February 24, 2015
French Macarons have been around for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that they began to pop up in the United States. For the longest time, they remained a Parisian delicacy. But Americans have finally figured out why they are so popular in France (because they are awesome) and how to make them for themselves. Now, there are Macaron shops popping up all over the place. But for some reason, people still seem them as a "difficult" cookie to make at home. Yes, they can me a little bit finicky at times, but if you follow the instructions carefully and make them a few times - you will get the hang of it. They are not THAT hard.
I know this because during my time in NYC, I worked in a wonderful bakery called Macaron Parlour. The head baker and owner, Christina Ha, spent months perfecting the art of the macaron and even took classes in France to make sure she was creating the best cookie possible. She is a wonderful baker, boss, cat mama and person and she taught me everything I know about macarons. And for that, I will be forever grateful - because I really love making (and eating) macarons. Ok, mostly eating - but you have to make them before you eat them!
So today, I am going to tell you the top 5 things I learned about making macarons.
- A good macaron has a flat top with a crinkled rim at the bottom. The crinkled rims are called the "feet". If there are no feet, this means you over mixed the batter.
- You do not need to use aged egg whites. At some point, someone started a rumor that you need to use aged egg whites to make a good tasting macaron. This is totally false. Fresh egg whites work just fine.
- The egg whites do not have to be at room temperature. This is another rumor. Cold egg whites whip up just as well as room temperature egg whites.
- You have to sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. It is important to make sure these two dry ingredients are completely mixed and fine in consistency. Macaron batter does not do well with chunks of dry ingredients in it.
- Piped macarons need to "rest" before they go into the oven. Once you have piped your macarons, you need to let them sit out for about 30 minutes. This allows them to form a skin before you put them in the oven to bake.
So there you go. There are a ton of tips and tricks out there for making the "perfect macaron", but I think this is a pretty good starting point.
The other thing you should know is that there are two methods to making macarons - some use a French Meringue and others use and Italian Meringue. This recipe uses the French Meringue. Both methods work just fine, this is just the method I prefer.
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tbs almond flour
- 3 eggs whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Food coloring
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the shells:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Prepare a pipping bag with a round tip with about a 1/4" opening (Ateco #804 is what I use) and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift almond flour and powdered sugar together. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks.
- Lower the mixer's speed to medium and add sugar.
- Put mixer back on the highest speed and beat until they form stiff peaks.
- With the mixer still on high speed, add food coloring a few drops at a time until you get desired color.
- Take bowl off of mixer and add almond flour/sugar mixture.
- Using a rubber spatula, aggressively fold in dry ingredients until the batter starts to loosen and becomes a little runny. To test if the batter is ready, lift a small amount of batter from the bowl and drop it back into the batter. If it does nothing, keep mixing. If it slowly melts back into the batter after 20-30 seconds, it is ready.
- Put batter (about 1/3 of the mixture) into prepared pipping bag and cover the rest of the batter with saran wrap.
- Pipe 1 1/2" circles on prepared baking sheet and firmly tap the bottom of the tray so the batter flattens out. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Add a few sprinkles to each macaron.
- Let them rest for 30-45 minutes until they form a skin.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are set.
- Let cool before peeling them off parchment paper.
*Makes about 25 macarons
for the buttercream:
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream butter until it is soft and smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
1. Peel macarons off parchment paper and pair them according to size.
2. Using a piping bag with a round tip (wilton tip #6 or #7 should work) pipe a spiral on one half of a pair of cookies.
3. Sandwich the cookie pair together.
Storage - Macarons have a very good shelf life. They can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Just make sure they are brought back to room temperature before serving.
07/10/17 09:01 PM
This recipe is really great, and has turned out every time :)
07/18/17 10:25 AM
Such good news!
10/22/16 04:54 PM
Hi! I was wondering if using regular all purpose flour instead of using almond flour will affect the macarons.
10/23/16 04:00 PM
Unfortunately for macaroons you have to use almond flour.
10/10/16 12:14 AM
Hi Lindsay! I was wondering if the baking would still turn out good if I used a silicon baking mat. Any thoughts?
10/10/16 12:23 AM
Hi! They should be totally fine baking on a silicon mat!
10/05/16 12:52 AM
Hi!!! These look beautiful. What purple did you use? Color name and brand?
10/05/16 01:35 AM
Hi Diana! Americolor is the brand and Regal Purple is the color!
08/20/16 08:25 PM
Thinking about trying this recipe, but how would I know if I over worked the batter?
08/26/16 02:20 AM
Sorry I am just answering this! I have been traveling. I hope you are still planning on trying these. Overworked batter is very runny. Run your spatula through the batter to create a line. If the line stays, the batter is underworked, and if it disappears immediately, it's overworked. You want it to slowly form back together. I hope that helps!
08/11/16 02:31 PM
can i use almond milk instead of regular milk for the vanilla buttercream?
08/11/16 04:56 PM
08/04/16 05:48 PM
I'm going to try this recipe but I'm curious to know-I can't get the entire batch in my oven at once. How long can I leave the batter out to make a second batch? And will it effect them?
08/04/16 10:06 PM
I just made the recipe and have them in the oven now. However, it seems to have taken forever for the egg whites to whip (they weren't room tempature) and my piped "dough" was grainy. Any idea what was happening?
08/05/16 03:16 PM
Hi Stacey! Sorry for the delay on getting back to you. I would pipe one batch and leave the other batch the in bowl covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to use it!
08/04/16 01:00 PM
Is that 325 degrees Celsius or Farenhite? What Oven setting should I use?
08/05/16 03:21 PM
Hi Grace! I set my oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit on the normal "bake" setting. on my oven.
07/04/16 06:29 PM
Instead of a mixer can u whisk it by hand?
07/04/16 06:36 PM
It's very difficult (and takes a long time) to whip the egg whites by hand, but it can be done.
06/23/16 11:38 AM
Can you use regular flour instead of almond flour?
06/23/16 10:11 PM
Unfortunately you have to use almond flour for macarons!
06/19/16 08:38 PM
06/19/16 03:55 PM
Can I use imitation vanilla extract instead of vanilla extract?
06/19/16 04:39 PM
Yes you can!
06/01/16 08:19 PM
Can I use unsalted butter instead??
06/01/16 09:03 PM
Yes you can! But if you use unsalted butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt to bring out the taste.
04/30/16 03:19 AM
This was the first time that I made macaroons!! and with your help it was a success!! Thank you so much for the recipe!! Everyone in my class loved them. :)
05/01/16 08:24 PM
This makes me so happy! I am so glad they worked out and that everyone loved them!
04/05/16 12:13 PM
Why doesnt it stay with its shape? It started spreading. Where have I gone wrong, i have no idea.
04/06/16 08:25 PM
When macarons spread, it usually means the oven is too hot. Try lowering the temperature by 25 degrees and see if that works.!
12/24/15 05:26 PM
Too much powdered sugar in relation to the butter for the filling, but the cookie part turned out fine.
08/11/15 04:25 AM
Second time trying this, first time with your recipe, and it was a success! I opted for an ube (taro) flavoring instead of vanilla. Thank you for sharing! :)
08/11/15 05:47 PM
That sounds amazing! I will have to try to a taro flavor sometime soon!
08/09/15 01:15 AM
I have never made macarons, but I decided to try this recipe and they turned out excellent! Thank you for sharing!
08/08/15 05:15 PM
I'm keeping this recipe :) I just made some and they came out great!!
08/08/15 08:55 PM
That makes me so happy!
06/21/15 04:49 PM
How many macarons does this recipe make?
06/21/15 06:47 PM
About 20-25 - depending on how big you make them.
05/04/15 03:45 PM
These look amazing. I tried macarons for the first time a few weeks ago and was terribly unsuccessful. You've inspired me to try again :)
05/05/15 12:53 AM
I'm so glad to hear that! They can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of them, they are easy!
05/04/15 10:13 AM
These are almost too pretty to eat! (almost heheh) love the colours! <3
05/05/15 12:54 AM
Thank you! I love the colors too!