This post is sponsored by Nutella\u00ae, Country Crock\u00a9 and All-Purpose In The Raw\u00ae brands. The opinions and text are all mine. This is one of my favorite times of year for baking; we\u2019re officially into the fall season in Chicagoland! Today\u2019s recipe for Nutella Macarons is so fun, so fancy, and so simple, you\u2019ll definitely make it again and again throughout the entire holiday season. Last month, we explored Hispanic flavors from around the globe; today we\u2019re heading to France for inspiration. If you\u2019ve ever been intimidated by macarons, this is the perfect time to try them! If I can do it, so can you! There\u2019s nothing more satisfying than debuting an impressive looking cookie during the upcoming holiday months. Let\u2019s go for it! This recipe includes several secret (or not so secret) ingredients. First, how can you go wrong with Nutella\u00ae? It\u2019s one of my favorite ways to instantly create rich, deep flavor, and I love that it doesn\u2019t contain any artificial colors or preservatives. Best of all? Nutella\u00ae will help give breakfast to kids in need through No Kid Hungry\u00ae! If you\u2019re looking for more inspiration, you can find more holiday recipes using Nutella\u00ae at Nutella.com. I\u2019m planning on using this hazelnut spread as the star of lots of goodies this season. I\u2019m also excited to share Country Crock Plant Butter! I used the stick variety in this recipe, and I\u2019ve found that it can be substituted 1:1 for dairy butter in ANY recipe. This is HUGE, particularly if you avoid or eliminate dairy products. It\u2019s 100% dairy-free, vegan, and certified plant based. The fact that I can get this easily at Meijer? Even better! It literally cooks, bakes, and tastes just like butter, but with 25% less saturated fat. In my research for this recipe, I also discovered that Country Crock plant butter production uses LESS THAN HALF the greenhouse gas emissions than production of dairy butter! Truly makes me feel good about using it. Baked goods are especially great with Country Crock Plant Butter; think brownies, cookies, quiches, and pies. The olive oil leaves no artificial taste and serves as a neutral flavor. And without further ado...on to the macarons! There are several important points to discuss before you begin. When you view this recipe, you may be surprised to see ingredients called for by weight (grams) rather than by volume (cups). There\u2019s a very important reason for this! Macarons are by nature very finicky. When measuring by volume, your amounts can vary due to temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. Ever wonder why you\u2019ll sometimes need more milk to thin the pancake batter, and other times you\u2019ll need less? Measuring flour by volume (using a cup measurement) produces slightly different results each time. For some recipes, this isn\u2019t a big deal, but for macarons, it is! The answer? Weigh your dry ingredients. I\u2019ll admit; there have been points in my life where I\u2019d scroll by any recipe that required a kitchen scale. Don\u2019t make that mistake! You can buy a great kitchen scale for under $15, and you\u2019ll be surprised how often you use it! It\u2019s even useful for craft projects, determining how much postage will be, and more. Trust me; it\u2019s worth it! When you\u2019re baking with kids, it\u2019s also a great learning opportunity to discuss grams, ounces, pounds, and more. I\u2019ve also noted an important step when separating your egg whites and yolks. Cold eggs separate better, so split your whites and yolks with eggs right from the fridge. However, room temp egg whites whip up much better, so go ahead and leave your whites in the bowl on the counter to come up to room temperature. Finally, it\u2019s critical that there\u2019s no grease on the whisk or the stand mixer; otherwise, the egg whites won\u2019t whip properly. A great way to do this is to run a cloth with lemon juice or vinegar along the bowl and mixer attachments to ensure everything is pristine. Make sure to read the entire recipe before you begin, and weigh, measure, and assemble all ingredients before you get going. This is great when you have kids helping, too; even little hands can add in ingredients that are already pre-prepped. The French call this idea \u201cmise en place,\u201d and it means to have all your materials ready to go. Let\u2019s face it; the French know a thing or two about fine baking! I know you\u2019ll love the recipe as much as I did; let me know what you think! Tasty & Easy to Make Nutella Macrons Makes \u2013 24 filled macarons Ingredients For the Macarons Shells \t100 grams Egg Whites, at room temperature (about 3 large eggs) \t\u00bc teaspoon Cream of Tartar \t80 grams Granulated Sugar \t110 grams blanched Almond Flour \t120 grams Powdered Sugar \t10 grams unsweetened Cocoa Powder For the Nutella Buttercream \t1 stick (113 grams) Country Crock Plant Butter \t\u00bc cup (60 grams) Nutella \t1 cup (130 grams) Powdered Sugar, sifted For the Garnish \t\u00bc cup Dark Chocolate Chips \t2 tablespoons of very finely chopped Hazelnuts Instructions For the Macarons Shells \tIn a bowl combine the almond meal, powdered sugar and cocoa powder and whisk well. Shift the mixture two or three times to remove any coarse almond meal. Keep aside. 2. In the bowl of the stand mixer combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whisk on low, until the cream of tartar dissolves and then increase the speed to medium and let it become frothy. 3. Slowly add the granulated sugar at this stage and increase the speed to high and let this whisk for 5 to 6 minutes or until stiff peaks are formed. 4. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients to the whipped meringue and gently fold it in. Add the remaining dry ingredients and keep gently folding the batter until it reaches a \u201cflowing lava\u201d consistency and can make a \u201cfigure 8\u201d with the batter before breaking. 5. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. I used a Wilton 1A tip. 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. 7. Pipe one-inch dollops onto the prepared baking sheet. Tap on the counter several times to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes to dry out the tops. 8. Preheat the oven to 300F. 9. Bake at 300F for 12-15 minutes, rotate tray after 7 minutes. 10. Allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. For the Nutella Buttercream \tCombine the plant butter and Nutella onto the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk till light and fluffy. 2. Add the sifted powdered sugar and let it mix on low till fully combined and then increase the speed to make it light and fluffy. 3. Spoon into a piping bad fitted with an open star tip. I used a Wilton 1M tip. To Assemble \tMatch up your shells before piping, and then turn one side over. 2. Drizzle the \u2018top\u2019 shells with melted chocolate and finely chopped hazelnuts. 3. Fill the center of the \u2018bottom\u2019 shells with the Nutella buttercream. 4. Place the \u2018top\u2019 shell, that\u2019s been drizzled with melted dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. 5. Serve immediately or keep it an air tight container in the fridge. Notes \tFor this recipe, you really need a kitchen scale and weight out each ingredient. Because macarons are finicky, we need to be exact with our measurements. There is no room for cup measurement. \tIt is way easier to separate cold egg whites. So, separate the cold egg whites from the yolks and then cover and let them come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs whip up better than cold eggs. \tThe egg whites won\u2019t whip up if there is even a tiny bit of fat in the bowl or the whisk of the stand mixer. So, wipe the bowl and the whisk with vinegar or lemon juice.