It’s not easy to get my favorite cookies, the french pastry ‘macaron’. For one thing my preferred vendor, Lette Macarons, is six hours away. So I decided to bake my own.
My first try was tasty but not aesthetically pleasing. It was flat and had no feet. So I searched on tips to get it right and took down notes.
My second try was getting better. The taste was delicious (the only new ingredient I added was the salt!), and the cookies rose to the shape of macarons, but it had very little feet and some of the tops had cracks because the layout of my parchment paper was uneven.
Goodness! These cookies are so finicky!
Finally, on my third try I got it right! Irresistible taste, the right shape, texture, and those adorable frilly feet that makes it unmistakably a macaron. Yay! Third time’s the charm after all.
Here’s sharing the recipe from various sources, but taking in the one that worked for me:
- 3 Large Egg Whites
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- Food Coloring Paste
- 1 1/4 cups Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar
- 1 Cup finely grounded Almonds or Almond Meal (Tip: Trader Joe’s carries Almond Meal or you can use a coffee grinder to ground the almonds, but make sure you don’t ground that the almond turns into a paste)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Electric Mixer with whisk attachment
- Mixing Bowls
- 2 Cookie Sheets
- Parchment Paper
- Pastry Bag with 1/2 Inch Plain Tip attachment (Tip: You can use a Freezer Ziplock Bag)
- Flour Sifter
- Silicone Spatula
- Measuring Cups
- Pencil and a Round Circle Pattern (Tip: Use the plastic tape roll as your pattern)
1. Create circle patterns on your parchment paper. Make it dark enough so that it can be seen from the other side of the paper. Prepare the cookie sheets by placing the unmarked side of the parchment paper on top.
2. Sift the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and the grounded almonds or almond meal into a bowl.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place it in a mixing bowl and use a mixer with the whisk attachment and mix it at medium speed (#6 speed on the KitchenAid Mixer). Start adding the granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time.
4. Whisk until you see a glossy sheen.
5. Start adding a couple of drops of food coloring into the mixture until you get your preferred color saturation.
6. Whisk until there is volume and you get a stiff peak.
7. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add a portion of the sifted confectioner’s sugar and almond meal. Use a spatula to gently fold the mixture. Repeat with the rest of the sifted sugar and almond meal.
8. Once the mixture is incorporated and still has a ‘stiffness’ consistency, spoon it in a pastry bag with enough room to twist-close the top. Squeeze consistent amounts onto the cookie sheets using the circle patterns as your guide.
9. After you filled the cookie sheets, tap them on your work surface a few times to remove the air bubbles. Baking experts say this is one technique to create the ‘foot’ of the cookie.
10. Let the macarons sit at room temperature between 25 to 30 mins. Baking experts strongly advise this step because it helps the cookie rise ‘upwards’ and not go flat. Use this time to preheat the oven to 300 degrees. After the wait time, bake the cookies for approximately 12 to 15 minutes (Tip: Bake one cookie sheet at a time to ensure they bake evenly).
11. When the cookies are done baking, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then pair up the similarly-sized cookies, place your favorite *filling on one side, and use the partner cookie to create a delectable sandwich. And voila! Your homemade macaron!
*filling – my favorites are tangy lemon curd, chocolate ganache, vanilla-flavored buttercream, Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter, and Nutella Chocolate spread.