The humor in this dessert is that macarons are considered a very light and low fat dessert. Cheesecake on the other hand is full fat, and honestly one of the more rich and sinful desserts. Once sandwiched, these desserts paired absolutely beautifully together.
Junior’s classic cheesecake recipe is my favorite, and so that’s the recipe I used to make this, although I did cut the recipe in half. If you make the entire recipe you will have batter leftover, which you can turn into a personal-sized cheesecake if you are so inclined. The recipe I use for the macarons is by Johnny Iuzzini.
- Place them straight into the freezer. They are very perishable so freezing is a must. Once the cheesecake bites were baked, they joined the macs in the freezer. This gave an ice cream like texture to the cheesecake that was scrumptious.
- Grind your almond flour with your sugar for 1-2 minutes to ensure the smoothest texture. Then sift to get all lumps out.
- Do not over mix or under mix your batter. This will impact the final result of the macarons.
- Watch YouTube videos of “how to make macarons” they are extremely helpful!
- Once piped onto baking sheets, tap on a hard surface to get air bubbles out and ensure an even macaron.
- If it is raining or humid, save the macaron baking for another day. The humidity will cause the batter to become very sticky and hard to work with.
- Do not preheat oven any earlier than the recipe states. If the oven is too hot, the macarons will puff up too much. I found that placing an empty sheet pan in the bottom rack of my oven to “trap the direct heat” helped.
- Silpat baking mats are recommended, but not necessary. You can use a mini muffin pan or silicon mold.
For the cheesecake bites:
Two 8 oz packages of cream cheese (I prefer Philadelphia)
2/3 + half of 1/3 cup of sugar
1/8 cup of cornstarch
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
For the graham cracker crust:
12 graham crackers, pulsed into crumbs.
1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar
For the macarons:
65g egg whites
185g powdered sugar
185g almond flour (I liked Bob’s Red Mill the best)
185g granulated sugar + 1 Tablespoon of sugar, Dominos worked the best.
75g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
Special equipment: candy thermometer
To make the cheesecake:
Make graham cracker crust by combining graham cracker crumbs, butter and Place 1 teaspoon of graham cracker mix into each muffin tin bottom or mold bottom.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Fill a 9 x 13 pan halfway with water, place on the lower rack of your oven. This creates steam and is like a water bath that helps the cheesecake cook evenly.
Let cream cheese sit at room temperature for 2-4 hours. With the paddle attachment in a KitchenAid mixer, beat one package of cream cheese with 1/3 cup of the sugar on a medium speed. After 2-3 minutes, add the rest of the sugar and cream cheese. Beat until fluffy, scrape down sides once or twice. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined- you do not want to overmix your batter, this will make the cheesecake less fluffy. Add the cornstarch, mix until combined. Lastly, add the whipping cream.
With a mini ice cream scoop, place batter 3/4 full into mold or muffin tins.
Bake 8-12 minutes until no longer “jiggles” in the center. Any longer and the cheesecakes will crack on top.
To make the macarons:
Start the meringue; place the 185g of sugar in a small saucepan (2QT) add enough water to coat and make a wet sand texture, about 2 tablespoons. Wet finger and wipe down sides of the pan if there is sugar. Put the pan over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Be EXTREMELY careful when cooking sugar. Sugar gets very hot and can burn. Do not walk away from the stove while this is happening- watch the thermometer because sugar can burn in seconds. You want the sugar to reach firm ball stage. While the sugar is cooking, place the 75g of egg whites in a standing mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. I like to wipe it clean with a little vinegar to remove any fat left behind from previous icing/ cake batters. Add the tablespoon of sugar and pinch of cream of tartar and beat on a medium low speed. Once the sugar is at a boil, turn the mixer to medium high speed. Egg whites should be still soft, but with volume.
When sugar reaches firm ball stage/ 244 degrees F, take off heat and turn your mixer to the lowest setting. CAREFULLY pour the sugar down the side of the mixer steadily. Whip for 5 minutes until egg whites are glossy.
In three batches, add your meringue mixture to the cookie base. Be light handed and gently fold in the meringue. You do not want to under mix or over mix the mixture- just until a ribbon is formed when you drop the batter onto itself. If batter is too stiff, fold another 4-5 times. Be careful not to thin the batter too much.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium/ large round tip. Pipe quarter size rounds as evenly as possible with about a 1/2 inch apart.
Once mixture is piped, as I mentioned before, TAP those pans! Three good taps on the table will help smooth the batter and release any air bubbles that were trapped.
Bake macarons for 5 minutes, flip, and 3-4 minutes until cookies have risen but not browned. If you have a convection oven, you don’t need to flip.
Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from pans. Transfer to a freezer safe bag until ready to fill.
To assemble, remove macaron shells and cheesecake from freezer shortly prior to serving (to ensure freshness). Place cheesecake bite in center of macaron and press gently together.
To store the macaron cheesecake bites, place back in freezer in a ziploc bag.