I’ve made these French Macarons time and time again, and each attempt has resulted in perfect macarons! Don’t be intimidated by making them on your own, they are easier than they seem!
If you’ve never tried macarons, they are thin, flavorful meringue wafers sandwiched together with a creamy filling. These adorable little cookies have a delicate outer crust and an irresistibly moist interior. A perfect macaron will be chewy on the inside, not mushy.
What I love about macarons is that they need to be prepared ahead of time. These cookies are never served warm, so you will keep them refrigerated until you are ready to indulge. This makes them perfect for serving at parties, as you can prepare them the night before and not have to stress about pulling fresh baked cookies out of the oven.
Are Macarons French or Italian?
There is much debate about whether macarons originated in France or Italy. I, however, will leave the questions unanswered, because truth be told, no one really knows! Perhaps the better discussion to have is that there is a difference in the baking technique of French and Italian varieties. For French macarons (like this recipe), you will beat the egg whites with sugar to create the meringue for the cookie batter. For Italian macarons, you will beat the egg whites with a hot simple syrup. The result? French macaroons tend to be flatter, while Italian macarons are a bit taller.
What is the Difference Between a Macaroon and a Macaron?
Despite only having a one letter difference in their names, these cookies could not be more different. Macaroons are coconut-based cookies. You have probably seen them dipped in chocolate at your local bakery. Macarons are made with almond flour and meringue and come in a variety of colors and flavors.
Tips for Making the Best Macarons
- Invest in a kitchen scale. Macarons can be temperamental to just the slightest deviation from the recipe. Using a kitchen scale will remove the stress and guesswork!
- Sift your dry ingredients! This will ensure even baking, a lighter texture, and no clumps!
- “Age” your egg whites by letting them sit outside the fridge for 1 to 2 days. This dehydrates the egg white and creates a stiffer meringue.
- Don’t skimp on whisking your egg whites until they are just right. You want the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Under whisking your egg whites will cause you to have flat batter; over whisking will cause the cookies to spread when baking.
- Fold the batter thoroughly, making sure to flatten the egg whites against the side of your bowl. But, do not over fold the batter! This will result in flat, shapeless discs.
- Tap the side of the tray when you take your macarons out. This will rid the cookies of air bubbles.
- Let your cookies rest for an hour before assembling. You will want to let them rest long enough so that they form a nice, crispy outer crust. This is crucial because the crust is what gives the cookies their signature shape. If your macarons are cracking on top, let them rest longer than an hour.
- Hot Tip: If you live in a humid climate, let your cookies rest even longer. The humidity in the air will moisten the cookie and make it take longer to create that yummy crust. Wait it out! It’s worth it.
- Start your oven off at 300℉. Since each oven is different, you will need to pay attention to how your cookies are baking and adjust the temperature and cook time as needed. If the macarons spread, rise too quickly, or brown, lower the temperature by 10 degrees and increase the baking time by 3 to 5 minutes. If they aren’t rising and have wrinkly tops, increase the temperature by 10 degrees and reduce the baking time.
- For the best results, let your macarons “mature” for at least two days in the fridge before serving. This allows the shells to soften and locks in the flavors. Pull them out an hour before serving to thaw.
Can you Freeze Macarons?
Yes, you can! Freeze the fully cooled down wafers in an airtight container with parchment paper separating the vertical layers. Thaw the wafers a few hours before serving. Then, proceed to carefully spread on your butter cream filling to make the sandwiches.
Other Macarons to Try
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- In a bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites with granulated sugar until they begin to rise and hold their shape.
- Add your choice of color to macarons, keeping the color darker, as it fades in the process of baking.
- Shift powdered sugar and almond flour to get rid of any lumps.
- Stir in dry ingredients into egg whites. Be sure not to over mix the ingredients.
- Place plastic or pastry bag into a cup to hold it straight. I would suggest a pastry bag, hence once you cut off the edge of a plastic bag it may not be a round shape. In this case, I wasn't going to make a trip to the store, so I did use a ziplock bag. Pour the entire mixture into the bag. Remove from the cup and twist to hold the batter in the inside.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe circles into the baking sheet, making them thick. Tap baking sheet at least 3 times on each side, this will get rid of any air bubbles and will prevent from cracks.
- Let macarons sit in room temperature for about 20 minutes, they will create a bit of a shell, also helps from cracks on top.
- Bake macarons at 300F for 13-20 minutes, depending on your oven. I would suggest checking them after 13 minutes or so.