Milk & Honey Macarons

Milk flavoured macarons with honey buttercream.

These new Milk & Honey Macarons are inspired by the slowly returning sun of late winter and the comfort food flavours of the season. The shells are made with instant skim milk powder and are filled with honey buttercream. This recipe uses a new formula for the buttercream that I think should be foolproof!

Milk flavoured macarons with honey buttercream. Milk flavoured macarons with honey buttercream. Milk flavoured macarons with honey buttercream.


for the macaron shells

  • 1 cup/ 110g ground almonds (as finely ground as you can find)
  • 1⅛ cup/ 135g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp/ 10g instant skim milk powder
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp/ 41.5g sugar

for the filling

  • ¼ cup/ 25g sugar
  • ¼ cup/ 60ml water
  • 2 egg yolk
  • ½ cup/ 125g unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp/ 42-63g honey


for the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your parchment paper sheets (or use silicon baking mats with printed circles).
    • You will need 2-3 half-sheet pan size pieces.
    • Draw 1″ circles, ½” apart, across the entire sheet.
    • Place them on a large, flat surface suitable for drying your batter, like a dining table.
  2. Sift the ground almond and icing sugar together, twice.
    • Add instant skim milk powder.
    • Set aside.
  3. In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer on medium-to-high speed until frothy.
  4. Slowly, add the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites.
  5. Beat on high speed until the egg whites reach stiff peaks.
    • You’ve made meringue!
  6. Fold your dry ingredient mixture into the meringue in two parts.
  7. Here’s the part that takes practice: it’s time for the macaronnage! 
    1. With a spatula, spread the batter against the side of the bowl.
    2. Then scoop it up by running the spatula along the side of the bowl again and try to flip all of it over and sort-of lightly smack it back into the bottom of the bowl.
    3. Gather the batter up again and repeat 12-15 times.
      • It takes some time to figure out the best way to do this, don’t be afraid to play around with it. When doing the macaronnage correctly, repeating more than 20 times can result in oily, blotchy macarons, but I’ve found that doing it incorrectly doesn’t count towards this limit.
      • If you are doing it right, the batter will take on a noticeable and somewhat sudden change in consistency, this means you are about half-way to that limit. When finished, the batter should be thickened and drip slowly and smoothly from the spatula. You will have to pipe it onto your baking sheets/mats and it won’t work if the batter is too runny.
      • This is the technique that defines macarons, this is what takes practice and what makes mastery of them impressive.
  8. Fill a pastry bag (or zip-top bag) with your batter and pipe onto your waiting sheets/mats.
    • For perfectly round macarons, use a large 0.4″ plain tip with a pastry bag (or do it the lazy way and cut a corner off of a zip-top bag for mostly round macarons).
    • Twist (or don’t yet cut) the bag at the tip and place it – tip side down – in a tall glass.
    • Fill with your batter and twist, close, or clip the other end to keep the messy batter moving in the right direction.
    • Pipe the batter into the centre of the circles on your sheets/mats and stop before reaching the edges, as the batter will spread out a bit.
  9. Once finished piping, carefully pick the sheets/mats up and drop them back on to the table from a height of a couple of inches.
    • The theory is that this helps the cookies keep their round shape and form the little bubbles around the bottom – called the pied – when you put them in the oven.
  10. Leave the cookies on the table, uncovered, to dry.
    • This could take as little as 15-30 minutes on a dry day, or as mush as a couple of hours on a humid day.
    • You will know the macarons are dry when they look smooth, less glossy, and are no longer sticky to the touch.
  11. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
    • Place an oven rack in the centre of your oven.
    • Place a sheet of macarons on two stacked sheet pans (this will stop the bottoms from getting too hot, resulting in cracked macarons).
  12. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
    • If your oven heats unevenly, rotate the pan half way through baking.
    • It can be hard to tell when the macaron are done, I pull them out when the kitchen smells sweet and the cookies look crisp, have just started to brown, and don’t look blotchy in the middle.
  13. As soon as the parchment sheet/baking mat is cool enough to handle, take it out of the pan with all the cookies on top and place it on a cooling rack.
    • The macarons will be too sticky to remove from the sheet/mat now; once cooled, they should peel off easily.
    • I usually wait a few minutes for the pans to cool a bit and for the oven to come back to a steady temperature before moving the next sheet to the pans and baking the next round.

for the buttercream filling

  1. Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir until it reaches soft ball stage (239°F/115°C on a candy thermometer), about 7 minutes.
    • You’ve made simple syrup!
  3. Meanwhile, beat egg yolk, just until mixed, in a large heat-resistant mixing bowl.
  4. Slowly pour your simple syrup into the beaten egg yolk while beating with a hand mixer on as high a speed as you can without flinging syrup everywhere – remember it is very hot and sticky.
    • Once all the syrup is in, beat the mixture on high speed until it is thick, lighter in colour and the bowl is no longer hot.
  5. Warm the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave until it is soft, but not melted, and beat until creamy.
  6. Add the butter to the yolk mixture in three parts and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated and creamy.
    • If the buttercream splits and continuing to beat doesn’t bring it back together, it has likely become too cold.
      • Pop it in the warm oven or over a double boiler for 10 seconds and try beating it again.
      • Continue doing this until it comes together.
  7. Beat in the honey.

Once everything has cooled, place your buttercream in a piping (or zip-top) bag and pipe onto half of your shells. Then place another similarly sized shell on top and gently press them together.

You’ve made macarons!

Milk flavoured macarons with honey buttercream.

Making Plans

Woman in cozy scene with a book and tea.

It’s the time of year where the first signs of spring are revealing themselves. The dark and restful time of winter is passing and the spring restlessness is coming in. It’s when I start to dream of all the ways I could spruce up the rooms I’ve being spending my time in these past, cold months.

Woman in cozy scene with a book and tea.

My budget is small and my house is old, but maybe I’ll be able to improve a few things over the sunny months ahead. The dream shed/green house might be out of reach – and I really should remove the troubled chimney – but maybe I’ll be able to rework a chunk of the front garden, repaint the basement stairwell a brighter, cleaner colour, or refinish the hallway floor with the broken tiles. Maybe I’ll scrap all that so I can replace my old furnace with a new, eco-friendly heat pump and the dog and I won’t have to spend July on the deck with our feet in a kiddie pool to keep cool without air conditioning.

Woman in cozy scene with a book and tea.

Sweatshirt Muttonhead
Jeans Angry Rabbit

This is the time of year for dreaming, setting goals, and making plans. I’m a true homebody and love spending my time fixing up my 97 year old American Foursquare. I can’t wait to see which projects I get to work on this year.

Woman in cozy scene with a book and tea. Woman in cozy scene with a book and tea.

Bored with Winter

Bored with Winter | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for spring! We bought a house with front and back gardens that need a lot of work late last summer. We were able to do most of the cleaning up over the fall and winter and now I am exceptionally eager to get the gardens in shape for spring and summer.

I’m so tired of wearing pants, sweaters, socks, and winter dresses with lots of layers. I want so badly to pull my light and colourful summer dresses out of their winter storage and throw them on with sandals. Maybe that’s why my new Mint Macarons Skirt is an early spring dream.

I’m always itching to dress for spring at this time of year but it’s just not quite warm enough yet in Canada. That’s why my first new spring design is a heavier cotton skirt in the most classic of spring colours: mint. This skirt was made to be the first bit of spring in a late winter wardrobe.

Bored with Winter | Sophster-Toaster Blog Bored with Winter | Sophster-Toaster Blog Bored with Winter | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Top Sophster-Toaster
Skirt Sophster-Toaster
Tights Target
Shoes ModCloth

All photos by me.