How to Make French Macarons

french macarons

Today’s recipe is another Food Bucket List item.

One of the items on my list is to eat macarons in Paris from Laudree Bakery.  I have actually had a Laudree macaroon when my next door neighbor carried a box home with him from a trip to Paris and kindly shared with me.  But I want to eat one in Paris.  I am so excited to tell you that I am going to be able to cross that item off my bucket list next week.  Yes, I am going to Paris.  I’ll share details with you later but let’s just say I couldn’t be more excited.  I fell in love with the city of Paris a few years ago when I visited for the first time but fell in love with the whole idea of Paris years ago when I first studied French in the sixth grade and continued that study into college.  It’s been 30 years since I studied French but several months ago I enrolled in a Community College French course and I am reacquainting myself with that lovely language!

Now, French macarons are not to be confused with  the more common coconut macaron.  French macarons are different – very different!

You see, my Food Bucket List is two fold.  It is a list of foods I would like to eat in certain places but it is also a list of foods I want to learn how to make.  And mastering the macaron is on that list.  Well, I am pleased and proud to announce that I did it – yes, I mastered the macaron!    Today I am excited to share with you what I learned and beware – there are a lot of photos.  I kind of fell in love with how pretty these little fellas are!

macaroons

There are several things I love about macarons.  First, they are from France, second, they are pretty, third, they are delicious and fourth, they are naturally gluten free as they are made with almond flour.

So, when Cali was home for break I decided now was the time, it was time to master the macaron.  I did some reading, studying, You Tube video watching to learn more about the fine art of macaroon making.  From all I read I knew that macaroon making could be a bit tricky but I felt like I was up to the challenge.  I had two helpers in the kitchen with me, Cali and her friend Hannah.

One You Tube video I found very helpful was this one.

The ingredients are fairly simple – almond flour, egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar.  The thing I loved about the recipe I used is that the measurements were in cups, not in grams as most of the recipes I found were.  I do have a kitchen scale and know how to use it but I know some of you may not have one  and I wanted to make the recipe as easy to follow as possible for you.

macaroons

Almond Flour is fairly easy to find.  It is a bit expensive but so worth it.  You can make your own almond flour by grinding almonds but buying the flour was so much easier and I think you get a smoother product.

Some of my top tips for mastering the Macaron:

1.  Sift your almond flour and powdered sugar.  You don’t want any clumps!  Don’t skip this step like you may in other baking recipes.

2.  Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.  Submerge them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes if you forget to take them out of the refrigerator.

3.  Don’t over mix (more info below on that)

4.  The macarons must sit and try out a bit before baking.  You want them slightly tacky to the touch but not stick to your finger.  Doing this prevents them from spreading out as they back and forcing them to rise up which will create those cute little feet you want!

5.  Only put one cookie sheet in the oven at a time.  I tried to rush it and did two and it didn’t work – had to throw a whole sheet of this little babies away!

So let’s get started!

Like I said, you do want to sift your almond flour and powdered sugar to begin with.  Be sure to toss anything that doesn’t make it through the sifter.

sifting flour

You are going to beat your egg whites (be sure they are at room temperature) and cream of tartar until stiff.  If you are using food coloring you can add it in at this point.  We were making raspberry and lemon macarons so we added in food color.  I use the gel type of food coloring. Gel or powdered are recommended although one of the You Tube videos I watched used liquid food coloring.

macaroon dough

This is where the technique comes in – stirring it just the right amount.  If you under mix your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked and no feet or “pied” will form.  If you over mix them they will be flat and also won’t have feet.  Having feet or “pied” is the mark of a well made macaron.  I got so excited when I looked into the oven and I could see the feet forming.  I kept saying, “we’ve got feet, we’ve got feet!”  The batter will slightly run off your spatula (see photo above)

To form your macarons you will need a large pastry bag and tip.  My tip was round and about 1/2 inch across.  I like to place my bag into a large glass or pitcher to hold it upright while I fill it.  I closed off the end of the bag with a chip clip to prevent batter from coming out the top.  I just eyed the size of the macaron.  You do want them to be as close to the same size as possible.

Piping macaroons

Before putting them in the oven take the cookie sheet and whack it on the table or counter several times.  This will help flatten and smooth out the top of the macaron.

piped macaroons

I also read that it is good to open the door to the oven a time or two to release some of the steam.  That wasn’t a problem because I loved looking at them and watching for the feet to form!

macaroons

Allow them to cool and mix up your filling.  We used a butter cream.

french macaroon

For the raspberry macarons we smashed some fresh raspberries through a sieve and used the juice to flavor the butter cream.

Macaroon filling

Fill another bag and a smaller round tip (1/4 inch) with your butter cream and pipe it onto the bottom of one cookie.  Add a second cookie on top for a perfectly perfect and wonderful French macaron!

macaroons

For the lemon version we made a plain butter cream but then topped it off with a bit of lemon curd – pure heaven!

macaroons

I think the lemon may have been my favorite!

macaroons

We even did a few lemon raspberry combinations!  I think we almost had as much fun making them and photographing them as we did eating them.  But I must say eating them was pretty darn fun!  I pleased to say that they are fairly easy to make.  Don’t know why I was so intimidated by them for so long.  Can’t wait to do it again and try some different flavor combinations.

macaroons

Voila, les macarons parfait!

Here are my helpers enjoying a few.  Don’t they look so very French in their striped shirts!?

macaroons

For more French goodness check out these recipes:

French Pastries}Eclairs and Cream Puffs

eclairs-closeup-e1361151734764

Cafe du Monde Beignets

Beignets_0005-e1364876801796

Enjoy!

Leigh Anne

leighanneblog-3170

You can also visit me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.

For a list of where I Link Up each week go here.

How to Make French Macarons
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • ¼ C white sugar (50 g)
  • 2 C confectioners sugar (200 g)
  • 1 C almond flour (120 g) (SEE NOTE BELOW)
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml)
Raspberry Filling
  • ½ C salted butter (120 g)
  • 1 C powdered sugar (75 g)
  • 1 C (150 g) fresh raspberries, worked through a sieve to extract 3 tbsp of juice
Lemon Filling
  • Use Raspberry Filling but omit raspberries just and use cream or milk instead
  • Lemon Curd
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar for 8-10 mins.
  3. Whip until they form a peak that stands upright.
  4. Then add the food coloring. Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.
  5. Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.
  6. Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture.
  7. This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Approximately 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time. But again, it can be tricky,
  8. Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
  9. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  10. Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
  11. Let them sit out for 30-40 minutes, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macaroons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That's what creates the feet!
  12. Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.
  13. Meanwhile mix the buttercream.
  14. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar.
  15. Add juice to buttercream, and whip until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ " in diameter)
  16. Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell et Voila!
Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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Comments

  1. says

    These french macaroons look delicious! I’ve always wanted to try preparing them but I’m always scared they will not be good! thanks for the great tutorial and recipe, I might try it very soon! thank you Ingrid

  2. Jennifer says

    These are on my “learn to make” bucket list as well. I have a friend who make pistachio macarons and they are to die for. I can’t wait to try these.

  3. says

    You did an amazing job! I am being nit-picky bu these are actually macarons, not macaroons. (And for the record, “macaron” is pronounced ma-ka-run, in case you’r elike me and have to say it for the first time and totally guess.)

  4. says

    Oh yum- these are on my bucket list. Always wanted to make some. Will have to give these a try- printing the recipe now. Those eclairs & cream puffs you featured are also on my list. Looks like I need to just carve out some time & get in the kitchen.

  5. says

    How fun that you’ll be in Paris soon, you’ll definitely love Ladurée! And I agree with Rebecca, you HAVE to stop by Pierre Hermé. They have a stand at the Publicis on top of the Champs Elysées avenue (faicing the Arc de Triomphe), but it’s more fin to go to one of their shops and see their amazing pastries. http://www.pierreherme.com Let me know if you need more tips about what to see or eat in Paris ;) Have a lovely stay there!

  6. says

    I remember the time I went to France. I saw those little macaroons and I had to have one. When I tasted one, it was so wonderful. It kind of described my stay in Paris. The beauty was obvious at first glance but when I bit in further it opened up a new wonderful experience.
    Now, I can always have a little piece of Paris at home, thanks to your recipe.

  7. Heidi says

    I’ve been dying to try making macarons but I’ve always been skittish because I’m in Denver, so we deal with high altitude baking here (ie, most scratch cake recipes don’t work here without adjustments). Since you use almond flour for macarons instead of wheat flour, I wonder if it is easier to deal with the altitude change? I need to give it a try!

  8. Nano says

    i have almond meal. is that the same as almond flour? people keep telling me there isn’t really much of a difference. but i want to make sure i make this perfectly.
    since i mght have no choice but to use almond meal, would it be the same amount used?

    • says

      I think it is basically the same thing. It may be a tad bit coarser but you are going to put it through a sifter so it should be the same after you do that.

  9. Nano says

    Okay, thank you. I’m going to try this and hope i do it right. The ones you made look truly amazing. keep up the wonderful work :)

  10. Jenny says

    Do you have the weight measurements? I find I mess up less from batch to batch when I weigh my ingredients. Thanks!

  11. Chelsea Truman says

    Hello!
    I just wanted to thank you for posting this step by step guide. It was my first time trying to make French Macarons and they actually turned out, they had feet! I was shocked at first to be honest because I have read so many horror stories of how difficult it can be to make these yummy treats. I did let the oven go 2 minutes too long so I did lose a bit of the outer colour but still I was still impressed for my first try! I just wanted to say thank you for the awesome instructions ~

      • Chantelle says

        I have mine sitting out now ready to go in the oven? Am I baking these on 300deg in a fan forced oven? Also when do I preheat oven as I’m waiting the 30/40min before they go in so should I pre heat 10/15min before they go in? Thanks

        • says

          I preheat my oven as soon as I pipe them out – sometimes it doesn’t take 30-40 minutes depending on weather and they set up quicker. Don’t want them to dry out too much.

  12. heba says

    I made 3 times macaroon … the 3 times … but every time it look flat … I don’t now why …. the only thing I dont have cream tartar … is this the reason for this problem

  13. Leeka says

    Hello! Thank you so much for your recipe and instructions for those who don’t have scale. I just made them and it was a success!!! I had to bake mine for only 8 mins though and didn’t use salt or tartar. I am excited to make more in different colors and flavors! Mine were mint color with light red cream I made from white chocolate peppermint and bananas. So good!!! Thank you!!!!

  14. Andie says

    Your ingredients list calls for cream of tarter, yet it’s not in the instructions. I assume you mean it to stabilize the egg whites?

  15. Annie says

    Hi Leigh Ann,

    I tried to make these, followed your directions exactly and somehow they didn’t turn out right. My macarons are not smooth. What can I do to fix this next time? I was so afraid to over-mix! Also, when making one batch, how do you add in the food coloring when you want to make a few different colors? I think this might be part of how I messed up because I split the dough and then added the different colors.

    Annie

    • says

      Macarons can definitely be finicky!. The stirring part is the hard part – getting them just the right consistency. It sounds like maybe you didn’t stir quite enough. Splitting the batter in half to add in different colors shouldn’t cause a problem. I would try stirring them a bit more next time. Because you are using almond flour there is a bit of texture to it.

  16. Arlene says

    Hi,
    I really liked these instructions – very helpful!
    The only question I have is regarding the colour –
    I did mine for exactly 20 minutes, but they came out slightly discoloured,
    with a brown tinge over them.
    On the next tray, I checked at about 10 minutes and they were discoloured then already, so do you know how I might be able to fix that?
    The inside colour was not affected – just the outside.
    Thanks!
    <3 Lena

  17. Jana says

    I always loved French macarons, I gave this recipe a shot while baking them for the first time and they turned out perfectly!! Thank you for the tips and tricks! I can’t wait to make them again :)

  18. Emily Jacobs says

    Your cookies look beautiful! I actually had a chance to visit Ladurée this summer. Recently I have been craving macarons! I was wondering if your measurement for the almond flour was before or after it was sifted? Thanks! :)

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