These pistachio macarons with rose water buttercream will make you feel like a professional pastry chef while making them and an elegant queen while eating them! I just had to turn the iconic flavor combo of pistachio and rose water into cute little macarons. I feel so fancy when I eat them, like I should be wearing a ball gown and sipping tea at the same time. These delicate cookies are slightly different from most macarons, because they use the swiss meringue method rather than french or italian method. But this method simplifies the recipe and takes away some of the variables that make macarons so finicky. You'll get a super stable meringue without having to deal with a hot sugar syrup that the italian method calls for. If you have never made macarons before or need some help perfecting your technique, follow the 6 Essential Macaron Rules I have written below!
Ingredients you'll need to make these macarons and buttercream:
- Powdered Sugar: You'll need powdered sugar for both the macaron shells and the buttercream.
- Almond Flour: Be sure to use extra fine almond flour to get those super smooth shells!
- Egg Whites: You'll need about 3 egg whites. Don't worry about bringing them to room temperature because you'll just heat them up over a double boiler to make a swiss meringue!
- Granulated Sugar: This is going to be added into the egg whites when making the swiss meringue. It will only take a couple minutes for the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites, so watch carefully!
- Vanilla Extract: Optional, but always a great flavor addition.
- Pistachio Paste: You can make your own pistachio paste by grinding up blanched pistachios, but it will come out brown unless you spend hours peeling off the brown skins. I have done this before and, honestly, I do not think it is worth it. Just buy the $12 small jar of pistachio paste.
- Green Food Gel: Add a drop or two at a time until the batter reaches the desired color.
- Unsalted Butter: For the buttercream, use unsalted room temperature butter.
- Rose Water: I used Cortas Rose Water, which is only about $3 for a 10 oz bottle. There are also rose water extracts that are good for baking, but I have never tried them before. This stuff is extremely potent, so I do not recommend adding more than 1 tsp!
- Heavy Cream: You'll need a few tablespoons to add to the buttercream to achieve a smooth and spreadable consistency. You could also use milk, if you do not have heavy cream on hand.
- Pink Food Gel: Again, only add a drop or two at a time until the buttercream is the right color. I went for a very pale pink, but if you want a darker color, then go for it!
6 Essential Macaron Rules:
- Wipe down all bowls and appliances with white vinegar. This will ensure that everything is spotlessly clean and nothing will hinder the stability of the meringue.
- Beat the meringue until STIFF peaks form. The best way to test this is to turn the bowl upside down to make sure that the meringue is stable enough and does not move at all.
- SIFT SIFT SIFT! You need to sift the powdered sugar and almond flour to get those smooth macaron shells!
- Mix the batter with a silicone spatula by circling around and straight through the middle. Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, deflate the macaron batter by spreading it against the sides of the bowl. This will ensure that the shells do not come out hollow.
- Test the consistency of the batter frequently by drawing a figure eight with the silicone spatula. You should be able to draw a figure eight a few times in a row without the batter breaking. This is how you know the batter is ready to be piped onto a baking sheet.
- Allow the macarons to rest long enough before going into the oven. I would recommend 30-40 minutes of rest time before baking. As they rest, a skin forms on the surface, which is what forces the macarons to bake upwards and grow feet!
A few tips to make these pistachio macarons with rose water buttercream:
- Read the 6 Essential Macaron Rules above to save yourself from some mistakes, wasting good ingredients, and money!
- The flavor of macaron shells develop more by the second day, so I recommend making them the day before and chilling them overnight, then assemble the next day. You can also make the buttercream the day before and chill overnight, but it will need to warm up at room temp for a few hours before it can be piped.
- If you love pistachio paste, try adding a small dot in the center of the macarons with the rose water buttercream around the edges. This will really up the pistachio flavor!
Happy baking! xPrint
These pistachio macarons with rose water buttercream will make you feel like a professional pastry chef while making them and an elegant queen while eating them!
For the Macaron Shells
- 130g powdered sugar
- 120g almond flour
- 105g egg whites
- 100g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 18g pistachio paste
- green food gel
For the Buttercream
- 113g unsalted butter (room temp)
- 250g powdered sugar
- 1 tsp rose water
- ¼ tsp salt
- heavy cream (as needed by the tbsp)
- pink food gel
For the Macaron Shells
- Prepare a macaron template by using a large piping tip or small round cookie cutter of about 1 ½" in size to trace circles about 2 inches a apart on one sheet of parchment paper. You will place this under another piece of parchment paper when ready to pipe the macaron shells.
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar and almond flour, then give them a good whisk to fully combine.
- Next, heat the egg whites and granulated sugar over a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved or until the temperature is about 120 degrees F.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to whisk until the mixture reaches soft peaks. At this point, you can add the vanilla.
- Continue whisking the meringue until the stiff peaks form. The best way to test if they are ready is by turning the bowl upside down. If the meringue does not fall or move at all, then it is ready.
- Once the meringue is ready, start by folding in ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix carefully with a silicone spatula by scraping aroung the sides of the bowl, then through the middle of the batter. Do this a few times until it is mostly combined.
- Add the remainder of the dry ingredients, folding with the same gentle method. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, mix in the pistachio paste and green food gel. Then, begin gently spreading the batter on the sides of the bowl to deflate it slightly. The mixture is ready when you can draw a figure eight without the batter breaking.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a small round piping tip (I used Ateco 802). Place your macaron template under another piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and fill in the circles, piping at a perpindicular angle. Carefully remove the template and tap the baking sheet on the on counter a few times in order to release any air bubbles.
- Let the macarons rest for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are dry and no batter comes away when you touch them. Toward the end of the resting time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons for about 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
For the Buttercream
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attchment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter for a minute or so until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar slowly, so it does not shoot out everywhere.
- Then, add the salt, rose water, and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream. Add more heavy cream until it reaches a smooth a spreadable consistency.
- Lastly, add the pink food gel until it reaches the desired shade.
- When ready to assemble the macarons, transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with an open star tip or other small piping tip. Pipe the buttercream on one shell and place the other shell on top, pressing down ever so slightly to ensure they stick together.
*Macarons will last a few days at room temperature and up to one week in the fridge.