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Makes 20–25 macarons

There can’t be many mothers in the country who wouldn’t want to wake up on Sunday to a platter of freshly made macarons. This recipe from Waitrose Cookery School gives a grown-up patisserie favourite the winning childhood flavour combination of peanut putter and jam – just the thing to present to mum and then enjoy en famille.

Pop them in a ribboned gift box for extra present-giving brownie points – and, to earn maximum motherly love, accompany them with a cookery school gift card, which mum can use to book classes any of the schools featured on the NCSG site.

Follow the instructions below and these little pink beauties should turn out the perfect balance of soft and crisp (eat your heart out, Ladurée). They’ll last around three days in an airtight container or a month frozen in clingfilm, but that probably won’t be an issue…


For the buttercream

        • 1 medium free-range egg

        • 2 medium free-range egg yolks

        • 180g caster sugar

        • 250g unsalted butter, softened

        • 150g smooth peanut butter

        • 1 tsp sea salt flakes, crushed


For the macaron shells

      • 175g caster sugar

      • 130g free-range egg whites, strained at room temperature

      • 175g ground almonds

      • 175g icing sugar

      • 4–5 drops red gel food colouring


To assemble

    • 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam, in a piping bag


  1. To make the buttercream, place the whole egg and 2 yolks into a large mixing bowl in a stand mixer and whisk on a high speed for 7–8 minutes until light, fluffy and risen in volume.

  2. Meanwhile, place the sugar and 75ml of cold water into a medium saucepan and heat to 120°C, using a sugar thermometer to check the temperature. With the motor still running, slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled down to body temperature.

  3. Slowly start dropping in the softened butter, whisking well between each addition, until it has all emulsified. Add the peanut butter and sea salt and whisk to combine. Use a spatula to transfer the mixture to a piping bag and set aside.

  4. Next make the macaron shells. Preheat the oven to 135°C/gas mark ½. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Place the caster sugar and 75ml cold water into a small saucepan and stir. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and set over a high heat.

  5. Meanwhile, place 65g of the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Once the sugar syrup reaches 110°C start whisking the egg whites on a high speed. When the sugar syrup temperature has reached 114°C (at which point the eggs should be frothy rather than whipped), lift the thermometer out of the pan and quickly pour the syrup into the egg whites. Beat at full speed for 5 minutes until you have a glossy and thick Italian meringue that holds its shape.

  6. In a separate large bowl, make the almond paste by combining the ground almonds and icing sugar. Add the remaining 65g of egg whites and the food colouring gel, then mix with a wooden spoon to make a stiff paste. The mixture should be bright pink.

  7. Add a third of the meringue to the bowl with the paste and mix well with a wooden spoon. Being as gentle as possible and using a spatula, fold in another third of the meringue. Then gently fold in the final third to give a thick mixture of dropping consistency.

  8. Carefully fill two disposable piping bags with the mixture and snip a 1–2cm hole from the end. Lift the baking parchment and pipe small dots of the mixture into each corner of the trays, then smooth the parchment back down to secure it. Holding the piping bag directly above the trays, pipe 20–25 macaroons about 4cm in diameter, leaving a 2cm gap between each one.

  9. Bake for 7 minutes, then open the oven door to release some steam. Close the door again and bake for a further 7 minutes. Check the macarons are ready by gently easing them off the baking parchment. If they are very sticky return them to the oven for 2 more minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the trays.

  10. To assemble the macarons, arrange the shells flat side up in columns, matching the sizes. Pipe the buttercream around the outside of one shell and then pipe a small amount of raspberry jam into the centre. Sandwich together until buttercream reaches the edge.