French Macarons

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Hello all!

Merry Christmas! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve last posted, but school has been busy busy, as usual. However I hope I can make up for it with this short break that I’m on.

So today, I’m here to share with you a recipe for the illustrious French Macaron.This beautiful little pastry is a fun favorite for many, with its crunchy exterior and wonderfully chewy interior. It comes in so many different colors and flavors! There’s something for everyone πŸ™‚

Before I get into the recipe, I wanted to share something with you all. I know how intimidating this pastry is. Trust me, I know. I spent a good few months researching different recipes, looking up videos, and more. I am, in no way, a baker. Baking is one of my weaker points, I must admit. Most of my cooking fails come from baking and jello for some weird reason (look up my failed jello incident if it’s still on here somewhere). I don’t know how to take a baking recipe and substitute ingredients. I don’t really know how to adjust how much flour or how much sugar I need to put into cakes or cookies. When it comes to baking, I tend to stick to the recipe, because of my history of baking fails. With that said, if I can pull off the french macaron, so can you!

After researching a few recipes, I decided to try the Martha Stewart recipe for French macarons. I thought, “hey it’s Martha Stewart. This must be fool proof, right?”

Wrong!

Meringue

I was able to successfully make the meringue, which should end up like the picture above. I folded in all of the ingredients and piped out my first set of macarons. However, I found that with Martha Stewart’s recipe, my batter came out runny and the shell never formed when I let it out to dry for more than an hour. I baked it anyway, just to see how they would turn out, and was sadly disappointed.

Piped out cocoa flavored macarons.

The Macarons cracked, every single one of them. What was even worse was that they all stuck to the parchment paper, and were just completely inedible. Let me say, it was definitely a discouraging first try.

Cracked, failed macarons

So where did I go wrong?

Well, after a lot of research and trouble shooting, I realized that the batter must have been overmixed (One of the many temperamental qualities of the macaron). Also, after reading many reviews from other bakers out there, I found that they had the same issues I was having with Martha Stewart’s recipe. The batter was runny, it wouldn’t dry and form a shell, and they were cracked or hollow inside. I needed to try something new.

That’s when I came across this wonderful youtube video from Honeysuckle Catering.Β She provided a really great step by step tutorial on the macaron. I used her recipe with just one small adjustment to it– I added a tablespoon of cream of tartar to my meringue to help form stiffer peaks.

Please find the recipe and directions that she provided in her description box of her youtube video as followed:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature

Directions:

Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour until combined. Whisk whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add sugar while Increasing speed to medium and whisk until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the egg whites into the flour and powdered sugar mixture and fold until mixture is incorporated.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling of your choice (buttercream, jam, etc). Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! For my filling, I simply used strawberry jam and orange marmalade. You can really fill these wonderful cookies with any of your favorite fillings πŸ™‚

❀ josie

Second batch, with added red food coloring.
Leaving them out to dry for about an hour. Time varies depending on the humidity.
Baking in the oven… you can start to see the feet forming.
Out of the oven and left to cool down. Look at those beautiful feet.
Voila!
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