How to Make Perfect Macarons Every Time

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French Macarons are the classiest, prettiest, daintiest cookie on the planet. That being said, they are also the most finicky cookies I have ever made… Sometimes I feel, is there such thing as a perfect macaron?!

I’ve been making macs since 2014, but I only bake them on occasion because they can be so infuriating sometimes! Every time I make them it seems to be a hit or miss.

Macarons can be lopsided, brown on the bottom, hollow, brown on the top, be too lumpy, be too flat, have cracked tops, have wrinkled tops, feet that are too tall, no feet at all-those are just a few things that can go wrong with macarons!

If those things didn’t deter you from baking French Macarons, keep reading to find solutions!

What can cause these issues? Macarons can show issues like these if they are uncooked or overcooked,  if the egg whites are under or over beaten, if there is too much humidity in the air, if the oven temperature is too high or too low, or if the batter (macronage) is over or under beaten.

I decided to set out on a mission to bake the perfect (or almost perfect) french macaron. I made a few batches and did some research and I think I have struck gold!

The thing with baking perfect macarons is that every step has to be intentional. It’s not like baking chocolate chip cookies. I know you’re technically supposed to separate the wet and dry ingredients, but I use one bowl instead and the chocolate chip cookies come out delicious.

No short cuts with macarons I am afraid! Make sure when you are making macarons, it sounds silly but you need to be focused. So don’t try to “whip them up real quick” if you are wanting a quick dessert or need to make a last-minute dessert for your kid’s teachers. Turn the TV off, don’t be talking on the phone, FOCUS!

The best recipe I have found that works for me is Wilton’s French Macaron recipe, but I tweaked it just a pinch. Many macaron recipes use the metric system, but I  I prefer using the U.S measurement system anyways. Another great resource is Tasty did a video on macarons found here:

Tips and Steps to Achieve Perfect Macarons:

  1. Make sure you are using almond flour that is super dry. The best way to dry them out is to put them in a glass baking dish and bake at 200°F for 30 minutes. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the almond flour halfway through the drying process.
  2. Sift the almond flour and the powder sugar together before putting them in the food processor. Discard the almond bits and powdery lumps. Fight the urge to push the little bits through the sifter.
  3. Next, use your food processor to pulse the combined almond flour and powder sugar. A couple of pulses will be just fine.
  4. Pour the dry mixture back into the sifter and sift for the last time. Again, discard the little almond bits.
  5. Separate your egg whites and leave them uncovered for two-four hours. This “ages” them to reach room temperature. They have to dry so don’t skip this step! Also do not use liquid egg whites from a carton.
  6. Add cream of tartar and pinch of salt to the egg whites. Beat on high speed just until foamy (no longer that yellow translucent look), then slowly add in granulated sugar. When the mixture reaches soft peaks, add vanilla and gel food coloring until you get stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl completely upside down where the egg whites won’t fall out of the bowl.
  7. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, about ⅓ of the dry mixture at a time.
  8. Stir heartily until everything is incorporated and when you pull your spatula up and let the batter drop back into the bowl, it slowly blends back into the rest of the batter.
  9. If you are unsure if your mixture is under mixed or not, pipe a test cookie and if it forms a little “nipple” and it doesn’t smooth into the rest of the cookie, it is under mixed. Remember, it is better to undermix (you can test it) than to over mix because you can’t un-mix the batter!
  10. Pour the macaron batter in the decorator bag and pipe circles on the silicone mat (or parchment paper) that is on the air-insulated cookie sheet. I can’t emphasize it enough, I strongly recommend using a silicone mat that is meant for macarons because they will have circle guides, be evenly spaced and your macs will be perfectly round and uniform! When I first started making macarons, I would hand trace circles on parchment paper…that got really cumbersome.
  11. Tap the baking sheet a few times on a table to release air bubbles (this avoids the tops from cracking). Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, but I let them rest for an hour and a half. I have mistakenly put macarons in the oven too soon because they passed the touch test. The touch test is when the unbaked macarons form an outer skin and your finger doesn’t get cookie batter on it when gently touched.
  12. I have learned that how your macaron tops look unbaked is pretty much what they will look like when they are baked. So make sure they look smooth before going in the oven. If there are “nipples” on the macarons, use a cookie scribe or toothpick to smooth them down and pop any excess bubbles or holes that occurred after tapping the cookie sheet. Do this immediately as the macaron batter is still malleable.
  13. Place in oven at 275-300 degrees. I have found 300 degrees works well for my silicone mats and insulated baking sheets. Bake for 22 minutes.
  14. Congrats! Your macarons should have perfectly formed feet, and smooth tops!
  15. Next heat up the heavy cream and then pour over your chocolate chips or candy melts. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring. Pour into a decorator bag and pipe on one side of the shell once the macarons have fully cooled.

Let me know how your macarons turned out, and any tricks that have worked for you!

Mastering French Macarons: Tips and Tricks

Tools you WILL need for successful macarons:

  • Food processor: sifting is not enough to get the mini clumps out.
  • Hand mixer or Kitchen Aid mixer
  • Air-insulated cookie sheet**
  • Silicone mat** or parchment paper
  • Egg yolk separator
  • Decorator bags
  • Spatula
  • Patience!!

** I HIGHLY recommend insulated pans because they distribute heat evenly and will prevent your macarons from burning. I also HIGHLY recommend silicone mats for macarons because you’re saving money from having to constantly buy parchment paper, it cleans easily, and they have circle guides to pipe perfectly round macarons.

Wilton’s Homemade French Macarons Recipe

Yield: 36 shells so 18 macarons

Macaron Ingredients:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 room temperature egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 12 oz candy melts or chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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