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Macarons have surged in popularity over the last few years- and it’s easy to see why. Besides being tasty, they are super cute and extremely customizable with colors, flavors, and fillings.
French macarons (pronounced “mah-ca-ron’s“, not “mah-ca-rooooon’s“) are quite a bit more work to make than your average American chocolate chip cookies- so if you want to make these, plan on spending the afternoon in your kitchen. BUT IT’S WORTH IT!
What is macaronage?
If you’re learning about macarons, you might come across the word “macaronage“. So what is that exactly? It is an important one when it comes to macarons, and is, in fact, where macarons get their name!
Macaronage is a technique/process of transforming a stiff, egg-white meringue into a texture that is like a cake batter; smooth, shiny and slightly runny, by smoothing the meringue up the sides of the bowl with a spatula, pressing out some of the air bubbles.
You can certainly over-do, or under-do, the macaronage. In fact, while making the very batch that I used for the photos in this article, I overdid it and the batter was too runny and was practically leaking out of the piping bag. If it leaks out while upright- the batter is too loose.
If the macaronage is under done, then the batter will be stiff and not spread out into the nice flat cookie shape that is so characteristic of macarons. It will bake up like a strange-looking Hershey kiss thing.
A proper macronage is something that is best learned through practice, and working with the batter. If you get it right it will create the lovely smooth ‘cap’ on the top of the cookies that will hold itself together in the oven while the batter below the top will bake up with lots of teensy air bubbles that give macarons their lovely light and chewy texture.
Pay attention to my video above to see how a macaronage is done!
Best piping tips for macarons
There is quite a bit of equipment you’ll need to make macarons. You can cut some corners, but a food processor is essential, along with piping bags and tips.
Which tips are best? It can be very confusing trying to figure out what to purchase. I’m here to help! I have compiled a list of piping tips below that are the perfect size for making macaron cookies, along with the corresponding filling:
If you’d like to place sprinkles or nonpareils on your macrons, do it right after you pipe them onto your baking sheet, when the batter is still wet on top.
The most important thing about making macarons
The most important thing to remember about these cookies is to not stress out if they are less than perfect! They take a lot of practice- so please don’t beat yourself up if they don’t look like store bought cookies.
I don’t know about you, but half the reason I make them at home is because they are stinkin’ expensive to buy! They are gonna taste just as good, they just may not look perfect and that’s just fine by me!
I hope you find joy in making this recipe and please give me a shoutout if you post a pic of the recipe on social! Follow me on Instagram @TheGoldilocksKitchen, Facebook page The Goldilocks Kitchen, or Pinterest @GoldilocksKitch. Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment- I want to hear your feedback! (This is a blog after all and that’s the whole point right?!)Print
Delicate chocolate shells made from almond flour, egg whites, and Dutch processed cocoa powder; press two shells together with buttercream in the center to experience a true French Macaron anytime you like! Recipe adapted from this one at Taste of Home Magazine.
Stand mixer, food processor, rimmed baking sheets, nonstick parchment paper, piping tips and piping bags
- 1 & 1/3 cups almond flour
- 2 & 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 4 large egg whites (about 110 grams) room temperature
- generous pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoon superfine sugar
Strawberry Buttercream filling
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract
- a few drops of red gel food coloring
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper
- Place the almond flour & 1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar in a food processor. Process until thoroughly mixed. Empty into a sifter and add the cocoa powder to the sifter. Sift the mixture into a medium bowl and discard any pieces left in the sifter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg yolks and salt with the whisk attachment on medium-low until frothy. With the machine still running, slowly add the superfine sugar, followed by the remaining powdered sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peak stage, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using a spatula, fold 1/3 the almond flour mixture into the whipped egg whites until combined, repeat with another third of the almond flour, and then the final third. Scoop some of the mixture onto your spatula and allow it to slide off into the bowl. If it does not ‘drizzle’ off the spatula, smooth the batter up the sides of the bowl until the batter is smooth, shiny and will drizzle off the spatula long enough to draw a figure “8” in the batter. This process is called macronage.
- Load the batter into a large piping bag fitted with a plain round tip. (See above for suggestions.) Holding the bag vertical, pipe small dollops of batter, approximately 1 & 1/2 inches wide and 1 & 1/2 inches apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. When the sheet is full, tap the rimmed baking sheet onto the counter gently to encourage bubbles in the cookie batter to come to the surface and pop. Leave the raw cookies on the counter until the tops have dried, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Make filling while cookies are drying by creaming butter with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated, followed by the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat for another 1-2 minutes, then load frosting into a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip. (Again, see above for suggestions for piping tips.)
- Set an oven rack to the upper third of your oven and set the heat to 300 degrees F. Bake one tray of cookies at a time for 14-16 minutes, or until the cookies have formed a frothy layer underneath, rotating the tray half-way through baking. Let macarons cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
- Pipe a dollop of frosting/filling on the underside of a cookie, and press a second cookie on top. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate covered for at least 24 hours for optimum flavor and texture.
Superfine sugar can easily be made with granulated sugar and a food processor. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and process for 10-15 seconds to make 1/3 cup of superfine sugar.
For vanilla buttercream filling: up the amount of vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon, and leave out the strawberry extract and food coloring.
Keywords: macaron, chocolate macaron, french cookies
Eric Gomes says
Red Chile Sauce from Dried Chili Pods.
Your style of explaining a recipe is THE best I’ve ever read. How you talk is like your standing in my kitchen. The standard writing then bold sentences come across so so well. And the check off box for the ingredients is an added feature that I really liked. I am 59 and my mother and a chef that I worked with in my younger days taught me to not use exact measurements, but used “ pinch” “ dash” “about” “ to the taste” etc… I am a big fan!!!