The Ideal Macaron

Do you know how to make macarons? NO!? Read this article to find out how!

Emma Smith, Editor

A macaron is a cookie, chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. It has two cookies put together with frosting. Macarons are one of the most tedious baked goods to make because everything has to be just right. The measurements, the ingredients, and more! When people make this cookie, they often do not make it again since they are so difficult and hard to attempt. 

Some of the most important things to remember while making macarons is having the perfect amount of everything, folding, wet and dry ingredients separate, piping technique, letting them bake for the right amount of time, not over mixing, and letting them sit out for the right amount of time. 

Perfect Amount 

To make the ideal macaron, one of the things that needs to happen is to make sure to use the perfect amount of each ingredient. 

Most recipes will have the measurements in ounces. Something that is STRONGLY recommended in most recipesis to use ounces. This is because it is easier to get a more accurate measurement. It is okay to use a measuring cup, but sometimes the macarons will not turn out as well. 

Wet and Dry Ingredients

When making macarons, in all recipes there will be wet and dry ingredients. The wet ingredients will most likely include egg whites and vanilla extract. 

The dry ingredients will most likely include almond flour, sugar, salt, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar.

The Meringue 

To make macarons, another thing that is needed is to whip the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. First, you will need to get out a stand or hand mixer. Then, separate the yolks from the whites and add the whites into a mixing bowl. 

Whip the egg whites on a medium-high speed until frothy. Add sugar gradually until stiff peaks form. If this does not happen, add in the cream of tartar and this should work.

Egg whites when frothy

Folding

Folding is a baking technique that is fairly simple. It is used when mixing dry ingredients and wet ingredients together. The reason why people use this method is so the batter keeps the air in the meringue of the egg whites, sugar and/or cream of tartar. 

When folding the macaron batter, first pull the dry ingredients from the side. Pour the meringue into the dry ingredients. Take a spatula and mix in a circular motion starting from the bottom of the bowl and moving up to the top.

Over Mixing and Under Mixing

Sometimes when making macarons, overmixing the batter is common. This problem leads to macarons spreading out and getting very crispy. This can also happen when over wiping the meringue as well.

Do not undermix the batter as well. This can lead to the macarons not being smooth on top and having a peak on top instead. 

Piping Technique

When piping macarons, to get the smooth picture-perfect macaron it is all about the technique. First, getting a piping bag out is a priority. Put the batter into the bag and cut the tip at a medium size. When piping, make sure to do it slowly until it becomes easier to do. 

It is totally fine if they do not come out perfect the first time. Pipe in a circular motion or pipe in the same position until the macaron size is appealing.

Resting Time

After piping the cookies, make sure to let them rest for 20 to 40 minutes. Make sure to not let them sit for too long and let them lose the batter’s shine. If this starts happening, put them in the oven right away. 

No resting?! This can lead to the shells/cookie cracking.

Baking Time

After the macarons are ready to go, it is time to put them into the oven! They need to be in the oven for about 14 minutes. After the 14 minutes is up, the cookies should have developed feet (the bottoms of the macaron) and they should be smooth on the top.

Here is what the feet look like!

Common Mistakes

Many mistakes that people make when making these cookies include, overmixing, not letting them rest, and adding too much or too little of something. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Information about each of these is above.

Recipe

For the macaron…

70 g or 3/4 of a cup of almond flour

50g or 1 ½ cup powdered sugar

pinch kosher salt

one teaspoon vanilla extract

53g egg white or 1 ½ egg whites from large eggs

50g or ¼ cup of sugar

(Natalie Wong; “French Macarons for Beginners”)

Any type of frosting will pair well with this recipe. Emma always gets creative with her frosting, but for beginners, she recommends you stick to a simple recipe like… 

1 ½ unsalted butter

3-4 cups powdered sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tbsp milk or heavy cream

(Emma’s Recipe)

(This is just vanilla if you could not tell)

Emma Smith’s Personal Experience

Even if you make macarons hundreds of times, you can still make mistakes. For instance, I make macarons quite often. Not hundreds of times, but I have made them quite a few times, and I still make lots of mistakes. The amazing thing is, I can learn from them and know what I need to do differently next time.

Here is my very first time making macarons!

Since it was my first time making them, I obviously made some mistakes. The first mistake I made was under mixing the batter. The batter was very thick which led to peaks on the top of the macarons. It also made it extremely hard to pipe them. This is what made them so tiny. I thought they were really cute though!

The next mistake I made was not letting the macarons sit. I put them straight in the oven which is also what caused the cookies not to be flat on the top.

Although I made some mistakes in the process, there were some positives. One of the things was the macarons grew feet! This is great because sometimes the macarons will turn flat and totally fail. The other positive to this experience was that the macarons did not stick to the backing sheet.

Here is the second attempt making macarons!

Here are the macarons I made

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second time was a lot better! I fixed the mistakes I made the previous time and my macarons turned out pretty well. The one major thing I did wrong the second time, which had nothing to do with the batter, was putting the silicone baking sheet on upside down. I was so frustrated because I had done most everything right and then I went and screwed it up. I realized this happened right when I tried to get the cookies off the sheet. They were just falling apart and would not come off. The cracking on the top I believe was caused by weather. This can happen quite often with baking. If you could not tell, I made the same kind of macarons that I did the first time.

The most recent time I made macarons, this time didn’t go as well as the last times.

As you can probably already tell, these were a complete fail. I overmixed the batter, let the cookies sit way too long, and added uneven amounts of ingredients. When I put them in the oven, I just had a bad feeling. There was something wrong. I stepped away for about 5 min and I could tell they were just spreading. SPREADING. They are not supposed to spread like how they were. I took them out of the oven and as you can tell, it was one cookie. I had learned some valuable lessons.

Hope you decide to make some of your own macarons!