|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||22%|
|Total Carbohydrate 14g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Macarons—not macaroons—have a reputation for being difficult to make. While they may not be the easiest cookie to prepare, they are definitely worth the challenge. With shells that are crispy outside and chewy inside sandwiching a sweet buttercream filling, these delightful French treats are a taste sensation.
This is a basic macaron recipe that includes essential tips to help the novice get started. Once you become more comfortable with the process, you can create macarons that vary in color and flavor. Before you know it, you will be creating delicious macarons every time.
One key to success is to create cookies that are as uniform as possible. If you're a little unsteady with a piping bag, create a template on parchment paper by drawing one-inch circles. You can also buy a specially designed silicone macaron mat to ensure the macarons are all the same size.
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For the Macarons:
- 1 cup (120 grams) ground almonds (almond flour)
- 2/3 cup (75.3 grams) powdered sugar
- 2 medium egg whites (at room temperature)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) caster sugar
- (Optional) Food coloring paste (your choice)
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup (38 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (or flavoring extract of your choice)
Note: While there are multiple steps, this macaron recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.
Make the Macarons
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 300 F / 140 C. If your oven has a fan in it, do not use it, if possible. (But do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good.)
Sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Discard any lumps. Mix together the almond flour and powdered sugar.
In a separate, very clean bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, a little at a time, and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy. (Ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out.) Add food coloring paste, if using, and mix until combined.
Gently fold the sugar and almond mixture into the egg whites, about 8 to 10 folds around the bowl. Check to see that the mixture is beaten enough (termed the macaronage stage) by making a figure 8 with the batter as it falls from the spatula.
If you can make a full figure eight, the batter has been incorporated enough. If it doesn't make the full figure eight, keep folding the mixture until it does. The mixture will be quite loose, which is the way it should be.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/3-inch (1-cm) nozzle with the macaron mixture.
Place the silicone mat or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs about 1 inch in diameter onto the sheet. Remember that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture settle and to break any air bubbles. Let sit to dry for 20 minutes. The surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny.
Bake the macarons in the preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes, open the door to release any steam, and then close the oven door and bake for another 7 to 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly—about 20 minutes. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are completely cool because they can easily break.
Make the Filling
Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar. At this point, you can add any flavorings you may choose.
Place approximately half a teaspoon of the filling on the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another shell. Twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours, as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.
- If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic bag and snip off one corner, being sure not to make the hole too big.
- To make filling the piping bag easier, place the bag with the tip into a drinking glass and pull the top edges of the bag a little bit around the glass to hold it in place.
- Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly. Too high, and they quickly burn. Too low, and they don't cook through. 300 F / 140 C is a guideline, so adjust to suit your oven.
You can make colored macarons by (sparingly) adding a food coloring paste, rather than liquid food coloring, to this basic recipe. Add the paste once the sugar has been incorporated into the stiff egg whites, mixing until combined. It is always nice to choose a filling that pairs well with the cookie's hue.
- For pink macarons, raspberry- and strawberry-flavored fillings are good matches. For contrast, add a little vanilla flavoring to the buttercream.
- Green macarons work very well with a pistachio-flavored cream. You can use either a food additive or finely ground, pistachio nuts. The combination of coconut and lime (both zest and juice) is also a nice filling for green macarons.
- Fill purple macarons with a blueberry-flavored cream.
- Lemon is the perfect filling flavor for a yellow macaron.
Why Are There No "Feet" on the Macarons?
The small, fluffy ruffles on a macaron shell are called "feet." It's a trademark feature of well-made macarons. There are a few reasons why feet don't form during baking. Make sure to use fresh eggs for the meringue, avoid beating the eggs too much or too little, and don't rush the resting time so the meringue rises evenly. Also, be sure to watch the oven temperature so the shells are not overcooked; an oven thermometer can help with accuracy.
Why Do Macarons Crack?
Ideally, macaron shells should have a smooth surface. If you pull them out of the oven and notice cracks instead, it's likely that there's too much air in the batter. Overbeating and not letting the shells dry well enough before baking are two factors that may cause a hollow, cracked shell. Additionally, pay close attention to the batter texture during the macaronage stage. It takes some practice to know when it's perfect.
What's the Difference Between Macarons and Macaroons?
The names are similar and easily confused for one another, but macarons and macaroons are distinctly different cookies. Both use a meringue of beaten egg whites and traditionally do not include wheat flour (some macaroon recipes do), so they're gluten free. Macarons are sandwich cookies that are often brightly colored and available in a variety of flavors. Coconut macaroons are drop cookies baked to a golden brown and far easier to make.