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vanilla macarons


How to Make Vanilla Macarons

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!

Best DIY French Macaron Recipes

So today, I am going to tell you the top 5 things I learned about making macarons.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Vanilla Macarons


Vanilla Macarons | Sprinkles For Breakfast

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs almond flour
  • 3 eggs whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

for the shells:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift almond flour and powdered sugar together. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks.
  5. Lower the mixer's speed to medium and add sugar.
  6. Put mixer back on the highest speed and beat until they form stiff peaks.
  7. With the mixer still on high speed, add food coloring a few drops at a time until you get desired color.
  8. Take bowl off of mixer and add almond flour/sugar mixture.
  9. 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.
  10. Put batter (about 1/3 of the mixture) into prepared pipping bag and cover the rest of the batter with saran wrap.
  11. 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.
  12. Add a few sprinkles to each macaron.
  13. Let them rest for 30-45 minutes until they form a skin.
  14. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are set.
  15. Let cool before peeling them off parchment paper.

*Makes about 25 macarons

for the buttercream:

  1. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream butter until it is soft and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

Assembly

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.

4. EAT!

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.

*Makes 25 Macarons




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meet the author



Lindsay Nathanson - Baker and Author

I might be the only person in the history of the world that has ever been grounded from baking. That's right. When I was a teen, it wasn't the computer, or the phone or the tv that got taken away. For me, it was the unsalted butter.


Comments (27)



Christina

Hi! I love this recipe - it's worked so well for me and i've been able to play with different flavors by swapping out the buttercream for other fillings. I was wondering what alterations you'd make to do a pistachio flavored macaron, though? What almond flour to pistachio flour ratio would you go with and how would you make the buttercream?


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi Christina! For a pistachio macaron, I always stuck with the same shell, and just flavored the filling with a pistachio ganache (1/2 cup heavy cream, 6 oz white chocolate and 1-2 tablespoon pistachio paste). Just heat up the heavy cream, whisk in the white chocolate and then add the paste. Let me know if you have any further questions!


Andrea

I made two batches of macarons today (chocolate with mint chocolate ganache, and vanilla with lemon buttercream) before finding this recipe. . They all cracked so badly on the top, but were still incredibly tasty and perfect texture. I am looking forward to trying this recipe next! Maybe tomorrow...;) Here's hoping they don't crack!


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi Andrea! If you got around to making these macarons, I hope they turned out well!


Megan

325 degree was too hot for my batch. They melted all over. This is from the batter cooking too quickly and exploding beneath the nice little cap of the shell. I've had much better success with 300 degrees for 18 minutes. (9 minutes then rotate the baking sheet, then 9 min more)


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi Megan! I am so sorry you had this problem! Sometimes ovens can run a little hotter than what they are set at. But I'm glad to hear 300 degrees worked out!


Love macarons

So i have a question. What if we dont want to make 25 servings. What if we wanted to make less then that. What would be the correct measurements?


Lindsay Nathanson

How many cookies are you trying to make? It would be kind of hard to cut this recipe in half, (especially the egg whites if you do not have a scale) but you can try it if you want to. Also, the macarons are not that big, so my other suggestion would be to make the macarons a little bit bigger so you end up with 16-18 servings.


Maria Claudia

Thank you so much!!! I was finally able to make perfect macarons!! Thank you! Thank you!


Lindsay Nathanson

This makes me SO happy! You are so welcome!


Rachel

This recipe is really great, and has turned out every time :)


Lindsay Nathanson

Such good news!


Kaelin Chau

Hi! I was wondering if using regular all purpose flour instead of using almond flour will affect the macarons.


Lindsay Nathanson

Unfortunately for macaroons you have to use almond flour.


Lindsey

Hi Lindsay! I was wondering if the baking would still turn out good if I used a silicon baking mat. Any thoughts?


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi! They should be totally fine baking on a silicon mat!


Diana

Hi!!! These look beautiful. What purple did you use? Color name and brand?


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi Diana! Americolor is the brand and Regal Purple is the color!


Samuel

Thinking about trying this recipe, but how would I know if I over worked the batter?


Lindsay Nathanson

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!


Ashly Major

can i use almond milk instead of regular milk for the vanilla buttercream?


Lindsay Nathanson

Of course!


Stacey

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?


Stacey

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?


Lindsay Nathanson

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!


Grace Dodwell

Is that 325 degrees Celsius or Farenhite? What Oven setting should I use?


Lindsay Nathanson

Hi Grace! I set my oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit on the normal "bake" setting. on my oven.


Arooj

Instead of a mixer can u whisk it by hand?


Lindsay Nathanson

It's very difficult (and takes a long time) to whip the egg whites by hand, but it can be done.


Amanda

Can you use regular flour instead of almond flour?


Lindsay Nathanson

Unfortunately you have to use almond flour for macarons!


Arooj

Thank you!!!!


Arooj

Can I use imitation vanilla extract instead of vanilla extract?


Lindsay Nathanson

Yes you can!


[email protected]@[email protected]

Can I use unsalted butter instead??


Lindsay Nathanson

Yes you can! But if you use unsalted butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt to bring out the taste.


Emma

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. :)


Lindsay Nathanson

This makes me so happy! I am so glad they worked out and that everyone loved them!


Tasha

Why doesnt it stay with its shape? It started spreading. Where have I gone wrong, i have no idea.


Lindsay Nathanson

When macarons spread, it usually means the oven is too hot. Try lowering the temperature by 25 degrees and see if that works.!


Maddy Nahigian

Too much powdered sugar in relation to the butter for the filling, but the cookie part turned out fine.


Aileen

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! :)


Lindsay Nathanson

That sounds amazing! I will have to try to a taro flavor sometime soon!


Jean

I have never made macarons, but I decided to try this recipe and they turned out excellent! Thank you for sharing!


erica

I'm keeping this recipe :) I just made some and they came out great!!


Lindsay Nathanson

That makes me so happy!


Lucia K.

How many macarons does this recipe make?


Lindsay Nathanson

About 20-25 - depending on how big you make them.


Samantha Merritt

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 :)


Lindsay Nathanson

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!


Sofia

These are almost too pretty to eat! (almost heheh) love the colours! <3


Lindsay Nathanson

Thank you! I love the colors too!