I’ve made rose-flavored macarons before– they were perfectly pink, studded with finely chopped pistachios, and they were not very rosy. I was relying only on the flavoring powers of rose water when I made that first batch, and it takes quite a bit of it to impart much rosiness. When a friend requested pink macarons as part of her cat-sitting fee, I knew I had to amp up my rose flavor arsenal and try again.
After a trip to my favorite Indian grocery, I’d supplemented my rose water with some extract and rose petal spread, which is essentially a rose jam. It’s not the prettiest looking stuff– it’s brownish and contains tiny bits of intact petals, but it packs a lot of flavor.
I got to work on the macarons, adding only a few drops of the extract and a smidge of red food coloring. I knew I’d need only a slightly sweetened filling to foil the super saccharine rose jam, so I made a batch of mascarpone frosting that was just barely sweetened and scented with a bit of rose water. In the very center of each macaron, hidden behind a ring of frosting, I tucked a tiny bit of rose petal spread: