Spring is such a colorful time of year. During the change of seasons and the sprouting of greenery, it’s a great time to host an outside dinner party, Easter egg hunt, tea party, or garden party!
For any of these events, or all of them, what’s a better addition to the event than a rainbow-assortment of bite-sized cookies? That’s right; we’re talking about the ever-delicious macaron.
Not to be mistaken for macaroons (which are confusingly spelled similarly), macarons are the confection first developed in Italy – not those small biscuits typically made from ground almonds or other nuts.
While the former are lovely treats, macarons are meringue-based, light, airy, and delicious.
Types of Macarons
These sweets are colorful and perfect for the springtime, practically melting in your mouth!
Macarons come in a variety of flavors as well. From peanut butter, cheesecake, strawberry, salted caramel, candy cane, cinnamon, and so on – they’re like an entire candy shop on their own!
There are technically two ways to make macarons: the French way and the Italian way, with the main difference being in how the meringue is created.
Though delicious, these baked goods can be tricky to make. Fear not – we’re here to show you how to make a macaron batch that will knock your socks off.
To avoid confusion, we’ll begin with the French variety.
How to Make French Macarons:
There aren’t many base ingredients when it comes to making macarons.
The light, fluffy, and sweet aspect is what makes them so easy to finish in a variety of flavors. But the process of combining the ingredients takes a little bit of focus and patience.
The first portion to worry about is your actual batter. We’ll begin with the basics, though it can be tweaked to your specific tastes or desired flavors.
- ¼ cup sugar.
- 1 cup almond flour.
- 3 egg whites.
- 1 2/3 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar.
- Gel food coloring (optional).
(It should also be noted that you can use finely ground almonds, but they’ll have skin on them still.)
Macaron Ingredient Prep
You’ll begin by whisking the egg whites in a mixer until the whites are nice and foamy.
From there, beat in the granulated sugar until the whites are glossy, a little fluffy, and hold soft peaks. Beat them until they are stiff and do not move.
If you want to use food coloring for your macarons, now is the time to do so. Be sure to use gel food coloring, as liquid food coloring tends to affect the consistency of the egg whites, and therefore the overall recipe.
Mix the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour in a separate bowl before folding the mixture into the egg whites.
We recommend using a rubber spatula during this step, scraping the bowl around the sides and moving toward the middle.
Be sure not to overmix, so do this no more than 50 times (you should start to pay more attention to the batter around the 30th stir) to avoid overly runny batter.
To test if your batter is ready, take a sample of the mix and place into a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Squeeze out a disk of batter, about 1 ½ in diameter, onto a baking sheet.
If it holds a peak and doesn’t flatten, you need to fold the batter a few more times and test it again.
When the batter is ready, spoon it into a pastry bag (a regular plastic bag can work, but it’ll be more difficult and messy).
Pipe the batter on the baking sheet in rounds, making sure to leave space between them to grow.
Let the batch sit out for at least 30 minutes to allow the cookie rounds to spread. Pre-heat your oven to 285 degrees during this time.
Bake the cookies until they are set but not browned; about 10 minutes. A good tip during this time is to turn your cookie tray around halfway through for an even bake, in case your oven cooks more on one side than it does the other.
Let the cookies cool completely before adding your filling.
Here’s a video showing how to make macarons using raspberries and Italian meringue.
And there you have it – you now know how to make macarons! As you can see, the main area of focus with this recipe is patience.
By paying attention to your batter and being able to hold off on taking any shortcuts with mixing, it should be a rather simple endeavor to make your own batch of macarons.
As we’ve mentioned before, there are a variety of different flavors your macarons can take on, determined by the type of filling you use.
Regular frosting works just fine for these delicious cookies, but if you want to take it a step further, you can always whip up your own meringue filling flavor.