Macarons are not easy cookies to make, but they are worth the time, effort and love that it takes to prepare them!
Macaron Recipe, yield 20 cookies
¾ cup almond flour (80 grams)
1 cup powdered sugar (117 grams)
2 large egg whites @ room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
Pinch of crème of tartar (optional)
Gel food coloring of choice (optional)
Preheat oven to 310 degrees Fahrenheit with wire rack in lower third of oven. Cut parchment paper to fit two sheet pans. Place almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse about 10 times.
Pass almond/powdered sugar mixture through a fine mesh sieve. If more than 2 tablespoons of solids remain in sieve, transfer the solids to the food processor; pulse several times and sift again. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remain in sieve. Set aside.
Put egg whites in a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites on medium-low (Kitchen Aid #4) until they become foamy. If using crème of tartar, add now. Continue mixing and when the egg whites begin to hold together and turn white, gradually add the granulated sugar. Increase speed to medium (Kitchen Aid #6) for about 2 minutes, and then increase to medium- high (Kitchen Aid #8). Once you see soft peaks (whites droop when you hold up the whisk), add the gel food coloring. Continue speed on medium- high until egg whites are glossy and have stiff peaks (whites do not move when you hold up the whisk).
Add 1/3 of the sifted dry mixture to the meringue. Fold in with a spatula from the bottom of the bowl upward. Once the dry mixture is incorporated, add the next 1/3 of the dry mixture. Repeat until all the dry mixture is incorporated. Continue folding from the bottom upward cutting through the middle of the batter periodically with the spatula. Press the batter with the spatula against the bowl to release some of the air. Test the batter consistency often by letting some of the batter fall off the spatula. The batter is ready to pipe once it begins to flow like honey & you can make a “figure 8” without breaking the “8”. Do not overmix.
Rest a pastry bag fitted with a #12 round tip inside a glass and fold it over the edge. Transfer batter to bag. Dab a dot of batter in each corner of your sheet pan to hold the parchment paper in place.
Holding piping bag about ½” above sheet pan, pipe batter into 1- inch rounds. Repeat and space about 1-inch apart. Tap sheet pans firmly on counter 3 to 4 times to release air bubbles.
Let the piped rounds rest for about 30 minutes. This allows them to dry out and develop a “skin”. This also assures the macarons develop feet (the ruffled edge around the bottom). If the batter does not stick to your finger when you lightly touch them, they are ready to go into the oven.
Bake one sheet at a time, rotating ½ way through, for 20 to 22 minutes. The shells are ready when they are set and do not wiggle when you touch them. They will also release easily from the parchment paper.
Transfer baking sheets onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, gently lift the macarons from the parchment paper. Pipe filling on the bottom of one shell and top it with the flat side of another shell to make one filled macaron.
Store wrapped in the refrigerator. Pro-tip: macarons become better with a day or two of aging! The filling soaks into the cookie and gives it that distinct chewy flavor.
Chocolate Ganache (for filling)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dark chocolate (we use Ghirardelli 65% dark chocolate chips)
Pour heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat on the stovetop on low until it begins to simmer. When you see little bubbles around the edges, turn off the heat and pour the chocolate into the cream. Let it sit for a couple minutes before stirring. Stir until incorporated and smooth.
The ganache needs to cool completely and thicken. Stir periodically until the consistency is thick enough to pipe (consistency comparable to a buttercream frosting). Ganache can be refrigerated during this process to speed up the cooling!
Pipe a ring of ganache around the edge of the macaron base, fill circle with a dot of raspberry jam, and gently place another cookie on top to close the sandwich. Repeat!
Helpful Tips when Making Macarons:
Crème of tartar helps stabilize the egg whites which aids in achieving stiff peaks. It is not necessary, but it helps make a sturdier meringue.
You will get the best results if you weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale.
Separating the egg white from the yolk with your hands is a gentle way to prevent the yolk from breaking—if there is any trace of yolk in the egg whites, start over.
If you forgot to bring your eggs to room temperature, place shelled eggs in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 10 minutes.
To ensure your mixing bowl is clean and oil free, wipe it lightly with vinegar or lemon juice. Make sure it is completely dry before making the meringue.
Use gel coloring and not liquid color—it only takes a drop or two. Make it a little darker than what you would like the final color to be after baked. It tones down while baking.
The baking temperature may differ from oven to oven. Use 310 degrees Fahrenheit as a starting point. Keep in mind when you fluctuate the temperature, the bake time changes as well. Look for the ways described in the above recipe to tell if the macarons are ready to come out of the oven.
Macarons are at their best after they have matured for about 24 hours in the refrigerator. They will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator.