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Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Another friendly contribution, this one from Nashville’s resident macaron expert. Tabitha has a knack for these complicated cookies, and I was thrilled when she offered to bring a green-hued version to the party.

They’re much prettier than my first attempt, don’t you agree? She’s got the magic touch, I tell you. She’s tried to teach me, but any time I attempt a batch without her supervision, I end up with hollowed-out volcanoes instead of smooth tops and pretty feet.

As much as I love the traditional almond flavor, this pistachio variation was unexpectedly delicious. More earthy, nutty, and with a smooth pistachio buttercream that was almost savory. Everyone in attendance agreed. Tabitha’s macarons knock the socks off any you can find around here at least. And the pale-green hue was a delightful compliment to the other lime green sweets.

Pistachio Macarons

Yield: about 40 cookies


70 grams almond flour
50 grams pistachio flour
125 grams egg whites (approx. 3-4 large egg whites, aged at least 1 day, covered, room temp)
200 grams confectioners sugar
30g caster sugar (if you don't have this, grind up granulated sugar till it's super fine)
All ingredients at room temp

You will also need:
2 backing sheets, stacked
parchment or silpat to line one sheet
Large mesh strainer
Pastry bag and 1cm round piping tip
Food processor
Hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment
green and yellow gel food coloring


Prepare pastry bag with 1-cm circular tip. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper/silpat.

Pulse pistachio & almond flour + confectioners sugar in food processor till combined, stirring and scraping bottom (carefully) of processor to make sure everything's blended. Sift using a mesh strainer. set aside, covered.

In an immaculately clean, large bowl, whisk egg whites on high till foamy. Use a spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure you're not missing any of the whites. Add caster sugar in 3 parts with hand mixer on medium scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula between each addition.

When all the sugar has been added turn mixer up to high (this is also when you add a couple of drops of food coloring gel or powder) and whisk till stiff peaks form. Check for stiffness early on because you don't want to overmix, this makes for macaron shells that may not rise, or if they do they'll have grease splotches on them.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, to keep things neat and easier to stir.

Pour half the flour/sugar mix into the egg whites and gently stir in a circular motion. Then add the rest of the flour/sugar mix in and, being gentle, fold and stir the flour and egg whites to get your macaronage. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl and the sides so you don't miss any of the dry ingredients. It shouldn't look completely smooth or glossy, but should also not have dry bits anymore, it's almost like wet cement before it's smoothed out. If you scoop some up and let it fall back onto itself, it should settle after several seconds.

Pour batter into your piping bag and pipe 1-inch rounds onto your baking trays. After you're done piping, pick up your baking sheet and rap it firmly a couple of times on your counter. This is to get rid of air bubbles trapped at the bottom and to help the macarons form their pieds (feet). For good measure, I pick up the tray and use an open palm to firmly smack the bottom of the tray at all four corners and in the center. If you have little tips that won't settle into the rounds, wet your fingertip and gently flatten them.

Let the piped macaronage sit for at least 15 minutes, or till they no longer stick to your dry finger when you touch the surface. On a more humid day it might take longer so turn on the a/c to help the process along.

Preheat your oven to 330ºF, positioning oven rack in the center of the oven.

Place the baking sheet with your piped cookies on top of a 2nd baking sheet. (You use 2 sheets to make sure the bottoms don't burn). Place the sheet in the oven and TURN THE TEMPERATURE DOWN TO 325. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

Note: Baking time can vary from oven to oven, you may not get it completely right on the first try but don't be discouraged!

Recipe by Tabitha, Life A La Mode.

// All images and text ©
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20 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

    A good macaron can make your heart SING!! And their little “feetsies” just make me smile. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.


  2. 2
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Beautiful! One day I’ll attempt these myself… pistachio flour in Spain would be hard to come by (I can’t even find cornmeal easily!)


  3. 3
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I adore pistachio, so I bet these macarons must be perfect!


  4. 4
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Pistachio is one of my favorite macaron flavors (raspberry being the other) these are so lovely and look delicious!


  5. 5
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

    yumm these look absolutely amazing. and I love the pistachio flavor!


  6. 6
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I love macarons and yours look beautful! I love your photos.


  7. 7
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Pistachio macarons are really delicious although I’m interested to see that this recipe calls for pistachio flour as I’ve used pistachio extract before. I will have to give these a go!


  8. 8
    Allison C
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Do you have a recipe for the pistachio buttercream? Mine always comes out bland and I was thinking about buying some concentrated pistachio flavoring instead of grinding up pistachios. Suggestions?


  9. 9
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    These are so pretty! Lovely idea :)


  10. 10
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    These look wonderful! I just recently had my first attempt at macarons… they went ok, but definitely not as well as yours! I guess I’ll have to try again – and pistachio is such a great idea!


  11. 11
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I know I’d ADORE these!


  12. 12
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I would love to try these, but there is no way I could pull of that recipe. Anyone want to send me some? LOL


  13. 13
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Well aren’t these just’ve been rocking the lime-colored desserts lately. Love it!


  14. 14
    Posted On February 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    A-ma-zing, Lindsay! Love the flavor too, can’t wait try these!


  15. 15
    Posted On February 23, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Gorgeous macarons! I love pistachio macarons, they are just a bit more unexpected than traditional almond ones, making them all the more delicious. The color is lovely as well :)


  16. 16
    Catalina @ Cake with Love
    Posted On February 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Beautiful, I have to try making macaroons for the first time, because it is really expensive to always go to the Macaroon Cafe in NYC and get some, hey sell them 2.50$ for one, and I need at least 6!


  17. 17
    Posted On February 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    So *that’s* what makes macarons so unique. I always thought they were meringues, but I never knew what gave them that chewy texture.


  18. 18
    Posted On February 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    These were SO delicious! I ate a ton.


  19. 19
    Posted On February 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Pistachios are my favorite nut (and I adore pistachio ice cream…mmm….), and I have never seen pistachio flour. I use almond flour frequently but I have never seen pistachio flour. I will definitely look for it next time I’m at the store, and if not, I’ll just have to make some myself using my blender. These macaroons are gorgeous and I bet they have delicious flavor!


  20. 20
    Posted On March 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    In summer, I don’t even attmept macarons… in GA, meringue just doesn’t work as well and the crusting of the shells before going into the oven takes a bit too long… but these look very cute! and im sure it taste amazing :)


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