Why Make Macarons?
Well, I'll tell you why. I have a 14-year-old niece who absolutely loves them. And I think this cookie is pretty cool to be able to make because it's not a very common cookie. It's a special treat. I've read a lot of posts about macarons, I watched a lot of videos, and everyone says there's a lot that can go wrong and that they are pretty difficult to make—but then in turn make it look oh-so-deceivingly simple. The truth is, it's not simple. The reality is that you're gonna need a few tries to get this one right. So if you like a challenge, this cookie is for you.
I'm definitely going to try this again, and I'm determined to succeed. I was close, but there was one major flaw with my macarons: the shell top was hollow. All the inside of the cookie sat at the bottom where the feet are. That's why some are sticking out further than the cap. They still tasted really good, but I think the texture was a bit off.
Oh, did I mention I've never actually eaten a macaron before? I do that with a lot of recipes. I like to try things I've never had before; I did that with eggs Benedict. I'm still working on that recipe. If anyone has a good hollandaise sauce, send the recipe my way please!
So basically I'm going to give you the halved recipe I used, it yields about 12-14 cookies. Most macaron recipes make upwards of 40 cookies. I didn't want to scale down too much because I know the egg whites and sugar part is tricky, and I wasn't sure how whipped I could get half an egg white...
What You’ll Need
Makes 12-14 cookies, but they’re tiny so... 6 could technically be a single serving...
- 1/4 Cups and 2 Tablespoons Almond Flour (I used unblanched and that's why there are specks in my macarons. I've purchased blanched almond flour for my next batch on Amazon so I can have a more traditional looking macaron, but they taste the same!)
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Large Egg White
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons Softened Butter
- 1/4 Cup and 2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325°F. (This part isn't actually as important for doing it right at the start as you have to let these babies form a skin (I know it sounds gross) before you put them in anyway, but just to stay in the habit I did it right away. Set out egg to get to room temperature. (A quick cheat on this is to just put it in a cup with room temperature water, it gets the egg to room temperature in no time!
- Sift almond flour and and powdered sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Put egg white in another bowl and beat on medium speed until you see soft peaks. They say about 2 minutes but mine took longer. I think this is the step I botched. Make sure you do a high enough speed and that you whip it, whip it good!
- Add your sugar, one tablespoon at a time and change your beater speed to high. This should take about 2 more minutes. Watch for stiff and glossy peaks. This is also a very important step. You want it to definitely be peaky. Don't rush it.
- Add in coloring (optional) and vanilla at this point. Beat for about 30 more seconds. It's very important not to overbeat at this point.
- Once everything is incorporated and you still have those beautiful stiff peaks you're going to fold in the dry ingredients. I did half the dry mixture and folded it gently in, once that was all together I added the second half.
- Then I did this move I'd seen on multiple Youtube videos where you flatten out the batter along the side of the bowl than fold it back then repeat the process until you get a ribbon like consistency to your batter. It shouldn't be too runny but also shouldn't be too thick...it's a process and you don't want to mix, you're still folding. This is getting rid of some of the air you whipped into the batter previously.
- You'll then fill your pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. You'll want to print out a diagram if you don't have a silicon mat that has the dimensions of a macaron. This is an important step so that they all come out in a uniform size. I just printed off a free template here and slid it underneath my parchment paper on a cookie sheet pan. You kind of put an amount a little bit inside the circle as they will flatten out some during this process. If your batter is the right consistency they shouldn't spread too far though.
- Once all your macarons are piped out you'll want to bang the pan down to remove air bubbles. I did this on all four corners. This is supposed to make what happened to me...not happen. But apparently there are a lot of factors that can cause it.
- Let your piped macarons sit for 30 minutes until a skin (yep, still sounds gross) forms so when you touch one it doesn't stick to your finger. Put them in the oven for 5 1/2 minutes, then rotate the pan and keep them in for another 5 1/2 minutes.
- Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to your wire cooling rack. If you don't have one I highly recommend getting one. They are important for any baker to have. They are game changers!
- While your macarons are cooling you can start the filling! Cream the butter for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and coloring (optional) until light and smooth. Fill a new piping bag with the same tip.
- Once your macarons are cooled down you're going to flip over half the cookies and add filling, not too much because you don't want it to spill over, but not too little, it should be seen. Then sandwich another macaron on top (the top won't have any filling on it, you're making a sandwich...you get it)
- That's it! Hopefully you have beautiful lovely macarons that don't have a hollow shell like mine did!
What I Learned:
These aren't easy, but they're fun to make. I will feel incredibly rewarded when I pull off a successful macaron. I promise to re-edit when I successfully figure this out! In the meantime, any tips or suggestions you have are very welcome!