French macarons make a very special treat to give your friends and family. They also look pretty on a plate for guests to indulge in when they come over. They can definitely be finicky but once you learn how to make macarons you’ll be hooked!
This easy French macaron recipe makes a batch of the most dainty, delicate, and delicious cookies that will float right into your mouth and disappear. This is a beginner’s guide to homemade French macarons. Let’s get into it:
1. Sieve the icing sugar and the ground almonds together in a large bowl and whisk together.
2. Whiz the dry ingredients in the food processor and then sieve again. Repeat this process two more times.
3. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar. Add salt and gradually add the sugar. Mix until the merengue reaches the soft peak stage. Add vanilla and any gel food coloring in at this point.
4. The meringue needs to be whipped to stiff peaks so it’s actually best to finish the whisking off by hand. This way you’ll have a better feel for when the meringue is done.
5. Add a third of the confectioner’s sugar and almond mixture and fold in gently. Move the spatula in circular motions bringing material from underneath to the top. Add the remaining dry mixture and continue folding.
6. You’ll know it’s ready when it has a “lava-like” consistency, forming a thick ribbon that slowly blends back into itself when drizzled from your spatula. The batter should drizzle off the spatula and form an eight. Stop immediately at this point.
7. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, Pipe onto a sheet of parchment paper fixed to a cookie sheet. Pipe perpendicular to the surface and try to be consistent with the sizes. When you are finishing the piping motion stop squeezing the bag and pull up with a circular motion.
8. Tap the tray several times to remove air bubbles. Allow to sit for 40-60 minutes so the macaron batter forms a skin. You should be able to touch the shell and feel a dry surface. Heat oven to 300F. Bake for 12-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done if the macaron shells don’t wobble when you move them, but if they do then you may need to give them a bit more time in the oven if they are not done. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pipe your filling onto the back of half the macaron shells. Form a sandwich and your french macarons are ready to enjoy!
If you’re thinking on what you should fill them with, you can try a batch of creamy, custardy French buttercream using your leftover yolks to fill the shells but you can use ANY macaron filling you like!! Try an American buttercream, Italian meringue buttercream, a whipped ganache or a disk of ice cream!
In the new edition of My French Country Home Magazine, May/June 2022 edition, you will find 5 different flavors of Macarons and the detailed recipe to make these gorgeous little desserts.