As a kid, my favorite candy in a box of chocolates was the chocolate covered cherry, hands down. I became pretty deft at identifying them, usually based on their shape and occasionally, when necessary, just poking a hole in the bottom to make sure it wasn’t a toothpaste bomb mint-filled chocolate. Every once in a while we would get really lucky and someone would gift us an entire box of chocolate covered cherries. I thought that was pretty much the greatest thing ever. The idea for a cherry chocolate macaron came to me while pondering Valentine’s Day desserts and the kid in me who refuses to grow up just couldn’t resist.

These are pretty straightforward as macarons go. The shell is the classic almond based version, which incidentally pairs nicely with both the chocolate and the cherries. The filling is a dark chocolate ganache piped around a maraschino cherry. It’s important to cover the cherry with the ganache on both sides so that excess liquid doesn’t soften or dissolve the shells. The kids have been loving these for a festive little treat in their lunch boxes this week – they fit perfectly in the little dessert compartment. These really are the perfect slightly fancier answer to my former childhood candy obsession.


For the shells: 

  • 212 grams almond meal
  • 212 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 82 and 90 grams egg whites, divided
  • 236 grams granulated sugar, plus a pinch
  • 158 grams water

For the filling:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • About 12 maraschino cherries, sliced in half


  • 01

    To make the shells, preheat the oven to 350˚ F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the almond meal and confectioners’ sugar.  Whisk together to blend and break up any clumps.  (You may also use an equal weight of blanched or slivered almonds and grind them in a food processor, but I much prefer the convenience of almond meal, not to mention I think it ultimately results in a better texture.)  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in 82 grams of the egg whites.  Blend the egg whites into the dry ingredients until evenly mixed.  The mixture will be thick and paste-like.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water for the syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat with a candy thermometer clipped to the side.  When the temperature is around 200˚ F, combine the 90 gram portion of egg whites with a pinch of sugar.  Begin whipping on medium-low speed.  Continue whipping the whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks.  If soft peaks are achieved before the syrup reaches the target temperature, reduce the speed to low to keep the whites moving.

  • 03

    Once the syrup reaches 248˚ F, immediately remove it from the heat.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow drizzle until fully incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the meringue until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Gently blend in a few drops of pink gel coloring. 

  • 04

    Add one third of the meringue mixture to the bowl with the almond mixture.  Fold in gently until the mixture is smooth.  A bit at a time, gently fold in the remaining meringue until the batter is smooth and runs in thick ribbons off of the spatula.  You may not need all of the meringue, so add it gradually.  (I typically use most but not all of it.)  Add the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with about a ½-inch opening.  Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet about ½-inch above the surface of the pan.  Steadily pipe rounds about 1¼- to 1½-inches in diameter.  The batter may create small peaks immediately after piping, but if it is the correct texture these will smooth themselves away after a minute or two.  If the batter is too stiff, the peaks will remain and the tops of the shells may not be totally smooth.  If the batter is too thin, the rounds will spread further.

  • 05

    Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 325˚ F.  Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the tops are smooth and set and “feet” have formed around the bottom.  Let the shells cool just briefly on the baking sheet, maybe 5 minutes or so, and then peel away from the parchment.  They should come away easily and fully intact.  Transfer to a cooling rack.  Repeat as needed with the remaining batter, replacing the parchment paper with each batch.  (Bring the oven temperature back up to 350˚ F before baking a second sheet, and proceed as before.)  Once the shells are baked and cooled, match them up in pairs by size.

  • 06

    To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Warm the cream in the microwave or a small saucepan just until bubbling. Pour over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes before whisking into a smooth, thick ganache. Let the ganache sit until thick enough to pipe. (You may want to speed this up by chilling in the refrigerator or freezer and whisking every 5 minutes or so.) While the ganache is thickening, place the halved cherries on a paper towel or other clean kitchen towel to blot away excess liquid. When the ganache is thick enough, transfer to a piping bag with a medium plain round tip. Pipe a thin layer of ganache over the bottom shell of each macaron pair. Place a cherrie on top, top off with another thin layer of ganache and sandwich with the remaining matching shell. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

  • 07


    • All of the measurements for macarons are listed by weight.  A kitchen scale is necessary for making macarons as volume measures are far less accurate and may result in a poor outcome.
    • For step-by-step photos of the macaron-making process, click here. I promise, it’s not as hard as you might think!
    • For especially evenly shaped cookies, trace 1¼ to 1½-inch rounds onto the parchment lining the pans. I use the bottom of a large pastry tip and it works perfectly.
    • A reader recently recommended using Williams Sonoma Gold Touch pans for baking these. I already had the pans but haven’t used them much for macarons previously. However, they will be my go-to choice from now on. They had really nice even results with fewer than typical exploded cookies.
    • These gel colors are my favorite for coloring macarons. Whatever you use, just be sure it is gel coloring (as opposed to liquid food coloring, which can affect the consistency of the batter and the eventual outcome of the cookie.)

  • These are SO gorgeous Annie! Love the cherry inside each one! My australian friend loves cherry and chocolate together too – they have a chocolate bar there called cherry ripe with cherry, chocolate, and coconut

  • Laurel Nippert Miller

    These look fabulous. Cherries with chocolate are my favorite fruit/chocolate combination.

  • Meghan B.

    Chocolate covered cherries were my favorite too! I love these macarons, they are stunning!

  • Macarons are on my to-try list this year and this flavor would be perfect! I love the look of these so much :)

  • Jan Ellingson

    These look so delicious! Quick question….will you be getting any more of the onesies from your shop that say “made from scratch”? They have been sold out for quite a while….

  • Lynnette Strobel

    So BEAUTIFUL!! Nicely done Annie! Just wondering if you have any idea how long they are stable? And do you store them at room temperature or in the fridge/freezer?

  • Sarah

    These pictures are incredible Annie.

  • Ali @ Solano’s Kitchen

    Oh man these look amazing!! Can’t wait to try them :)

  • annieseats

    Thank you so much!

  • Liz N.

    OMG, these are just stunning! You’ve up’d the ante on macaron making with these! I totally want to hang this pic in my kitchen, right next to the red velvet whoopie pies (which I am making today). I just might have to make these macarons tomorrow!

  • Marcia

    I have made macarons several times with liquid food coloring and the Wilton paste food coloring here in the US, but when I bake them, they turn out off white colored, no trace of the color is in them. I can’t figure out why it does this.

  • noreenhunter

    I’ve tried making french macarons with the process above and it was pretty easy. Not as intimidating as I expected. They came out great (although the second batch of the cookies that I baked cracked). I will be making them tonight for a potluck tomorrow at work. I might add the cherries as a surprise. :)

  • annieseats

    You may need to experiment with other brands. I find the Wilton gels to be low quality compared to others I have tried. I recommend either the Chef Master brand (I think I linked in the post) or Americolor. Both are very vivid and stay that way even after baking. Hope that helps!

  • annieseats

    Thanks Liz! I am thinking about canvas-ing these myself :)

  • annieseats

    The shells keep very well stored airtight for quite some time – at least a week, I would guess. You can also freeze them. Fully assembled, these still keep very well because the filling isn’t very wet. Ours have been in an airtight container at room temp for almost a week now and are in great shape. Enjoy!

  • annieseats

    Yes! I actually have a few extra but keep forgetting to list them as in stock. I’ll try to update the inventory in the next day or two so you can get one. If I don’t, please email me at annieseats at gmail dot com and I will make it happen. Thanks!

  • These are beautiful!! I’m a big fan of the chocolate cherry combo also…and it is pretty much perfect in macaron form.

  • Donna

    I made these for Valentine’s Day and they came out perfect!! Much easier than I had anticipated as I went into it very intimidated by the whole idea of making them. Thank you for your detailed recipe and pictures! I followed them closely and compared at every step!

  • Sharon

    I loved cherry cordial too! But as a baker I’m supposed to have a more ‘sophisticated palate’ or so I’ve been told, anyway using maraschino cherries (which I can eat by the handful) are frowned upon. I think this is a fabulous recipe & I can’t wait to make it! I did find a ‘grown up’ recipe for maraschino cherries I’m curious to try.

  • Elena Smukler Doyle

    Hi Annie! Do you know what color liquagel you used for these? Also, if I want to make these chocolate, do I just add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to this recipe? Thanks!

  • Annie

    I don’t remember exactly what shade but you can use any pink or combination to get a similar shade. You would have to replace a portion of the powdered sugar in the recipe with cocoa powder to make the shells chocolate but I don’t know the exact quantity needed for that.

  • Cindy D

    Hi Annie! These look delicious. My children have nut allergies. Could I use something else in place of the almond meal?

  • Annie

    Unfortunately macarons are a nut-based cookie, and one of the most notoriously finicky even when making the recipe as written. I think it best to look for an alternative nut free festive dessert – there are many to choose from!

  • Cindy D

    Thanks for the quick response Annie!

  • Niki

    If you search online, I’ve found recipes that use pumpkin seeds (pepitas) instead of almonds. I don’t want to link to another blog, but a search of “nut free macarons” showed ample recipes.

    Edited to add: I have not made these particular macarons- but have made her standard macarons and many other recipes on her site with great success:

  • Annie

    Oh, please feel free to link another blog! I don’t mind at all. I appreciate you pointing her in the right direction. I have no experience with nut free macs!