I first shared this recipe on I am Baker where I am a contributor. Macarons can be a tricky cookie to master but with this recipe and my countless tips, you’ll making be making these elegant treats like a pro in no time.
Classice French Macarons
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Since I’m sharing these lovely, pretty, perfectly pink French Macarons with you today, I thought I’d go ahead and share some exciting news to go with it. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been MIA on some of my social media channels and have hardly added any new recipes to the blog. This year has been busy and stressful for me because we were house hunting for our very first house in a state we’ve never been to or lived in, my husband was finishing his medical intern year, we moved across the country, AND I’m pregnant!
Yep, with baby number 3 and if you couldn’t tell from all the pink cookies, IT’S A GIRL! We’re thrilled to be adding a third little girl to our family and can’t wait for her to get here this early December (hopefully November!). So yeah, nausea, exhaustion, house hunting, packing, unpacking, remodeling projects, and a husband not around is all a big blog killer. Now that we’re almost all settled in our new home I’m hoping to get back in the kitchen more.
There are a couple ways to make macarons but the French method is a little easier for the average baker. Macarons are know for their signature smooth crisp top, chewy inside texture, those ruffly edges called “feet”, and the scrumptious filling mushed in between two cookies. Creating these cooking is a science and unfortunately we’re not all baking in the same kitchen with the same exact ingredients, temperature, humidity, oven temperature… Even making these cookies in the same kitchen but at different times of the year can alter results which is why some consider these cookies to be quite the headache to make. Here are some tips to help you be successful.
How to make Macarons:
- Weigh your ingredients! Using measuring cups is not very accurate since there is room for variations in how much one can pack into a measuring cup.
- Use room temperature eggs. Room temperature eggs are easier to whip to create the meringue. You can set them out a few hours before making the cookies or place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Beat the egg whites and sugar just until they read stiff peaks. If you over beat it will start to separate. If adding color or extract you need to add it at the soft peak stage so that it can mix all the way in before you reach stiff peak stage.
- Use gel food coloring. Using liquid food coloring affects the dry to liquid ratio so gel is best.
- SIFT! You must sift the flour and sugar a total of 2 times each. This ensures you don’t have any clumps so that everything will mix evenly.
- Fold, don’t stir. After you sift the ingredients on top of the meringue, use a rubber scraper to fold the meringue up from the bottom and sides of the bowl to on top of the dry ingredients. Keep repeating, turning the bowl as needed. The mixture will be thick at first but as you keep folding it will begin to thin.
- Occasionally test the batter while folding to see if it drops from the spatula slowly like lava. You should be able to slowly drop it back into the bowl, forming a figure eight that disappears back into the rest of the batter in 10 seconds. Stop folding and then place in a piping bag with a round piping tip
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and place templets underneath. This will help you get create uniform sized macarons for sandwiching together.
- When piping, hold the bag vertical and gently apply pressures until the blob of batter reaches the inside like of the circle. Stop applying pressure and pull the bag up while moving it in a swift circular motion so as to not create a big point with the batter. The batter is somewhat fluid so you’ll need to quickly move to the next circle and repeat until you’re out of batter.
- Tap the pan. Pretty forcefully, tap the pan on the counter to get any air bubbles to come to the top and pop. This will prevent your macarons from cracking when baking.
- Be patient and let them dry. I live in a humid place (80-100% humidity) and I always let my macarons dry for 45-60 minutes. They are ready to put in the oven when you can touch the top of the batter and it is no longer wet or sticky.
- Bake the macarons for 20 minutes and then let them cool on the pan 5 minutes before sliding the parchment onto a cooling rack.
- If you don’t bake your macarons long enough they will collapse and look wrinkly and be a little difficult to get off the parchment paper.
- Let the cookie shells cool completely before applying filling.
- Pipe on a little filling (1-2 teaspoons) and then twist another shell on top to help it stick together better.
How to Store Macarons?
Macarons can be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container for a couple days if the filling isn’t perishable. If you refrigerate them they’re good for 3 days or you can freeze them up to 3 months. Let the cookies thaw for 5-10 minutes on the counter after removing from the freezer.
These cookies will definitely wow your family friends and guests. Serve them at your next special occasion or celebration!
More unique and fancy desserts to try:
- Mixed Berry Pavlova
- Raspberry Chocolate Swiss Roll
- White Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
- Berry Charlottes
- King of Napoleons Cake
TOOLS USED TO MAKE FRENCH MACARONS:
Half-Sheet Pan– I LOVE these pans. I’ve had the same 4 pans since I got married (8 years ago) and they are in great condition. I use them all the time for cakes, cookies, roasting vegetables, baking chicken…
Piping Tips and Bags– This is a great starter. For the macarons I use the 2A piping tip. These bags are disposable but I actually wash and reuse mine.
Parchment Paper– Unfortunately this is not optional for macarons. You need to use Parchment paper. This makes it easy to remove the cookies when they’re done but also allows you to place a templet under the paper to make uniform sized macarons.
For the Shells:
- 80 grams extra fine almond flour
- 85 grams powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites (about 60-64 grams), room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch salt
- 50 grams granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- food coloring
For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon milk
For the Shells:
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, best the egg whites on medium until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and salt. Continue beating and add in about 1 tablespoon sugar at a time. Increase speed to med-high and mix until soft peaks. At this point you can add the vanilla and food coloring. Continue mixing until stiff peaks. Remove the bowl from the machine.
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar again but into the bowl of the meringue. Using a rubber scrapper, gently fold the ingredients together by scraping the sides and bottom, folding the meringue up onto the dry ingredients and pressing down. The batter will thin up as you mix. You are done one you are able to have the batter slowly drop back in the bowl making a figure 8. The batter will drop like molten lava and will dissolve back into the batter within ten seconds.
Spoon batter into a piping bag fitted with a A2 round piping tip. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper with templates underneath. Holding the bag vertical, gently squeeze the batter out until batter reaches the inside line of the circle on the template. Release pressure and lift the bag up with a quick circular motion and then move to the next circle and repeat.
Once all the batter is piped, slam the pan down on the counter a few times so that all the air bubbles are released. If you see some air bubbles at the top you and pop them with a toothpick. Let the batter dry for 45-60 minutes. For humid climates or rainy days, aim for 60 minutes.
About 10 minutes before drying time is up, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack and then remove from and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes sand then slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Fill once completely cooled.
For the Filling:
Cream the butter, powdered, sugar, milk and vanilla together for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Remove beaters and stir with a rubber spatula for a couple minutes to get out air bubbles. Place in a piping bag and apply 1-2 teaspoons filling to the bottom of a shell. Place the bottom of a second shell on top and squish together with a little twist.