French Macarons made at home and using simple ingredients. These cookie sandwiches have endless options of flavors and color combos.
A very important step to making these French cookies is the meringue. The meringue is what makes the cookie a success, gives the lovely texture, and creates the feet of the cookie.
To make meringue, the first step is to combine the egg whites and the cream of tartar. I prefer the method of doing this on the stove top, it heats the egg whites slightly and it becomes frothy quickly.
There are a few ways of separating egg whites from the yolks. One way is to use an egg separator tool. This way is great for separating yolks and great to have on hand.
If you're not squeamish, just using your hands works great to separate eggs as well. I find that using my hands when separating eggs is the best method for me, personally.
Once the egg whites and the cream of tartar is combined, create a double boiler on the stove and heat until the boiler is just steaming. It doesn't take much for this step and takes extra work out of beating the egg whites to become frothy.
Once the egg whites are frothy, it's time to add the granulated sugar. Add the granulated sugar slowly and use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the egg whites.
This step can take a while depending on your mixer. You can use your hand and a whisk but it will take an incredibly long time.
When making the meringue for these French Macarons, it's incredibly important to beat the egg white mixture until firm peaks have formed. To check, simply turn off your mixer and lift away from the meringue. If the meringue has stiff peaks that don't fall over, stop beating the mixture and move on to the next step.
If they slump and fall over, keep beating until form peaks have formed. You don't want to skip this step as it will cause your French Macarons to fail.
Macaronage is another important step when making this French dessert. This French method is to fold the dry mixture (almond four and confectioner's sugar) into the egg whites. Stirring will break down the mixture and will cause a variety of issues with your French Macaron Cookies.
To macaronage, pour ⅓ of the dry mixture into the meringue and using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients by going under the batter and folding into the center and continue doing so until dissolved. Continue with the remaining almond mixture and repeat the process.
The next step is to test the batter by creating a "figure 8" using the spatula. If it doesn't break then the batter is ready to be piped. If the ribbons of batter breaks, continuing folding the ingredients together and try the "figure 8" again.
Piping French Macarons
Some people say to use a silicone mat and some say to use parchment paper to eye it. I say use both. The parchment paper prevents the macarons from sticking and browning on the bottom and the silicone mat with the piping guide is great for getting consistently sized circles.
Place the silicone mat on a baking pan and lay the parchment paper on top of it.
Gently fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with the batter and start in the center of a circle on on the baking mat. Squeezing gently, keep the piping bag still and fill the center until it reaches the edge of the circle. Lift up an then away from the piped cookie.
Once the piping is done, it's time to drop the tray. Drop the tray as many times as you need to get any air bubbles and to drop any peaks that may have formed when pulling away after piping.
Fair warning: It it's humid, it will be more difficult to remove all air bubbles and it will take longer for the cookies to dry before baking.
Baking the Cookies
When baking the cookies, it's important to check that they are dry to the touch before placing them in the oven. If you can't slide your finger across the top of them without feeling moisture or even messing the tops up, they're not ready for the oven yet.
The risk of adding them too early is that the tops will crack and they will be uneven.
This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It really depends on the humidity.
The marcarons bake in the oven for 17 minutes at 300°F.
Once they are baked and lift from the parchment paper easily, transfer them to a cooling rack.
Once they are cooled, it's time to pipe the filling. These French Macarons are best eaten after 24 hours but it's okay to sneak one before them. 😉
The possibilities are endless when creating fillings and flavors for these cookies. Simply swap out the flavors and food coloring in the same increments for whatever flavoring and color you desire.
- 3 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup extra-fine almond flour
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
For Vanilla French Macarons
- Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For Strawberry French Macarons
- Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For Lemon French Macarons
- Add ½ teaspoon of lemon extract
- ¼ cup unsalted buttter, softened
- ¾ cup of confectioner' sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
- ½ teaspoon of flavoring of choice.
- Use a food processor to combine the almond flour and granulated sugar. (You can skip this step.)
- Sift the mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
- Use a double boiler on the stove and allow the pot to begin steaming.
- Add the egg whites and the cream of tartar.
- Whisk until the eggs become frothy, remove from heat.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar together until stiff peaks form. If the peaks slump and fall over, continue beating and try again.
- At this point, you will add your flavoring and coloring of choice.
- Slowly FOLD ⅓ of the almond flour mixture into the meringue until combined.
- Place spatula under the batter and fold into the center.
- Repeat with the remaining flour.
- Carefully transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe using a silicone mat guide or just parchment paper by keeping the piping bag still and allowing the batter to spread out to about 1 ½ inch out. Gently lift up the tip and pull away from the piped cookie.
- Once they are all piped, drop the tray until the bubbles have been removed from the batter. This may take some time depending on humidity.
- Allow the cookies to sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours or until you can slide your finger easily across the tops and they are firm.
- Once you are ready, preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Bake for 17 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
French Macaron Filling
- Combine the softened butter, confectioner's sugar, milk, and flavoring of choice.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a round tip, start in the center and fill until half the width of the cookie.
- Place a French Macaron cookie top on the filling and very gently press.
- Allow for 24 hours for full flavor.
For additional tips, check out the post!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g
Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.