Sweets are not just for the sweet when you know French Macarons make a difficult day seem like heaven.
French Macarons are truly a heavenly treat. These cookies are so light you might think they have angel wings. One bite tells you French Macarons are a delight that can be enjoyed for any occasion.
Making these delicate and flavorful cookies is surprisingly easy when you know the details that make these cookies a family favorite. They are great for special occasions when a hint of food coloring is added to the mixture.
Serve pretty green and red ones for winter holidays and pink ones for special dinners and children’s birthday parties.
French Macarons take a total of about one hour with 30 minutes of actual prep and 17 minutes of baking time.
Tips to Make Perfect French Macarons
The most important tip is to always use well-sifted almond flour to keep the batter light. Use a food processor to sift the flour.
Although you can use dehydrated egg whites, it’s better to store egg whites in a jar in the fridge to “age” for two or three days in the French tradition. You can use the remaining egg yolks for a cake, pizza dough, or homemade pasta.
Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C).
Gather Your Ingredients Beforehand
In addition to egg whites and almond flour, you need salt, unsalted butter, granulated and powdered sugars, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. Use parchment paper to line your baking pan and to save clean up later.
Whisk 1 cup of sifted almond flour with 1 3/4 powdered sugar to make 30 French Macarons in a food processor.
Add in a half teaspoon of salt. Process at low speed until the mixture is like a fine powder.
In a separate bowl, preferably stainless or copper, place egg whites, an eighth teaspoon cream of tartar, and a half teaspoon of salt. Beat until soft peaks form,
Very slowly add a quarter cup of granulated sugar allowing the egg mixture to fully incorporate.
Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. One tip chefs use is to turn the bowl upside down to ensure the mixture is the correct stiffness and adheres to the bowl.
At this point, you add vanilla while continuing to beat. The pure vanilla extract gives a much stronger flavor than imitation vanilla extract.
Now you can add food color. If you want a rainbow tray of French Macarons, separate the mixture and add several food colors.
Now it’s time to add the almond flour mixture. This mixture should be folded gently with a rubber spatula into the egg white batter so as not to lose airy lightness. At this point, the batter should fall in a ribbon effect from the spatula.
Some bakers prefer to use a piping bag to transfer batter to the parchment-lined cookie sheet. However, with a bit of wrist agility, you can make small dots with a tablespoon to shape.
One tip to keep the parchment from shifting in the pan as you pipe or spoon the batter is to place a tiny dot of butter on the underside of the parchment at each of four corners.
With the batter, make 1 1/2 inch circles on the parchment and space about an inch apart.
If you tap the baking sheet on a hard surface several times, that removes excess air in the batter.
Set the baking trays aside and let stand for about a half-hour or until the batter surface seems dry. This is an important step that gives these cookies their iconic texture.
Bake for about 17 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies have risen and no longer stick to the parchment.
Layered French Macarons
The traditional style for serving French Macarons is to fill them with buttercream. For this you need three cups of powdered sugar, one teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, one cup (two sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature, and three tablespoons of heavy cream whipped together until creamy and smooth.
Place the buttercream between two macarons. Dust with powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, or colored sprinkles. You can also give the underside of each cookie a light spread of strawberry or apricot jam before adding buttercream.
Lily owns her home decor business. She designs her products herself and done it by hand. She also teaches classes about it, personally and virtually.