For the past 25 years I have been baking and eating sweet confections on the regular. Cookies and cakes and ice cream, I love it all! Although, there has been one dessert that I have stayed away from out of sheer intimidation and misunderstanding. I must admit that I have never cooked, or eaten, a french macaron…..until now.
I had Columbus Day off work last week and decided that I was going to attempt to bake the one dessert that has never even come in contact with my taste buds. I began researching online and came across horror story after horror story of macaron fails. Clumpy batter! Broken shells! Deflated egg whites! Right before I began crafting my own french treats, I was terrified.
After some meticulous whipping, folding, piping, and baking, I will admit that making french macarons was not as difficult or scary as they previously seemed. In my opinion, they turned out great! So cute and super sweet! They were the perfect little dessert for when I needed to cure my sweet tooth. Follow this recipe to make your own! Bon appétit!
- Food scale
- Hand or countertop mixer
- Flour sifter
- Parchment Paper
- 2 Baking sheets
- Piping bag or gallon size ziploc bag
Ingredients for shells:
- 4 oz (115g) almond meal or almond flour
- 8 oz (230g) powdered sugar
- 5 oz (144g) egg whites
- 2.5 oz (72g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 drops red food coloring
Ingredients for chocolate buttercream:
- 6 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix almond flour and powdered sugar well with whisk
- Sift flour/sugar mixture to eliminate clumps which can cause cracking in the shells
- Throw out any flour that was too large to go through the sifter
- Add egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt to a bowl for mixing
- Beat mixture until egg whites are frothy, about 5 minutes on medium speed
- Once mixture is frothy, turn up the speed to high and whip until egg white create stiff peaks like so…
7. Add food coloring and vanilla extract and whip until ingredients are integrated into the egg whites
8. Add dry almond mixture to egg whites mixture and begin the macaronage. This is the process of incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a folding technique.
9. Using a folding motion, begin incorporating the wet and dry ingredients. Continually scrape any batter from the side of the bowl during this process. Fold ingredients until egg white are slightly deflated and the mixture looks like magma. Be careful not to over mix.
10. Take a piping bag, or a gallon size ziploc bag, and fill it with the batter. If you are using a piping bag, use a single opening tip. If you are using a ziploc bag, just cut the corner of the bag to create a small opening.
11. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. While holding bag at a 45 degree angle, pipe batter onto pan using a continual squeezing motion to create 2 inch round cookies. Do not directly lift up bag in between each cookie. Instead, quickly swipe bag up and to the side to keep cookies flat and without peaks. Keep creating cookies until batter bag is empty.
12. Once you finish piping, pick up baking sheet and his against the counter top a few times to release any air bubbles.
13. Allow cookies to dry in the open air for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours until tops of cookies are no longer sticky to the touch. When you touch the top of the shell, no batter should stick to your finger. This step will help the shells have feet and will prevent air from cracking the cookies by escaping out the top during baking.
14. While cookies are drying, preheat oven to 300 degrees and begin to make buttercream.
15. Beat butter in bowl until creamy. Add sugar and cocoa, mixing well. Stir in milk and vanilla. Place into piping bag or ziploc bag and allow to cool for 20 minutes in refrigerator.
16. Once the cookie shells have dried, Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until shells come off parchment paper without sticking. Do not overcook or brown.
17. Allow cookies to cool. Pipe buttercream frosting onto the bottom of half the cookies. Then place another cookie on top creating your completed, sandwiched macaron!
18. Allow cookies to age in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
You did it! You made French Macarons! Enjoy!