French Macarons are small bite sized cookies. These lovely, light little French almond meringue cookies are just begging to be filled with your favorite filling and made into sandwiches for a delightful treat. They first have a crunch in your mouth, then leading into a soft texture as you bite into the filling. This cookie can be filled with jam, ganache, salted caramel, or different buttercreams.
In the past decades the trendiest dessert has been CUPCAKES CUPCAKES and more CUPCAKES. But lately foodies have discovered another treated that will be poised to be this decades defining sweet: Bonjour, macaron!
The fad for macarons came to everyone’s attention when the show Gossip Girl fetished the macaron in a manner reminiscent of the way Sex and the City launched a cupcake boom. So, now I see them EVERYWHERE in the East coast and are slowly creeping into the West coast.
I love these cute little French cookies, but I quickly got tired of spending $2-3 per cookie. So, of course I had to find a way to make these delicate beauties.
Say BONJOUR to my recipe.
Sifting is extremely important because it helps the cookies have a smooth top shell and a fluffy interior.
When you are whisking the egg whites, you want to have stiff peaks. So when you hold the whisk up the peak should stick up and not limp over. This is important in order to obtain smooth and fluffy shells. If you over mix your shells, you will have flat and runny shells. Not fun 😦
After piping onto parchment paper, it is important to let the shells to sit out for an hour to form a soft layer before placing into the oven. This is to get a nice rise and crown on the rim of the shells.
When you take the shells out of the oven and the bottom of the shell sticks to the pan, separating your beautiful shells, then your cookies are under baked. It doesn’t matter if you are using a silicon Silpat or parchment paper, it’s all about if they are baked all the way through. But DON’T burn them! Burnt shells do not make your house smell pretty 😦
So, to check if they are fully baked you gently lift the bottom edges with your finger or a knife, and if they still stick, then they are under baked, if they pop off, then they are done! You do this while the baking sheet is still in the oven, so be careful please!
Once the shells are fully baked, let cool down and then gently peel off the shells from the parchment paper and let cool completely. Fill with your favorite filling.
After filling the cookies, refrigerate 24 hours to get a perfect fluffy interior.
In these photos I have dyed the macarons fun colors and added vanilla buttercream in the center. Let me tell you, everyone will be gloating over these little cookies!
These cookies are great for the holidays, especially as gifts. They look so delicate and beautiful, you will be sure to impress everyone.
Yields: 30 sandwich cookies
2/3 cup egg whites, about 4 large egg whites, room temperature (be sure to measure as it is extremely important)
1/3 cup and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter (pinch)
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 cup and 3 teaspoons almond flour, sifted
pinch kosher salt
Place egg whites, cream of tarter, and granulated sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until stiff enough to hold the whisk up and the peak sticks straight up and does not limp over. How long this takes will depend on your mixer. Add gel or powdered food coloring and continue to mix. You might want to add more food coloring than you think, the color will fade as you bake the shells.
Sift the almond meal, confectioners sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-40 folds using a rubber spatula.
The mixture should be smooth, very viscous, and not runny. Over-mix and your macarons will be flat and have no crown, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.
Spoon batter into a pastry bag with a plain round tip and pipe onto trays lined with nonstick parchment paper or a silicon Silpat. About 1 1/2 inches in diameter, leaving space in-between the disks. Then take the baking sheet and tap the pan on the counter to bring up any air bubbles. This will help prevent your shells from cracking while baking.
Let the piped shells stand out at room temperature until they form a hard skin on top, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 ºF and bake shells until set but not browned, about 10 minutes; let shells cool completely before filling.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar, SIFTED
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream, milk or heavy cream
Beat butter and slowly add 2 cups of sugar, until sugar is incorporated with the butter. Add vanilla extract, salt and milk/cream and beat for 2 minutes until smooth.
Fill the shells with the buttercream and refrigerate the sandwich cookies for 24 hours for the best texture.
Serve at room temperature. Bon appetit.
*NOTE: I spent hours on YouTube watching what different techniques to use. I definitely recommend watching some videos to figure out how the techniques work.
Here are some great articles that helped me perfect the French macaron:
- Macarons 101: French Meringue (NotSoHumblePie.blogspot.com)
- French Macarons Video (JoyOfBaking.com)
40 Comments Add yours
Your step-by-step guide couldn’t be easier my friend, so much so that I think that I could make some of these, and probably eat them all too judging by your fine creations 🙂 Mmmm you have a wonderful approach to genius 🙂
I’ll have to try these. Awesome work, I’m liking your blog!
Oooo these look delish!! I am so going to try and make these myself!! Great blog post!
French Macarons are easily one of my top five favorite baked delights. Thank you for mouth watering pic. 😉
With recipes like those you feature in this blog (the sweet potato gnocchi looks especially good) and the gorgeous photography, it makes eating at home look more exciting than eating out.
I can’t believe you actually attempted making them. I am so daunted! Also, it would be so dangerous to my diet!
I have been craving these goodies lately and the other day, I gave myself a little gift of a macaron-baking kit (consisting mostly of silpat mat, piping bag, and recipes). I had no idea I was on trend (this *never* happens)! I look forward to giving your recipe a try.
Did you take all the pictures on your blog? If so…awesome job!!
Yes! I’m slowly learning the techniques of taking photos of the food I make. It’s more work photographing than it is making the food! Haha. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
Hey Julie– Great blog. I’ve tried to make macarons before and they’ve been a huge flop. I’ll have to try again and use your tips (and also watch some youtube videos)!
Thank you! YouTube helped a lot since I was way in over my head making them the first time. Once you get a hang of it, they are so easy. I can’t wait to start giving them out during the holidays!
Thank you for this recipe :).I’ve been craving macaroons! I’ll try making them and I hope they turn out well, or at least… eatable 🙂
These delicate little beauties are so tasty, and quite easy to make if you just watch a few tutorial videos on youtube. You will love them!
Oh my goodness, just saw this post and it’s calling my name! 😉 Macaron is my most favourite dessert on earth, and my favourite memory is having these little sweet delights with my childhood friends on a sunny beautiful Spring day in Paris. Of course they are super expensive but worth every bite, and thanks to you, I can now make them through your easy and beautiful recipe, at a much more affordable price! 🙂 Merci beaucoup mon amie!! 😀
You are so very welcome! I just discovered macarons a few months back and I can’t believe what I have been missing out! I know my recipe is nothing compared to Pierre Herme, but I’d like to think their pretty close 😉 maybe just a little haha, but they are still really good! Can’t just have one! Tell me how they turn out.
Your macarons are perfect. It would be a disaster to use some other flour? Almond flour is very expensive in my country.
You have to use almond meal or some other sort of nuts. Almond meal here is expensive too, so I buy whole almonds, boil them, take the skins off, let them fully dry, then you can put them in the food processor and grind to a fine powder. Run through a sieve to get the large pieces of almonds out. Hope that helps 🙂
I love that peak of the egg white. Pretty!
This is great! My BEAUTIFUL glam photo sessions are Parisian-inspired and I was looking for just the thing to give as a client take-away/thank you. Homemade macaroons wrapped in cellophane tied with a lovely ribbon will be perfect. Thx 😉
Thank you! These beauties make great gifts and you will be sure to impress everyone. They are Very tasty too, such a luxurious treat to have. 🙂
Gorgeous photos, by the way 🙂
wow — these look lovely
They look incredible. I always get them so wrong but your guide is really informative. Great work chick x
I agree – watching videos and doing a bit of research is so important with there. But once you get a batch out of the oven with lovely feet, a crisp shell and chewy soft interior, it’s all worth it. Love them! Great recipe 🙂
I’ve done a bit of a macaron guide here: http://wp.me/P3TWPY-4w
Your macarons look BEAUTIFUL! I’ve never had one (I know, shock, horror), but I’m tempted to try your recipe! 🙂 P.S. Thanks for liking my post on Malin + Goetz!
Thank you for following my blog, and I just did the same. These look incredible! I was first introduced to macaroons on GG so I love that reference!! I am planning a trip to Paris in the spring and can’t wait to try the real thing, but until then I will try this recipe!
OH lucky you! I have a friend that might be going to Paris in the winter, so hopefully she will bring me back some Pierre Herme macarons 🙂 Let me know if you try out the recipe or if you have any questions!
macarons are on my list of things to cook. yours look soo good 😉
I’ve been waiting to make macarons. Now I’m definitely gonna try it out…looks lovely…
i love macarons! thanks for the recipe, looks really cute.
Wow these look amazing. I have always wanted to make macarons and now I definitely think I should!
These look incredible, I love those pastel colours! I actually prefer to look at them than eat them, they’re not my cup of tea.
And I waited to have my first and tasted it at Laduree, but it’s not my thing. They’re pretty though : )
Superb! Yum! Posts!
I’m sharing this recipe with my 9 year old niece who wants to be a baker and who loved the macarons at our local French bakery when she came to visit me this summer. Thank you for posting this!
Awesome! Let me know how they work out. They are complicated but truly worth it in the end! Thank you for stopping by 🙂
I’ve been wanting to make some for years… they sound so fun to make but i’ve always been told quite tricky. Made me want to try asap!
They are definitely tricky but worth it in the end. Love making them and giving them out for the holidays! Enjoy!