These pretty little French macarons are inspired by the iconic ice cream flavor: Neapolitan.  With a chocolate shell on one side, an intensely flavored strawberry shell on the other, and a sweet and silky vanilla buttercream in between, these gorgeous little pastries are as delicious as they are beautiful!  

Neapolitan Macarons- Chocolate on one side, strawberry on the other, with a fluffy vanilla creme filling. The flavors are off the charts!

Hey everybody!

It’s Thursday and my family vacation is winding down.  We are leaving to come back home on Saturday morning, so at this point we are definitely doing our best to make the most of every second!

So far I feel like we have thoroughly explored every nook and cranny of the little beach town we’re staying in, as well as quite a bit of some of the other towns nearby.  It feels so good to just do fun stuff all the time.  I’m really loving all the Q.T. I’m sharing with my kids and husband.  It’s been great to unplug and I appreciate you guys’ patience with me as I’ve been posting so much less on Pinterest and Instagram this week.  Things will get back to normal soon enough!

Once we return home we’ll be diving headfirst into back-to-school season.  I’m talking new shoes, backpacks, pencil boxes and notebooks.  But for now I still have ice cream on the brain.

Neapolitan Macarons- Chocolate on one side, strawberry on the other, with a fluffy vanilla creme filling. The flavors are off the charts!

Specifically, Neapolitan ice cream.  I just love that combination of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry!

I told you my most recent post would probably be the last ice cream post of the season, and while these Neapolitan macarons are not ice cream, they are most certainly ice cream inspired.

Could there be an ice cream flavor more perfect than Neapolitan?  I mean, I am definitely a chocolate person, but I love combining it with vanilla because I feel like it makes the chocolate taste even more chocolate-y.  And then when you throw in a little tart and fruity strawberry it just rounds everything out in the most delicious way. Truly the best of all possible worlds!

Neapolitan Macarons- Chocolate on one side, strawberry on the other, with a fluffy vanilla creme filling. The flavors are off the charts!

Can we talk about the strawberry element a little bit here?  I had the idea to throw a bit of freeze-dried strawberry into the macaron batter, and once it took hold in my mind I just couldn’t let it go.  Here’s the thing: freeze-dried strawberries are not the easiest thing for everyone to get their hands on, and I know that.  I picked up a couple bags at my local Trader Joe’s, but it’s not exactly the kind of ingredient you can get just anywhere.  So I wasn’t really sure if I should even share this idea, but then it occurred to me that there’s another way to get that strawberry flavor in there, if need be.  I’ll get to it in just a sec.

First I want to tell you how fabulous those freeze-dried strawberries are in this macaron recipe.  They are fabulous!  The flavor and aroma is so super-concentrated.  You only need a couple of tablespoons of ground strawberry powder, and it brings the most incredibly intense strawberry-ness.  Combined with the cocoa-infused chocolate macaron shells, and the silky sweet vanilla buttercream, it’s unmistakably Neapolitan.

So, definitely head to Trader Joe’s for freeze-dried strawberries if you can.  Or, check out this page for a list of mail-order sources.  But if you’re really in a pinch, another option would be to just tint the macaron shells pink, without flavoring them at all, and drop about a half a teaspoon of strawberry preserves in the center of each sandwich cookie.  Similar to what I did here.  I think that would be another great option!

If you’ve never made French macarons before, you are in for quite the experience!  They’re notorious for being tricky to make, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll get totally sucked in to the challenge of it all.  It’s so incredibly satisfying when you finally get the hang of it and achieve success.  I’ve got tons of fun macaron recipes you can browse here, and definitely check out this video post for lots of helpful tips and tricks, and a full tutorial on how to nail it just right.

Good luck and I hope you have fun and enjoy!

Neapolitan Macarons- Chocolate on one side, strawberry on the other, with a fluffy vanilla creme filling. The flavors are off the charts!

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Neapolitan Macarons
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Drying Time:
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs
 

These pretty little French macarons are inspired by the iconic ice cream flavor: Neapolitan. With a chocolate shell on one side, an intensely flavored strawberry shell on the other, and a sweet and silky vanilla buttercream in between, these gorgeous little pastries are as delicious as they are beautiful!


Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Chocolate, French, macarons, neapolitan, Strawberry, vanilla
Servings: 30 sandwiches (approx.)
Calories: 101 kcal
Ingredients
For the strawberry macaron shells
For the chocolate macaron shells
For the vanilla buttercream
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but cool
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (1 teaspoon vanilla extract can be substituted)
Instructions
To make the strawberry macaron shells:
  1. Set the egg whites aside to come to room temperature.  Place the freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or mini-chopper, and process to a fine powder.
  2. Measure the almond meal, powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the strawberry powder into the bowl of a food processor.  Process the mixture finely, then sift, discarding any large bits.  Set aside.
  3. Measure the granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Add the cream of tartar and salt to the whites, and mix on medium-high speed, using the whip attachment.  When the whites hold soft peaks, start adding the granulated sugar, very slowly, while continuing to whip.  When all the granulated sugar has been incorporated, continue to whip until stiff.  Stir in the rose pink color until evenly combined.
  4. Add the almond meal mixture to the meringue, and fold together, until the batter drops from the spatula in a long ribbon.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe 1 1/2-inch diameter rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Allow to dry for 45-60 minutes, or until thin, dry membrane forms on the surface.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and bake the macarons (one sheet at a time) until set (approximately 10-15 minutes).  Do not brown.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel from the parchment and sandwich with vanilla buttercream and chocolate macaron shells.
To make the chocolate macaron shells:
  1. Set the egg whites aside to come to room temperature.
  2. Measure the almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa into the bowl of a food processor.  Process the mixture finely, then sift, discarding any large bits.  Set aside.
  3. Measure the granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Add the cream of tartar and salt to the whites, and mix on medium-high speed, using the whip attachment.  When the whites hold soft peaks, start adding the granulated sugar, very slowly, while continuing to whip.  When all the granulated sugar has been incorporated, continue to whip until stiff.
  4. Add the almond meal mixture to the meringue, and fold together, until the batter drops from the spatula in a long ribbon.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe 1 1/2-inch diameter rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Allow to dry for 45-60 minutes, or until thin, dry membrane forms on the surface.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and bake the macarons (one sheet at a time) until set (approximately 10-15 minutes).  Do not brown.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel from the parchment and sandwich with vanilla buttercream and strawberry macaron shells.
 To make the vanilla buttercream:
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth, thin, and translucent, and it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.  Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on medium-high speed until fluffy and stiff, and no hint of warmth remains when you place your hand on the side of the bowl.  Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping after each addition.  If the mixture starts to look curdled, continue to whip on high speed until it comes back together, before adding the remaining butter.  If it seems runny, place it in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes, then re-whip.
Recipe Notes

For more on the shells, click here: Basic Macaron Recipe.
For more on the filling, click here: Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Nutrition Facts
Neapolitan Macarons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 101 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 28mg 1%
Potassium 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Sugars 11g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 1.4%
Vitamin C 8.4%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 2.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Neapolitan Macarons- Chocolate on one side, strawberry on the other, with a fluffy vanilla creme filling. The flavors are off the charts!