If you guys have been following along with me on Instagram, then you must know my obsession with French Macarons is becoming an addiction. There is just something about the smooth shell and decorative fillings that have me “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing over these wonderful little treats, and what better way to celebrate these lovelies than with a step-by-step blog post on how to make them. I really wanted to include as many pictures as possible to show you exactly how to make them.
I want to start out by saying, I am no expert! I have taught myself how to make macarons (yes, macarons..not macaroons!) but there have definitely been some challenges along the way. Macarons can seem difficult at first mainly because they are so picky (temp, humidity, mixing), but once you get the basics you will be fine. Let’s get started!
-2 eggs (room temp and aged 24 hours– this is crucial)
-1 c confectioners sugar
-3/4 c almond flour
-1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
-1/4 c superfine sugar
Basic Buttercream Filling
-1 cup butter (room temp, softened)
-1 lb confectioners sugar
-1/4 c milk (less or more depending on thickness desired)
** side note, these are the basics for my macarons, but different flavors can be added
Making the Macarons Shells
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by adding the almond flour and confectioners sugar in a bowl and whisking together until uniform.
Repeat sifting the mixture once more. Once the mixture is sifted, move to the electric mixer. Here, crack the eggs, while ridding of the yolk and keeping the egg whites in the mixer.
Mix on medium/high until the egg whites begin to look foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing until the mixture forms soft peaks (around another 2 minutes).
Put the mixer on low and add the super fine sugar. Crank the mixer up to high and mix for another 8 minutes so the mixture has a glossy peak.
Now is when you add color. Be careful to not over-do the color as you cannot fix this mistake. Start out small and then keep adding. I recommend using a gel food coloring (wilton brand) as this will not water down the mixture.
Once your color is fully incorporated, you will add the flour/confectioner sugar mixture to the egg white mixture. You will take a spatula and begin the fold the mixture. This is an important step as you do not want to undermix or overmix. These will result in either a cracker shell or shell that does not nice and create a “foot”.
You will mix the batter until there is a shining glaze on top and the consistency is that of a lava flow.
Now you are ready to fill your piping bag and 1/4in piping tip with the mixture.
I recommend using silpat mats for the cookie trays, but parchment paper will work as well. You want to begin piping circles on the cookie trays. You can create your own templates for the shape or go online and print free macaron templates so all of your macarons have a uniform shape. Make sure you pipe the circles thick enough so the cookies are flat on top. Once you have finished piping the cookies, you will want to bang them on a hard surface a few times to help them set and flatten.
You need to let the macarons dry for 15-30 minutes (another crucial step). During this time, reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees. Once the macarons look matte on top, they are ready to be put in the over. Bake the macarons for 10 minutes. Once you pull out the macarons, you will need to let them cool before taking them off the tray. Allow 10 minutes for cooling and them remove from try. Softly tap the bottom or parchment paper or silpat to help release the macarons. Now they are ready to be filled!
This is the basic buttercream filling I make for easy macarons. Start by mixing 1 cup of softened butter with 1 lb confectioner sugar. Slowing add the 1/4 c milk to the mixture. (you may need to add more confectioners sugar to thicken the mixture). Mix until creamy. You may add food coloring during this phase. Once the mixture is uniform, place icing into a piping bag with piping tip of your choice (I use large flower tip). Now you can pipe the icing onto half of your macaron shells and then top with the remaining shells.
Yummy! I will be posting more recipes and flavors of macarons as the months go on, but feel free to try this basic recipe in the meantime! Tag me on Instagram so I can see the results! #nutmegandhoneybee