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Maple & Brown Sugar “Macarons”

Well, I just couldn’t help myself. Despite the fact that I’m allergic to peanuts/nuts, I really wanted to try my hand at macarons. I asked Susan, who had just made these, if there was any possible substitute for the almonds required in making macarons. She even asked Helen, the macaron queen herself! But alas, the answer was as I feared – a macaron is of course not a macaron without almonds, hence the quotes around “Macarons” in my post title.

I pressed ahead anyway, as I always do with my allergy, and went searching for a suitable alternative. What I really wanted to try were soy nuts, but since the only ones I found were also processed in a facility that processes tree nuts (don’t ask me, I don’t get it either), that plan didn’t work out. Then, I had a different thought. Since I’ve had such a great experience with Sun Butter, I decided to give sunflower seeds a try. And while I’ve never had almonds so I can’t say whether these tasted anywhere close to real macarons, the sunflower seeds did add a nice, nutty flavor to mine. Topped off with a sweet brown sugar cream cheese filling, I was quite satisfied with the results.


Brown sugar cream cheese filling:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In your food processor, grind together the sunflower seeds and powdered sugar until you have a smooth powder.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until small peaks form. Then, add in the granulated sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. Beat until the mixture is firm. If you pick up the bowl and the mixture starts to slide out, you’re not done yet. Keep going until you can turn over the bowl and the mixture doesn’t budge.

Next, gently stir in half of the dry ingredients. Add in the maple syrup, merignue powder, and any food coloring you desire (I used a little bit of brown). Then, add in the other half of the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a plain circle tip, about 1/2.” Pipe the batter on to the parchment paper in circles about 1″ in diameter, spaced at least 1″ apart. Rap the baking sheet on the counter a couple times to flatten the batter. Then, place an empty baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and the “macarons” on a higher shelf. Bake for 14-16 minutes; let cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.

To make the brown sugar cream cheese filling, cream the brown sugar and cream cheese together in a small bowl, and then add in the maple syrup.

Stick the filling in the freezer for a couple minutes to help the cream cheese firm up a bit.

Using a knife, spread some of the filling on one of the “macaron” pieces. Gently place another one on top to make a sandwich.

Posted by on August 24, 2009.

Tags: ,

Categories: desserts & sweets

11 Responses

  1. Love love love your macarons! Nice job!

    by Maria on Aug 24, 2009 at 9:33 am

  2. these little bite are fabulous!!!!!

    by Gaby on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:04 am

  3. Mmmmmmm Th ose look Sooooooo Yum-oo! I love the new idea of being able to print the recepies! I was wondering why you didnt do that before! Thats Cool!!!

    by Bestest Buddy on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!! You got successful macarons, without even using almond meal! They look amazing!

    by Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm

  5. Oh, I do love me some brown sugar frosting. Those look fantastic! Definitely some nice looking “macs”

    by Caitlin on Aug 25, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  6. They are so pretty! I’ve never made or eaten them, but I really want to! 🙂

    by bridget {bake at 350} on Aug 26, 2009 at 5:06 pm

  7. what a great idea to use sunflower seeds, never thought they could come out looking so good without the almond meal, I’m impressed.

    by Gala on Sep 7, 2009 at 5:27 am

  8. I don’t like almonds and have been looking desperately for the same look but a different taste. I am definately going to try these, thanks !

    by D@nielle on May 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

  9. I’m allergic to almonds as well and everyone’s always talking about macarons to me.. Now I can finally try them out. 🙂 Thanks!

    by Laura on Dec 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

  10. Thank you. I just found this through google-i was hoping to find almond free macaron recipes since my daughter also has peanut and tree nut allergy. I’m going to follow your blog as well. It’s right up our alley!

    by gale on Oct 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm

  11. I had a macaron for the first time a week ago, and my hubby and son are allergic t nuts. I made thee tonight and they stuck horribly to the paper and have a semi-strong sunflower seed flavor. The feet were beautiful and the top crispy texture was right on! Although, it was more chewy than melt-in-your-mouth. My hubby can’t stop eating them, but I still feel he is missing out on the perfection of the real thing.

    by Nicole on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →