Adorable cow macaron shells sandwiched with a brown sugar cheesecake filling, with optional boba inside! The template is simple—each cow is just a plain circle with horns and ears, made with white batter. All of the decorations are added post-bake with melted milk + white chocolate.
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*If this is your first time making macarons, check out my more in-depth post on how to make macarons. You can find more pictures, GIFS, and macaron templates on that page! I also recommend reading Mimi’s macaron post.
About these cow macarons
While drawing the template for these bubble tea macarons, I was brainstorming different fillings I could make.
I thought about my dog Miley, who is a moo moo pitbull with brown spots like a cow. Then, I got thinking I should make the cows have brown spots in honor of her, but with a brown-ish filling to complement the macaron. And since it was a cow, I obvi had to make some type of milk filling. Thus, I came up with this brown sugar milk tea filling! Did you follow all of that? Hahaha.
But really, that’s how a lot of my recipes are developed. I either think of an animal to create, then what flavors match the color(s). Or vice versa: I think of a flavor, then of different animals that would fit it.
Brown sugar bubble tea is one of my favorite flavors, and probably my go-to order besides earl grey. And since I love getting cheese foam as one of the toppings, I wanted to incorporate that into the flavor.
So, I decided to make the filling cream cheese based. To get the milk tea flavor, I steeped black tea in heavy cream & whipped that with the cream cheese. Then, I lightly sweetened the frosting with brown sugar and made some fresh brown sugar boba to go with it.
The boba is optional and I only recommend adding it if you’re eating the macarons within 24 hours. This is because boba gets pretty hard after being in the fridge. They lose their chewiness, unless you warm them up again.. and I don’t recommend warming up a macaron. So, it is up to you if you want to add boba to your macarons!
Overall, these farm animal macarons are not-too-sweet, light, a bit chewy, and perfectly reminiscent of brown sugar boba with cheese foam! If you decide to make the filling or even just the cow macaron shells, I hope you enjoy. 🙂
Cow macaron template
Each macaron shell is a little under 2 inches!
Where can I get tapioca pearls?
You can buy ready-to-make tapioca pearls from your local Asian grocery store, then boil or microwave them according to package instructions. You can also buy them online, like these Instant Tapioca Pearls off Amazon.
Alternatively, you can make them from scratch, which is what I did! I followed this recipe by Honest Food Talks and have a bunch of dried boba stored in my pantry. 🙂
Does boba store well?
Dried boba or boba in instant packs store well, just make sure to read the instructions on the package! However, freshly made boba hardens once refrigerated, and that’s how you store macarons. So, I only recommend adding boba to your macarons if you plan on eating them within 24 hours. Otherwise, opt out or you’ll get macarons with hard centers!
Tips for baking and decorating
Use a kitchen scale
Macarons are incredibly finicky. A kitchen scale allows you to measure all the ingredients correctly and helps you create consistent, full, sturdy shells. AND, if you use a cute kitchen scale like this heart-shaped one, it’ll increase your overall happiness by at least 10%.
Decorating with melted chocolate
You can use a piping bag, cookie scribe, or toothpick to add on the details. I used a piping bag for these guys.
For the white chocolate, you’ll want to use oil-based food coloring or the chocolate will seize up and become lumpy. However, if you don’t have oil-based food coloring, you can try mixing in a tsp of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) at a time! The chocolate should come back together. Maaagic.
Storing the kawaii cookies
Store the boba macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Any longer than that, the boba will be pretty hard.
If you opt out of adding the boba, the macarons can last in the fridge for up to 3 days. I highly recommend freezing them instead (for up to one month), and eating them at room temperature.
Other cute macaron recipes
Check out this link for chocolate bunnies, Thai tea bears, strawberry cheesecake Kirbys, Oreo bears, lemon duckies, chocolate pigs, and more!
Cow Macarons with Brown Sugar Milk Tea Filling (French Method)
For the French macaron shells:
- 50 g egg whites, room temperature
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 60 g almond flour, sifted
- 50 g powdered sugar, sifted
- gel food coloring (purple)
For the brown sugar milk tea filling:
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 black tea bags or 2 tbsp loose black tea leaves
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 packet instant boba, optional, see notes**
For the decorations:
- 3 tbsp milk or dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp white chocolate, melted
- oil-based food coloring, see steps (pink)
- Put printed macaron templates on baking trays. Place silicone baking mats or parchment paper on top of templates.
- Set up one large piping bag with a small-medium round tip. If you do not have a round tip, you can just snip the end of the bag before piping.
For the French macaron shells:
- In a medium bowl, mix the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar.
- Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Set up a stopwatch to time how long to whip the meringue. (These times are listed to help beginner macaron makers. With practice, you can go by eye.)0:00 – 4:00 minutes: Mix on medium-low for 4 minutes (Kitchenaid speed 4).4:00 – 9:30 minutes: Turn the mixer to medium speed (Kitchenaid speed 6). Add a third of the granulated sugar. After 30 seconds, add another third. After another 30 seconds, add the last of the granulated sugar. Keep mixing at medium speed until you have reached a total of 9:30 minutes. The meringue should be balled up onto the whisk, very thick, glossy, and have stiff peaks. If not, keep mixing at 30-second intervals at Kitchenaid speed 8 until it is.
- Using a toothpick, knife, or cookie scribe, swipe in a very small amount of purple food coloring. This will offset the yellow tint of the almond flour, yielding white macarons.
- Add all of the powdered sugar, almond flour to the meringue. Gently fold the macaron batter, often scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue folding, adding more food coloring as needed.
- Fold the batter until it reaches a thick, glossy consistency and flows off the rubber spatula into ribbons. To test if it is ready, allow the batter to flow off the spatula and into the batter. If the ribbons do not melt into the rest of the batter after 30 seconds, continue folding. Be careful not to over mix. When it passes this test, transfer the batter to your piping bag.
- Pipe about 24 round shells onto your silicone mats/parchment paper, using the macaron template as a guide. Make sure there is leftover batter for the cows' ears and horns for half of the shells.
- Tap the trays against the counter a few times to get rid of air bubbles. If there are bubbles on the surface, you can use a toothpick or cookie scribe to pop them. Popping the air bubbles helps stop them from cracking when being baked.
- Use the remaining batter for the horns and ears on half of the shells. You can use a toothpick or cookie scribe to move the batter around if needed.
- Allow the macarons to sit out at room temperature to dry for at least one hour. They will be ready to bake once the surface of the macaron is matte and dry to the touch. If it is a really humid day, it can sometimes take 2 hours for them to dry.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Place an empty baking sheet upside-down on the middle rack.
- Place the baking sheet with the macarons on top of the upside-down baking sheet. The upside-down sheet will help the macarons bake more evenly, decreasing the chances of cracking. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and drop the temp to 310F. This will help prevent browning. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.To test if they are done baking, gently push the side of one shell. If it wiggles on the sheet, they need to be baked longer.
- Remove the macarons and place them on a wire rack. Bake any remaining macaron shells.
- Allow macarons to fully cool before peeling them off the parchment paper or silicone mats.
For the brown sugar milk tea filling:
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat heavy cream until it just begins to bubble, about 20-30 seconds.
- Add in loose tea leaves into heavy cream. If using tea bags, cut them open and add all of the tea into the heavy cream. Stir until combined, then let steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the heavy cream into another small bowl to get rid of the tea leaves. Place in fridge for about 10 minutes, or until the heavy cream is chilled and no longer warm.
- In a medium bowl, whip the softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the chilled black tea infused heavy cream. Whip until mixture is smooth, light, and a bit fluffy.
- Mix in brown sugar until just combined. Try not to over mix, or the cream cheese filling will become loose. If that is the case, add in a splash of heavy cream and whip until thick again.
- Transfer filling to a piping bag and snip a medium tip.
- Optional: make instant boba according to package instructions and set aside.**Boba hardens once chilled in the fridge after 24 hr, losing its chewy texture. I recommend only adding boba if you plan on eating the macarons within 24 hr.
- Match the macaron shells, lining up each pair on your work surface.
- For the details, you can use a toothpick, cookie scribe, or piping bag.
- Add pink oil-based food coloring to 3/4 of your melted white chocolate. If you don't have oil-based coloring, your chocolate will seize and become lumpy. To counter this, add in a tsp of neutral oil (canola, vegetable), and mix until it comes back together. Use this for the noses, ears, and blush.
- Use melted milk or dark chocolate for the spots, eyes, and nostrils.
- Use the remaining 1/4 of melted white chocolate for the whites of the eyes.
- Pipe a ring of brown sugar filling on the bottom shell, leaving the middle empty if adding boba. If adding boba, spoon in 2-3 tapioca pearls in the middle. Top macaron with matching shell.
- Leave macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating. This allows them to mature, making them softer, chewier, and more flavorful. Eat at room temperature.
- Store the macarons in an airtight container. If you didn't add boba: They can last in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to one month! Eat at room temperature.If you added boba: They can last in the fridge for up to 24 hr, otherwise the boba becomes hard. I recommend eating them within this time frame.