As the weather gets warmer, the sun starts shinning and flowers bloom with color, many families spend more time outside drinking lemonade and munching on small desserts like cookies and brownies instead of rich cakes. Macarons are my opinion of the “spring cookie”. Most commonly served and made popular in Paris, France these classy looking, adorable yet delicious treats have become all the rage. Never having had one before but thinking they were adorable (and being sucked into this trend), I decided to make my own. Maybe it’s the pastel colors or how sophisticated they seem to me that I wanted to be able to say, “Yes! I’ve made them successfully!” I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! They are definitely not as easy as making the classic chocolate chip cookie! The recipe is simple, the main ingredients being almond flour, sugar, and egg whites however; these sweet cookies were probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever made.
So I decided to talk about my experience making them with the recipe I've found most success with. Have fun baking!
I adapted from THIS recipe. But added one ingredient and did some of my steps differently…
~3 Egg whites
~2 cups of powdered sugar
~1 cup of almond flour
~1/4 cup of sugar
~1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
~OPTIONAL: food coloring
You will need:
One of the most important things to remember when making macarons--don’t lose your patience when making these treats. It is a VERY tedious process and quite hard to make. Don’t expect them to come out perfect the first time you try the recipe…or even a few times after that for that matter!
1) Preheat the oven to 320
2) Pour powdered sugar and almond flour into a bowl and mix them together
3) Put your mixed powdered sugar and almond flour through a sifter. If there are big clumps, use the spatula to push them through the mesh. You want to sift the mixture to give the macarons smooth tops.
4) Pour your 3 egg whites into a mixing bowl.
**VERY IMPORTANT! It is crucial that your eggs are room temperature! The eggs are what make the macarons form! I left my eggs out over night for morning use. Mix the eggs until it forms a foamy consistency almost like a bubble bath.
5) Add the regular sugar and cream of tartar slowly while still mixing the egg whites.
6) Keep mixing the eggs until it becomes thick. The mixture should be glossy. It should be stiff enough to hold over your head but not fall out. When it is add in your food coloring. I used two drops of blue.
**Be patient! It takes a while for the eggs to get this way…anywhere from 6-15 minutes. Mine definitely took a while!
7) Combine the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites
8) When mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ones, FOLD them together. DO NOT MIX. Use an under and over motion to fold the ingredients together. This is the actual “macaronnage” phase.
9) Fold/mix the batter until it can run of the spatula easily in ribbons and not breaking off. Don’t mix too much or your macarons will come out flat!
10) Put your batter into a piping bag to pipe onto the parchment paper
11) In order to get the perfect circles I took a small glass and traced circles on the backside of the parchment paper.
12) When squeezing the batter into the circles, don’t fill them all the way…the mixture will expand and spread on the parchment. I used forks to keep the parchment paper from folding.
13) Tap the tray firmly on your counter a few times in order to burst air bubbles
14) Let the tray sit for about 30-45 minutes or until the tops of the macarons are dry and can be touched. I let mine sit for about 45 minutes.
*This is what makes the macarons rise and create the “ruffle” on the bottom
15) Place tray in the oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. If more time is needed, decrease the heat to 285 degrees F for about 5 mins or according to what you need.
I found that depending on your oven or the different types of trays you have, the bake time varies greatly. A few of my trays came out undercooked or perfect on top but not cooked through.
16) When the foot or ruffles can be seen, your macarons are done
17) Lift the macarons CAREFULLY from the parchment. They are very fragile! If they are sticking to the parchment, stick the tray in the freezer for a few minutes. I usually only let them sit in the freezer for about a minute. Then use a knife to lift them from the parchment.
18) Filling time! I used a whipped buttercream frosting and put it into a piping bag.
19) Pipe your desired amount onto one half of a cooled macaron then top it off with the other half!
20) To store them, put them into an airtight container in the fridge. Some people prefer the frosting to soak into the shell so they stick them into the fridge for 48 hrs before eating.
I discovered that the amount this recipe yields really depends on how big you pipe them out and how thick the consistency is.
Please remember to not get frustrated or discouraged! These are so not easy to make! I failed so many times (as you can see below--they still tasted good!) before I came out with a decent batch, and I'm still not great at making them! Good luck!