Ah, the Macaron. I’ve seen these colorful confections everywhere and eaten my fair share of them, but the thought of making macarons seemed too fancy for this new baker. Perfect circles? Bright colors? Light texture? Fluffy buttercream? My head was spinning. I could not stop thinking about these sweet treats and knew I needed to give them a try; I couldn’t believe how wrong I was. You don’t have to be an experienced pastry chef to make these delicate desserts. All you need some time and a little patience. It’s a bake I want to continue baking and perfecting. Below is my recipe for macarons along with my tips, tricks, and don’ts that I did.
Ingredients for Macarons
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 drops teal gel food coloring
Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Directions for Macarons
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, almond flour, and ½ teaspoon of salt, and process on low until extra fine.
Sift the almond flour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.
In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the granulated sugar until fully incorporated. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out).
Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Add the food coloring and beat until just combined.
Add about ⅓ of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a spatula to gently fold until combined. After the last addition of almond flour, continue to fold slowly until the batter falls into ribbons.
Transfer the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Pipe the macarons onto the parchment paper in 1.5-inch circles, spacing at least 1-inch apart.
Tap the baking sheet on a flat surface 5-6 times to release any air bubbles.
Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 1 hour, until dry to the touch.
Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
Bake the macarons for 20 minutes, until the feet are well-risen and the macarons don’t stick to the parchment paper.
Transfer the macarons to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
Directions for Buttercream
In a large bowl, add the butter and beat with a mixer for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat to combine, until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Add a dollop of buttercream to one macaron shell. Top it with another macaron shell to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining macaron shells and buttercream.
Place in an airtight container for 24 hours before eating.
Tips, Tricks, and Don’ts that I did
Follow the recipe exactly. Step by step. Macaron batter can go south really quickly if it is not prepared correctly.
If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry, but you’ll still need to move the flour and sugar through a fine-mesh sieve. The dry mixture needs to be free of clumps to get a smooth finish on the macarons.
Take your time with your folds and try not to be too aggressive when adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture. If you’re too fast you’ll run the risk of mixing out all of the air you just mixed in.
If you haven’t caught on, teal is my color, but you can play with any colors you’d like. Just be sure to use gel food coloring. Liquid color adds too much moisture to the batter.
When adding your batter or frosting to a piping bag, put the piping bag into a cup with the edges draped on the sides (I used a pint glass) and spoon the batter or frosting into the bag. I’m sure there are several ways to do this, but for me, this was the best one. (I can’t take credit for this tip, it was shared with me by a favorite and works like a charm)
It was really hard for me to get a perfect 1.5-inch circle for the macarons. I threw out my first batch and ended up downloading a 1.5-inch circle template. You can find a ton of free printable templates on Pinterest. I’ve also included a link here. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/25895766596923334/
Don’t rush. These bakes need time, time, and more time. I felt weird leaving them on the counter for an hour, but trust me they need every bit of the hour you give them. They’ll be oven-ready when the tops are dry.
Make sure your butter is at room temperature for your buttercream frosting. If it’s too cold you won’t get the smooth buttery texture we look forward to in a buttercream.
You can also play with filling flavors. I’m thinking of doing a lemon curd for my next batch. The possibilities are endless!
As always, don’t forget to ENJOY!