I’m kind of a stubborn person.  (Yeah, Ben’s totally rolling his eyes at the “kind of” right now.)  Once I get an idea in my head, it takes a lot to get me to give up on it.  Sometime over the past couple of months I had the idea for making candy corn macarons, and true to form, I just couldn’t let that idea go.  Even after three failed sets of macaron shells and three separate attempts at the filling, I kept working at these until I finally ended up with something that gave me the end result I was looking for.  A minor pet peeve of mine is seeing all manner of “candy corn” treats around Halloween that aren’t candy corn flavored at all and merely mimic the yellow-orange-white color pattern.  I thought the idea of candy corn macarons was a fun one but getting the flavor into them was more than a little challenging.  In fact what I ended up with are plain mac shells, vanilla buttercream, and candy corn sandwiched in the middle and on top for decoration.  It wasn’t the first idea I had but you know what?  It works.

Oh, and those failed shells I mentioned?  Yeah, just when I thought I was really getting the hang of macarons and maybe they weren’t so bad, my last three or four pans had been downright flops.  I tried changing all sorts of variables – silpat vs. parchment, higher temperatures, different oven racks, etc.  Nothing really helped.  The way I got these to work was actually a complete mistake.  After my third attempt flopped on the first pan, I shut off the oven in frustration while the second pan was still inside.  They had only baked at full temp about 6 minutes, and then stayed inside for about two hours until I went to remove the pan and was shocked by perfectly formed shells.  So in case you are having issues with too much moisture sabotaging your macarons, this is another strategy to try.  I have written the version below assuming all goes as planned for normal macarons should go but just know this is a possibility.  As much as I don’t love kitchen failures, I certainly learned a lot from this series, and ended up with some pretty tasty cookies as a result.

  • Yield about 2 dozen sandwich cookies


For the macaron shells:
110 grams almonds (slivered, blanched, etc.)
200 grams confectioners’ sugar
90 grams egg whites, aged at room temp for 24 hours or in the fridge 3-5 days
25 grams granulated sugar
Yellow powdered food coloring

For the filling:
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. heavy cream
Orange gel icing color
Candy corn, about 48 pieces

For garnish (optional):
Small amount of royal icing
Candy corn


  • 01

    To make the macarons, pulse the almonds and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground and well blended.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until a smooth, shiny meringue with stiff peaks forms.  Add the ground almond mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain.  You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.  Transfer half of the batter to a medium bowl and very gently tint with yellow powdered coloring.

  • 02

    Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Transfer the plain white batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip.  Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart.  Repeat the process with the yellow batter.  Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 280˚F.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size.  Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies.

  • 04

    To make the filling, add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add in the confectioners’ sugar and salt and beat to combine, first on low speed and then increasing to medium-high, until light and fluffy, about 60 seconds.  Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream on low speed until incorporated.  Whip on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Tint with orange icing color.

  • 05

    To assemble, match up a yellow shell with a white shell by size.  Pipe a small dollop of buttercream on the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Top with two pieces of candy corn and another very small dab of buttercream.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie, pushing the frosting to the edges.  Use a dab of royal icing to glue an additional piece of candy corn to the top of each cookie.  Store in an airtight container.