Zelda and I have been anxiously waiting for the right time to test our baking skills and make French macarons. We heard they were really challenging, so we did a lot of research beforehand. Quite a few things can go wrong and it’s incredibly important to blend the almond flour, powdered sugar and salt properly and then sift. If you don’t sift these ingredients, things will go quickly awry. We found this article from Sweet and Savory by Shinee very helpful because it gave us a visual guide of common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Additionally, it’s super important all your equipment is squeaky clean – even oil from your fingers can mess things up. Try not to touch the interior of your bowls once they are clean! Our other must know tips? Don’t let any of the egg yolk get into the egg whites, make sure you mix your meringue properly and use a scale to measure your ingredients. Under whipped and over whipped mixes can cause serious issues in the oven. We also watched this video to see what we were about to attempt. While French macarons do take patience, they weren’t as hard as we had made them out to be.
We recommend relaxing, reserving an afternoon and making these for your Valentine’s Day sweetheart (even if that person is yourself!). Did you make these at home? Tell us how it went in the comments below.
Photo Credit & Food Styling: Leah Nolan
- For the Cookies
- 120 Grams Egg Whites
- 170 Grams Almond Flour
- 200 Grams Powdered Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 70 Grams Granulated White Sugar
- Pink Gel Food Coloring
- For the Frosting
- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Stick Butter, softened
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Milk
- Use a baking scale to weigh your measuring cup. Next, write down how much your measuring cup weighs and add that total to how much of each ingredient you need. (We also recommend writing these measurements down.)
- Crack the egg whites into your measuring cup, weigh, and then pour into a large bowl; allow them to come to room temperature.
- Weigh the almond meal, powdered sugar and salt. Place in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is fine. Slowly add the mix to a mesh strainer and sift using a spatula to press and toss the mixture. Discard the large parts and set aside.
- Weigh the sugar and set aside. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and mix on low-medium speed. When the egg whites have soft peaks, slowly add the sugar while continuing to mix. Once all the sugar is added, add a dollop of pink gel food coloring. Always remember, the color will appear darker than how it will bake. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly add the almond flour mixture and fold with a spatula. DO NOT use a mixer for this part. Continue to fold until the almond flour is incorporated. The batter should drop from the spatula in a long ribbon. Place the mixture, one half at a time, into a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe into rounds on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Allow the pans to sit for one hour. The cookies will form a dry membrane on the surface that you should be able to softly touch without impacting the cookie. While the cookies are drying, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Bake the macarons, one sheet at a time, until set. This should take approximately 12-18 minutes, depending on your oven.
- While the cookies are baking, make the filling by combining the milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and softened butter together in a bowl.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to completely cool on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, place the filling in the same clean piping bag, and pipe a small dollop in the center. Sandwich another cookie on top of the filling. Repeat this until you’ve used all the cookies.
- Place the cookies on a covered tray and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove the cookies from the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature and then eat!