I have wanted to make Macarons, or French Macaroons for as long as I can remember, but I’ve always been too nervous to try it. There are not many things that I’ve shy-ed away from making, especially in the baking department, but these brightly colored cookies are one of them. I decided to bite the bullet and try it out. What could be bad? I thought. Well, well, well these cookies aren’t exactly as difficult as I thought they’d be but they aren’t exactly simple either. I had more than a few broken cookie shells, some stuck to the baking mat, some broke when frosting but in the end it was totally worth it. You know, broken cookies taste just as fabulous as unbroken cookies… and thats a fact!
If there’s one thing to know before beginning French macarons at home, it’s this: these cookies are not simple. Impossible? Absolutely not. Requiring BOTH patience and practice? Yes. Now I know why they’re so expensive in bakeries and restaurants. Not trying to intimidate you, but perfecting macarons takes practice and I’m still on the journey to the perfect cookie. The base ingredients for my French macaron cookies are raw almonds, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar and room temperature egg whites. The filling can be anything from buttercream frosting to caramel to curd and ganache. I used a fresh strawberry buttercream in mine, because it’s strawberry season here in Florida, and the berries are ever so sweet. If you’d like, add a bit of food coloring to the batter to make them a nice bright color.
Like I said above, these cookies take practice and lots of it. Be sure to read through all of the recipe instructions before you begin so you know the what, when, where, and why’s of the recipe. My first time I probably broke more cookies than I actually finished up with, and that is totally normal. They might not be as pretty, but they do taste the time. The saying, “practice makes perfect”, holds true to these brightly colored confections, but they’re a fun little cookie to perfect.
3 egg whites
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until whites are foamy; beat in white sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy, fluffy, and hold soft peaks. Sift confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a separate bowl and quickly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, about 30 strokes.
- Spoon a small amount of batter into a plastic bag with a small corner cut off and pipe a test disk of batter, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, onto prepared baking sheet. If the disk of batter holds a peak instead of flattening immediately, gently fold the batter a few more times and retest.
- When batter is mixed enough to flatten immediately into an even disk, spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in rounds, leaving space between the disks. Let the piped cookies stand out at room temperature until they form a hard skin on top, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 285 degrees F (140 degrees C).
- Bake cookies until set but not browned, about 10 minutes; let cookies cool completely before filling.
*Recipe from Elle at AllRecipes.com