Green tea French macaron recipe

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Today is the 17th of March celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, a public holiday commemorating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and more specifically the Irish patron saint Patrick.  The color green is associated with this day, and the phrase “the wearing of the green” indicates wearing a green three-leaved shamrock on one’s clothing to represent the Holy Trinity.

I wanted to make something incorporating green for the occasion, but I wanted it to be something creative and exciting (in other words, not just green vegetables).  Irish food includes hearty recipes like corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, soda bread, Irish stew, Crubeens (pig’s feet), and black pudding (pig’s blood), just to name a few.  When I lived in the UK, I had many opportunities to try their different style of preparing these ingredients that are in common with Chinese cuisine.  Being the adventurous foodie that I am, I enjoyed it immensely, but for the purpose of St. Patricks’ Day, I picture how to incorporate the color green.

I was initially going to make green tea crème brulée until I tasted this amazing creamed honey at the organic supermarket.  It was then that I decided to make green tea macarons.  Some of you may be thinking that pictured below is a macaroon and not a macaron.  So what’s the difference between a macaron and a macaroon?

Both maracon and macaroon start off with egg whites and sugar to make a stiff meringue as the base.  The macaron is a French style of cookie (hence French macaron as per the title of my recipe) made typically with almond meal and egg whites that are sandwiched between a creamy filling.  As a result they have a pleasant airy, melt-in-your mouth texture.  Due to its worldwide popularity, there are many variations from the traditional Paris macaron, and now they available in a huge variety of colors and flavors from many countries.

The macaroon is a Southern style cookie that is a flourless, light baked confection resembling a small cake or meringue-like cookie.  Since they do not contain flour, they are often served at Passover celebrations.  The original macaroons consisted largely of ground almonds and its name comes from the Italian word maccarone, meaning “paste”.  Many regional varieties of macaroons exist, although most recipes call for egg whites with ground almonds and sometimes nuts.  Eventually, coconut was added to the ground almonds or replaced the ground almonds altogether.  The coconut macaroon is the most common variety.

That said, the two have frequently been used interchangeably anyway!  Personally, I say, “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet!”  What’s more important than its name is its appearance and taste.  So enjoy my recipe!  They turned out so delicious and irresistible!

Green tea macarons  Green tea French macarons

Grocery list

1 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup almond meal, like Bob’s Red Mill:
almond meal
1 green tea bag
3/4 tsp hot water
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1 tbsp brown sugar
Green food coloring (optional)

Honey cream filling

125 g butter, softened (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp creamed honey
Large pinch salt
Line 3 completely flat baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Be sure the parchment paper is cut the right size so that it lays flat on the baking sheet.

Tip:  It’s a good idea to draw 4 cm circles on the parchment paper with a pencil ahead of time.  That way, when you pipe the batter onto the baking sheets, you can use the circles as a guide.  Just be sure to turn the parchment paper over so that the pencil is facing downwards before piping the batter.

Draw circles onto parchment  parchment paper prepared for piping macarons

Sift the icing sugar and almond meal together into a large bowl and mix to combine.  Set aside.

Sifting icing sugar  Sift almond meal with sugar  Combine almond meal and sugar

Cut open the tea bag and empty the green tea leaves into a small mixing bowl, and then add the 3/4 tsp hot water.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Green tea leaves

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and beat on high for 30 seconds.  Add the brown sugar and beat on high for 5 minutes.

Beat egg whites on high speed  Beat egg whites

Add the green tea mixture and a few drops of green food coloring (if using) and beat on high for another 2 to 3 minutes or until soft peaks form.  (If you do not have green food coloring, combine yellow and blue food coloring until you get the desirable shade of green).

Beating egg whites  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form

When you lift the beater from the bowl, the egg whites should hold a straight peak that doesn’t curl at the tip.

Soft peaks in egg whites

Fold the egg white mixture into the almond meal mixture in 2 batches until smooth.

combine egg whites with almond meal and flour  combine egg whites with almond meal and flour

Put the batter into a piping bag fitted with the Ateco #11 round tip (7 mm diameter).  Pipe the batter onto the prepared sheets of parchment paper in rounds that are about 4 cm/1.6 inches in diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, spaced at least 1 inch apart.

Pipe the macarons onto prepared parchment  pipe onto prepared pans

Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the baking sheet as you pipe and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks.  Tap the baking sheets against the counter several times to flatten the mounds and pop any large air bubbles.  Let rest on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes until the batter mounds no longer feel sticky.

Pipe the macarons onto prepared parchment

Test the surface of the batter by touching it very lightly with your finger.  If it still sticks to your finger, let it rest for a few minutes more before baking, to ensure that the cookies form a crisp, delicate top when baked.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325oF with one oven rack on the top 1/3 of the oven, and the other rack on the bottom 1/3 of the oven.

At the same time, make the honey cream filling.  Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until pale and creamy.  Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and beat for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add the almond meal, creamed honey, and salt, and then beat just until combined.  Place the filling in a piping bag to use immediately.

Beat the honey cream filling  Green tea macarons filling

Put 2 of the cookies sheets in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 300oF.  Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the sheets and swap their positions.  Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cookies are very pale golden on the bottom.

Bake macarons until golden

Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheets.  Meanwhile, bake the third baking sheet as described.

When all the cookies have cooled completely, carefully remove them from the parchment paper and pair them by size.  Using a piping bag with the same tip used to pipe the cookies, pipe the honey cream filling onto half the cookies, leaving a narrow unfilled border.  You want to pipe just enough of the filling that it spreads to the edge when topped with the other cookie.

Pipe the filling onto half the macarons

Top the filled halves with their paired cookie.

Top with the other macaron half  Top with the other macaron half

Serve the cookies the same day (recommended).

To store:  Put the macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Warm to room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.

Green tea macarons  Green tea French macarons  Green tea French macarons


Related posts:

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  3. Peanut butter sandwich cookies
  4. French onion soup recipe
  5. Healthy flax seed oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
10 Responses to Green tea French macaron recipe
  1. Jill Mant~a SaucyCook
    March 17, 2012 | 10:26 am

    Ahhhh Grace, you’ve done it again!! These look so delish and I’m so happy to see that you have them boxed and ready to mail to me…ha!!! Happy St Patty’s to you and your green man!! xxx000xxx

  2. Stephen Perrigaux
    May 30, 2012 | 12:55 am

    Congrats on this lovely recipe !

    I would be very grateful if you could tell me about the box you have displayed the macarons in as we are just about to start a macaron business. Kind regards. Stephen at The Perrigaux Kitchen.

    • Dr. Grace
      May 31, 2012 | 1:15 am

      Hi Stephen, thank you! It must be exciting to be starting a macaron business, I can imagine you will have a lot of fun making and eating them on a daily basis. This specific treat box is from the Martha Stewart collection, you can see more information about them here:

  3. Amber
    August 6, 2012 | 9:41 am

    I found that exact almond meal at the store yesterday! I can’t wait to try this recipe today! Thank you! Do you have any tips on mailing them? If anyone can get back to me on this it would be great.

    • Dr. Grace
      September 4, 2012 | 12:35 am

      Hi Amber, that’s exciting, I support you all the way in trying these macarons! They were a hit with my friends and also with my mum-in-law’s co-workers. To be honest, I have never tried mailing them before (although I have received requests to post them out!). I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but I don’t imagine they would be as fresh or last as long if they were posted out to someone? The box you see in my photos was simply to hand deliver them to my recipients locally. :)

  4. Letty
    September 8, 2012 | 8:32 pm


    Just wanted to say that even though your results turned out wonderfully, I have followed your recipe exactly & it tastes awful!

    • Dr. Grace
      September 19, 2012 | 8:47 pm

      Hi there! I’m sorry to hear about your outcome! I don’t know what to say…. my results turned out wonderfully, and so did a few others who have tried it. Everyone’s taste preferences are different, I suppose. I hope you have a much better experience with all your upcoming recipes to try! :)

    • Wendy
      October 25, 2012 | 5:54 pm

      Hi Letty,

      sometimes some food colouring could give a funny/weird taste. may i suggest using green tea powder (matcha powder) instead of teabags and food colouring? hope that helps.

  5. crest
    December 11, 2012 | 3:11 pm

    Hi… I was wondering, why did you use Brown sugar than the caster sugar? Everytime I make macaroon thers air gap between the hard shell and the center… That’s why after cook when you bites it there a hole in the middle… Hope you can help me..

    • Dr. Grace
      January 2, 2013 | 1:33 am

      Actually, when I made these macarons, there was also an air gap. But it turns out so nice and delicate, I feel it brings a great texture in general. I like the air gap, as you call it. I felt that the brown sugar brought out the flavor of the green tea more, and added a deeper, richer color. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try my recipe!

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