The French Macaron, not to be confused with the coconut macaroon cookie, can be a head banging conundrum. I first saw these petit beauties while meandering through France in 2007 and didn’t give them much thought until I picked up a Macaron specific cookbook this year in DC. Their intrigue to many including myself is the complex recipe which even if you follow religiously, they may not turn out perfectly.
Mustering up the courage and patience, I made my first batch with my two foodie friends Sam and Alexa. Our first round was a success; however, they were a tad over cooked resulting in a browner colored cookie. A few months later, after seeing these adorable confections all over wedding blogs, throughout magazines, and on countless food blogs I wanted to make more.
This December, my husband and I set to find to perfect our own recipe. We’ve made 10 recipes and we’re only beginning our Macaron making confidence as 3 batches did not turn out well. One batch the tops cracked, another were pancake thin, and yet another the “pied” (foot) was not uniform. Regardless, don’t despair as even if they are not perfect they are great with ice cream, coffee, or dog treats.
Stacy & Walter’s Vanilla Bean Macaron Recipe
85g almond flour
150g powdered sugar
3 egg whites
5 ounces fine sugar
1 vanilla bean seeds scrapped out
Heat oven to 325
Measure out almond flour and powdered sugar, sift 2 times, add vanilla seeds then set aside.
Separate egg whites with absolutely no egg yolk. Note: aged egg whites which are 2-3 days old at room temperature have been said to work better.
Begin whipping egg whites with stand or hand held mixer. When eggs begin to get foamy slowly add the 5 ounces of fine sugar. Continue beating until you get a firm and shiny meringue.
Pour half of the almond/powered sugar ingredients into meringue and stir ensuring you scrape the sides and bottom. Add the second half and stir. Note: do not over stir. You only want to stir until it is a thick magma like consistency. If you over stir you’ll get flat, pancake cookies. Google magma or macaronage for more examples.
Place parchment on a cookie sheet. To get uniform sized cookies, trace 1 inch circles on the parchment then flip the parchment as you do not want the pen marks on the cookie.
In a pastry bag use a plain round tip and pipe out circles on your parchment. Once you have your circles piped, firmly hold the cookie sheet and rap the sheet against a counter a couple times. This is said to help form the pied.
Let the dough sit for 10-15 minutes to form a soft shell. If you’d like you can top the Macarons with salt, dried mint, dust with cocoa, and so forth. We topped ours with a Hawaiian black sea salt.
Place in oven for 12 minutes and put a wooden spoon or chopstick in the door to let some heat escape. Note- this will product a slightly chewy Macaron which is traditional without browning the cookie. If you’d like them slightly more done you can cook at 300 for 20-25 minutes.
Once cookies are done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool. Do not remove from parchment until cool as they may stick. Pull up the corner and gently peel from the Macaron.
For a filing, you can make a basic butter cream, ganache, fruit spread, peanut butter, marshmallows—the possibilities are deliciously endless.
Macarons will last 3-4 days if left on the counter. If unfilled you can freeze the cookies then thaw and fill at a future date.
Also I am available for Macaron making and am happy to help 812.552.1007 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Notice the Hawaiian sea salt garnish– yum!