Macarons are soft, chewy pastries of French origin, made mostly with almond flour, sugar, and egg whites. They are one of the more challenging pastries to make because of the technique and precision needed to go into them. They can be flavored in a myriad of creative ways. Here I present a basic macaron recipe that does not require a food scale.


First, make the shells:
  1. In one bowl, mix 1/2 cup of sieved powder sugar, 1/3 cup sieved almond flour. In another bowl, whisk 1 medium-sized egg white until the foam forms stiff peaks on your whisk. You won’t be able to achieve stiff peaks if you under-whip or over-whip. Of note, you must use a medium sized egg, not a large egg , as too much egg white would cause your batter to get too wet and not bake properly (hollow shell, cracks on top, no feet formation). Then add 4 tsp granulated sugar, 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional for better meringue structure), and whip it into the egg white.
  2. Pour the dry bowl with the wet bowl, and stir gently together to get the big bubbles out and make the consistent lava-like. Using a spatula, once you can draw out the figure 8 continuously with the batter, then the consistency is right. Don’t over-stir because your batter will have too little bubbles and won’t rise when baked. Don’t under-stir because your batter will have too much large bubbles, causing hollow shells with surfaces that are too delicate. Also you can tell if it’s done if the edges of the batter of the figure 8 melds smoothly into the rest of the batter within 10-15 seconds. When you pipe the batter onto the pan at this consistency, any peaks that form will easily meld back into the batter making the surface of the macaron smooth and flat.
  3. Pipe the batter at 90 degree perpendicular to the parchment paper (or silicone mat) until you get round shapes of your desired size.
  4. Give the pan a few good pats on a hard surface to flatten out the macarons and bring up any bubbles that may be in the batter. If you don’t do this, the shell of the macaron might not be smooth when you bake and any big bubbles in the batter might cause the shells to become hollow.
  5. Let sit for 45 min until the surface dries to form a smooth, non-sticky, matte shell. If you don’t do this, the surface of the macaron will be too soft when baked and become wrinkly out of the oven.
  6. Next is to bake. The goal is to make the outer shell surface smooth (no wrinkles or “nipples”) and sturdy ( the shell shouldn’t crack easily when you tap them). The inside should be soft and chewy (not crispy) and fully cooked through (not wet or hollow). In my experience, baking with the oven fan on (convection setting) is the best way to achieve this. Conventional setting (without fan) does not dry the shell quickly and leads to poor results. Thus, my preference is to bake with fan on (convection setting) at 300F for 12 minutes. Also, baking on a metal pan (or putting the silicon mat on a metal pan) helps the inside cook through faster. Glass pans do not conduct heat enough to cook the macarons effectively.
Second, make the filling:
  1. In a bowl, mix together any of the following together to a consistency and taste to your liking: cream cheese, powder sugar, butter, sour cream. fruit jams
Third, put the macaron together:
  1. Make sure the macaron shells are completely cooled down before removing from the pan, or else the bottom of the macaron shell will stick to the parchment paper or silicon mat. Also if it’s still hot, the filling will melt!
  2. Pipe the filling between two shells to make a macaron sandwich.
  3. On the first day out of the oven, macarons may be slightly firmer and they get softer overnight. Thus, ideally, you should wait til the next day before eating the macarons for the most ideal texture.
  4. For storage, macarons freeze well. Thus, it’s best to freeze the macarons you don’t eat. Otherwise, they will dry out and harden after the third day.

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