French Macarons

Macarons are the most decadent dessert known to exist. A classic french dessert, macarons are sweet meringue-based cookies that sandwich a filling. The top layer of the cookie is crisp, but as you get closer to the center, it’s chewy. The choice of flavors and colors are endless- you can make chocolate, salted caramel, raspberry macarons, etc.  When I had my first macaron in Paris, I fell in love and knew I had to make them when I got home.

Let me tell you, I’ve struggled with making macarons for the longest time. As heavenly as these macarons are, they are quite finicky and capricious. I’ve attempted baking them and failed many times, I watched videos, tried different recipes, researched troubleshoots & FAQs. Being able to bake these well is a work of art. You have to make sure you sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar completely, fold the batter just the right amount, and pipe the macarons perfectly. After a countless number of attempts, I have finally perfected my macarons. They take patience and caution, but if you’re down for the challenge, try this recipe NOW!

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Ingredients: Makes about 18 1-inch macarons (36 shells)

  • 1 cup (128g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 cup (96g) almond flour*
  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (32g) of granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of cream of tartar

* I find this in the gluten-free section of my grocery store. If you can’t find almond flour, you can make it yourself by grinding up silvered almonds in a food processor until it becomes a fine powder.

Directions:

  1. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour in one bowlAny clumps that do not pass through a sieve should not be used as it may cause cracks in the macarons.
  2. Beat 2 egg whites at room temperature on medium/high speed in another bowl.
  3. Add a pinch of cream of tartar to egg mixture when it becomes foamy. The cream of tartar is helpful to the recipe because it helps add volume and strength to the meringue, however, it’s not essential to the recipe.
  4. Add sugar when egg whites begin to form soft peaks I add about a tablespoon at a time.
  5. Add food coloring if you choose to color your macarons.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites with a (rubber) spatula when the mixture is done. It’s done when stiff peaks have formed and the mixture is white and shiny. When you take your beaters/whisk out, the mixture should not curl; it should be stiff and point straight. Undermixing and overmixing will create uneven, cracked, dried out, hollow macarons. The perfect consistency of a perfect batter should resemble molten lava. It shouldn’t be runny (overmixed), but it shouldn’t be stiff either. I used to look at tutorials on Youtube to help me find the right consistency.
  7. Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe 1-inch circles onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Macarons don’t expand in diameter very much- if at all- so don’t worry about giving lots of space in between.
  8. Bang the trays against a flat surface several times to get rid of air bubbles.
  9. Preheat oven to 315 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Let macarons sit out for 15-45 minutes so it forms a skin. The skin is what allows feet to form, the signature of a true macaron. You know it will have formed a skin when the macarons don’t stick when you lightly touch it. The surface should bounce back when touched.
  11. Bake macarons for 13 minutes.
  12. Cool macarons before transferring them onto a wire rack.
  13. Sandwich macarons with a filling and serve!

Because these are plain macarons, any filling would complement them. I chose a vanilla buttercream filling but you can fill them with nutella, jam, chocolate ganache, etc. The choices are endless!

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These links are very helpful so check them out! Troubleshooting Guide, Entertaining with Beth Tutorial, Honeysuckle Catering Tutorial.

Good luck making them and as always, let me know how they turn out!

 

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