I love macarons! I’m pretty sure I have said it before. I love making them and I love eating them but I love giving them away most. They are not something that most people have very often, if ever so it’s fun to give someone a treat. I get a lot of satisfaction for very little effort!
If you are reading this and have never made macarons I know you are thinking I am nuts to say they take little effort. If you have read macaron blog posts and recipes you have likely read about all of the pitfalls of making them. You have read how “finicky” they are and how you will have to persevere and keep trying. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to pay any attention to all of those warnings. I spent about a couple of months trying to master making them. I had read that I needed to age my egg whites, that they needed to be room temperature, that I couldn’t make them on a humid day, that I needed to let them rest on the cookie sheet to form a crust, that my oven temp was critical and that I MUST weigh my ingredients. All of this is baloney. Well, I do weigh my ingredients because it’s so much more convenient than using measuring cups but the rest of those warnings I ignore. I think fear is what stopped me from having success and it stops others from trying.
My attitude changed when I talked with a woman from Paris who makes macarons for a living. She works in a Parisian bakery making about 500 macarons a day. Her kitchen is in the basement of a 300 year old building. She told me that if she had to wait to have a dry environment she would never get any macarons made. She said her basement kitchen is so damp that the walls are moist. She doesn’t age her egg whites. She also told me that she didn’t have room to store the macarons while they developed a shell. She pipes them and pops them in the oven. She told me that the single most important thing to learn is the macaronage. That is the technique of folding the dry ingredients into the meringue. Once you get that figured out you are on your way. I did a little video to show how it’s done and what it should look like. I’m a visual person and I hope that it will help you to see it rather than just read about it. Emboldened with her encouragement I made a batch of macarons. I had great success time after time. They are now my go to cookie when I need something special in a hurry. It takes about 1/2 hour to mix up a batch of macarons. While they are baking I can make a filling (even if it’s sometimes straight out of a Nutella bottle). The sky is the limit when it comes to shells and fillings.
This is a link to a post on tips for making macarons so you will have success too.
I hope you love these as much as I do! Let me know if you have any questions!!
- Macaron Shells
- 100 grams egg whites
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 200 grams confectioner's sugar
- 110 grams almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- Sift Almond Flour and Confectioners’ Sugar into a bowl and then whisk them together until they are well mixed. Put egg whites, granulated sugar and salt into the bowl of your mixer. Start your mixer on medium (about 4 if using a KitchenAid) and beat for a few minutes. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat them until the meringue is stiff, glossy and almost dry. If you want colored Macarons now is the time to add a gel food color. I don’t recommend liquid food coloring. When coloring macarons make the color a little more intense than you want the finished product to be because the color fades in the oven while cooking.Next, add the dry ingredients to the meringue. Mix until incorporated. You don’t need to be too gentle at this point. When no white meringue is visible start the macaronage. Remember that macaronage (the French term for combining the ingredients) is about deflating the whites, so you don’t have to treat them gently. You want to knock the air out of them. Stir to deflate the egg whites until the batter is the consistency of lava and flows off your spatula. My video shows an example of the method I use to mix the batter.Pipe the batter onto either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I prefer a silicone mat). I have the best success with cookie sheets that have low sides, not sheet cake pans. Use a small strainer to shake some of the strawberry dust on half of your macarons.
- Bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. All ovens are different. If you aren’t sure that your oven is accurate, you may want to check it with an oven thermometer. To be honest, if you read enough macaron recipes you will see temperatures from 260F to 325F. The temperature isn't that critical as long as you don't set a timer and walk away until you know how your oven bakes them and how long they will take. Check to see if they are done by giving them a little wiggle with your finger. If the tops move easily, they are not done. You want them set but not firm. It’s better to be a little underdone than over done. Let cool completely before trying to remove them from your parchment or silicone mat. If you need to use your cookie sheet again just pull the liner onto a cooling rack and let your baking sheet cool completely before piping more macarons on it. Once cool match your cookies and fill.
- Strawberries & Cream Filling
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces confectioner's sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 -2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
- Beat butter for about a minute. Add remaining ingredients except for the strawberries and beat until light and fluffy. When adding your milk start with 1 tablespoon. Add more if your filling is too stiff. Put strawberries in a baggie and crush with a rolling pin until you have small pieces. Sift the crushed strawberries to separate the strawberries and the amount that turns to powder. You will use the powder on the tops of your macarons. Fold the crushed strawberries into your buttercream. Fill matched cookies.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before you serve them.
- You can eat them right away but they are best the next day. They also freeze beautifully, either filled or unfilled.