part 2
- Pink Wilton Icing Coloring
- Black Wilton Icing Coloring
- Black Food Coloring Pen
This amount of batter should produce about 30 macarons (60 shells).
TIP: I have put together a comprehensive recipe for baking perfect homemade macarons with the Italian method. It goes into detail on every step of the process and should help you increase your success rate! I highly suggest you take the time to read this post thoroughly as well.
Making the batter for Valentine’s Day panda macarons
Follow the steps on my Perfect Homemade Macarons (Italian Method) for the perfect batter. Once you get to this point that the batter is almost ready, stop doing everything and read carefully!
Once you add the last part of the egg white fluff into the mixture, mix very slowly and carefully. You don’t want the batter to be ready as you want multiple colored macarons.
The second the batter seems even, stop mixing. Pour the white almost-ready batter into the smaller bowls – you will need 3 bowls.
Take a toothpick and add color to the two bowls – add pink and black. Leave one without any coloring – that will be white.
As the batter is almost ready, you need to be extra slow and gentle at this part – you want the batter to be nice and the color evenly divided. But what you do not want is to over-mix the batter. Stir slowly and do as less folds as you possibly can.
When the batter is ready – it is nice and flows from the spatula like a ribbon – place all the colors in separate piping bags.
Making your own heart-shaped macaron template
If you don’t have a silicone template mat for heart macarons, you can easily make yourself one. Just draw identical hearts to the paper and place them below the silicone mat or baking sheet.
Piping the heart-shaped panda macarons
At a 90-degree angle, start piping the batter to the templates. I am using the light pink batter to make the heart-shaped macarons
Make sure to place a little bit of white and black batter in two different piping bags. For the black one, cut a very small hole for piping. For the white color batter, it can be just a regular size hole. Using the white batter, pipe little heads on top of the heart macaron.
Do it with half of the hearts, the other half of the hearts will be the bottom macaron shells no one looks at – that’s why I prefer them to stay plain.
Let them dry a little bit (around 10 minutes) and take the black color. Draw the little panda bear ears on top of the heart.
Now, point a little paw-dots to the bottom of the head, between the head and heart to make it look like a little panda bear is holding the heart with its paws.
Baking the heart-shaped bear macaron shells
As it takes quite a long time to finish these cute macarons before even placing them into the oven, there is no need for extra time to wait for them to dry before the oven – they are probably already dried enough at this point and ready for the oven!
Bake the macarons at the 250°F (120°C). Bake each mat for 16 minutes. As every oven is different, you may need to bake them a few minutes less, or a few minutes more. When ready, macarons should not wiggle if gently pushed with a finger.
When you remove the macarons from the oven, immediately remove them from the baking pan as well! The pan is hot and otherwise the macarons will continue baking, and they will easily over-bake.
Let the macarons cool down before removing them from the silicone mat or parchment paper. Find the plain heart shell for each panda and let’s move on to the filling part!
Tip: Sometimes it is hard to get the macarons off from the silicone baking mat as they tend to stick to the mat. In that case, I recommend putting the silicone mat with the macarons into the freezer! Wait around 30 minutes and take them out. Remove the macarons fast from the silicone mat before they start to warm up. With the help of your fingers, gently press on the bottom of the silicone mat to help the macarons get off.
Filling for cute Valentine’s Day panda macarons
Now it is time to make the filling! You can make whatever filling you like for these cute macarons. This time, I made the salted caramel filling as this one is my all-time favorite!
Tools and ingredients for salted caramel sauce
- Heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan
- Heatproof spatula or whisk
- Kitchen scale
- 1/4 cup (100 g) butter
- 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons of caramel condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon of salt
I have made a detailed post about how to easily make the salted caramel filling for macarons. Check it out here: The Best Salted Caramel Recipes.
Adding a personal Valentine’s Day message to the macarons
Before sandwiching the two shells together, it is a great time to write a personal message or name on the macaron shells! You can also draw faces to the little pandas to make them even cuter.
Filling the bear macarons
Turn the panda macaron shells upside down and pipe the salted caramel filling on it. See the pictures below.
Slowly press the shells together with plain heart macaron. Congratulations, you just made the cutest macarons!
How to store heart-shaped bear macarons
Let the macarons mature for a few hours if possible, they taste better when doing it!
Macarons last at least about one week. Just remember to put them in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you want to gift the macarons to someone, pack them at the last minute and remind the person that he should eat them in a week 🙂
I wish You a Happy and Sweet Valentine’s Day!
Enjoy your macarons!