Bourbon Pecan Macarons

These macarons were made purely on a whim but somehow turned into a very popular flavor that I featured in my first week at the Tower Grove Farmers Market
I was making my millionth batch of macarons when I wondered what would happen if I used brown sugar instead of white sugar to whip with the egg whites...

On my first attempt, what resulted was an almost burnt-sugar sweet and delightfully brown shell, leaving a hint of molasses in the air. I then experimented with swapping out some of the almond flour with pecan flour. Although I had to adjust the amount of pecans (They have a higher oil content, which can negatively affect the results.), they added a wonderful twist from the usual almonds.

I knew I wanted to pair a brown-sugar shell with something amazing...

Brown sugar always reminds me of maple or bourbon … something slightly dark and smoky. I opted for a bourbon buttercream filling and topped the shells with some sea salt for a little extra dimension. The result was phenomenal: brown-sugar shells topped with a hint of vanilla sea salt and filled with a silky smooth filling that’s unmistakably bourbon. Although there are endless possibilities for fillings paired with brown-sugar shells, this may well be my favorite.

The best part: The egg yolks can be whipped into the buttercream, making them glossy and stable. This saves the problem of finding something to do with the egg yolks, an issue I always have when making macarons. And if you’re too lazy to make these at home, stop by the Tower Grove Farmers Market if you live in the area, and pick one (or several) up for yourself!

I'm also making macaron ice cream sandwiches for the market! I've had to swat Joe's hand away all week or else he'd eat them all. I have to admit, they are rather delicious. What makes it doubly better is churning the homemade ice cream at home myself; I can make so many more interesting flavors than what's found in stores. Post about them coming soon! 

Bourbon Pecan Macarons
Makes about 22
Filling adapted from Tartelette

For the shells:
100 g. egg whites (from about 3 eggs)
35 g. brown sugar
200 g. powdered sugar
50 g. almond flour
70 g. pecan flour*
Vanilla sea salt (optional)

For the filling:
3 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small chunks
2 to 3 Tbsp. bourbon

• First, make the shells: Place the egg whites and brown sugar into a bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat on high until stiff. You can check the stiffness by turning the bowl in all directions. You should be able to hold it over your head without the mix moving.
• Sift the powdered sugar and both of the flours into the bowl. Using a spatula, gently fold the ingredients into the mixture.
• Once combined, pour the batter into a piping bag with a round tip.
• Lay out a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper (Silicone works best.). Holding the bag perpendicular to the sheet and just a few inches above, pipe out circles about 1 inch in size, leaving 1½ inches between each circle.
• When completed, rap the baking sheets with the piped macaron shells onto the counter a few times, to settle the batter and remove any air bubbles.
• If desired, decorate each shell with a little vanilla sea salt.
• Let the macaron shells sit for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the tops of the shells are dry to the touch.
• Preheat the oven to 285 degrees.
• Place the baking sheet in the center of your oven and stick a wooden handle in the oven door to let some air escape.
• Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes.
• Remove from the oven and then carefully remove the mat or parchment paper from the baking sheet and allow the macarons to cool completely.
• Once completely cool, remove the shells from the sheets and then match them up according to size.
• Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk the egg yolks gently in a bowl.
• In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and water to 230 degrees, using a candy thermometer.
• Slowly add this hot syrup to the egg yolks, whisking briskly until combined. Whisk well until the yolk mixture has cooled.
• Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat in the butter and then the bourbon. Once combined, chill in the fridge until firm and ready to use.
• Now, assemble the macarons: Using a small spoon, scoop some of the filling into the center of 1 shell and then top with another shell, gently pushing down and twisting to spread the filling out.

*I wouldn't attempt to grind fresh pecans down because there is too much oil in them to get them dry enough to work in the recipe. I order my pecan flour from !

These little cookies are best eaten 12 hours after baking so that the flavors have time to meld. Store in the fridge or in a cool, dark place for up to 1 week. (Can also be frozen up to a month).


  1. Oh my goodness ... these sound absolutely divine! I love this flavor combination ... and I can't wait to try my hands at these!

  2. I am DROOLING. I need one. NEED.

  3. Bourbon and pecan is one of my favourite combinations ever - and your macarons look perfect. Love love this!

  4. When I made the filling it never firmed up in the fridge, I even left it in there over night. Any suggestions on what I could do differently? Thanks!

    The shells are delicious though!

  5. @Anon, You may have just added a bit too much alcohol... it's strange that it would never firm up. I would suggest beating in some butter or powdered sugar.
    Hope that helps! :)

  6. Sooo...did you buy pecan flour or grind up pecans in a food processor. I just ground up pecans and the oils make it a bit too wet, it can't be sifted.

  7. I bought the pecan flour! I will add a note but it would be too difficult to grind them up yourself since they have too much oil in them compared to almonds. I use and order different nut flours from there. They're completely dried out and easy to use. I'm so sorry that didn't work!


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