How to Make Macarons Video: Step by Step French Macarons Recipe & Tips
Looking for cookie recipe ideas for your cookie exchange, housewarming gifts or dinner party? This easy macaron recipe will do the trick. I’ve been baking since grade school, and French macarons have become one of my favorite cookie recipes in recent years, as we often serve them at Jordan culinary event dessert stations. In this step-by-step video for how to make macarons, you’ll find tips and techniques for baking the perfect French macaron cookies with different flavors and a basic macaron filling recipe. I’ll also show what you need to make macarons. These delicate cookies aren’t as difficult to bake as you might think. The key is finding the right recipe and following each step I share–from sifting techniques and preparing your ingredients in advance to whipping the perfect macaron texture and piping precise cookie shapes onto baking sheets. This recipe is adapted from one of the best, Martha Stewart Living. (If you’re curious about the difference between macarons and macaroons, here’s a great explanation.)
Thanks to our friends at Foodista for sharing this recipe with all the home bakers in their community.
These delectable cookies in soft, sherbet-toned hues make a beautiful addition to any holiday dessert ensemble. Create an endless array of flavors and colors by simply adding different fillings and colorings. Recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart Living favorite.
For the cookie:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup almond flour (regular flour cannot be substituted)
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar (optional)
- 1/4 cup super-fine sugar
For flavoring (choice of):
- Food coloring (for strawberry macarons, pictured)
- Flavored extract (pistachio used in green macarons, pictured)
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon (for cinnamon macarons, pictured)
- 2 Tablespoon TCHO cocoa powder (for chocolate macarons, not pictured)
For basic meringue filling:
- 6 egg whites, large
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The key to this recipe is in the preparation – have all ingredients measured and ready before you begin. Separate the eggs whites and keep at room temperature until ready to incorporate.
- In a food processor, pulse powdered sugar and almond flour. (If making chocolate or cinnamon macarons, the cocoa powder or cinnamon should be pulsed with the sugar and almond flour.) Sift combined mixture 2 times. Whip the room-temperature egg whites on high with a mixer until foamy and then add cream of tartar. Slowly stream in superfine sugar and whip until stiff and shiny, about 2 minutes on high.
- With a rubber spatula, gently fold in desired food coloring and/or flavor extract, sugar and flour mixture into whipped egg white mixture. (Only a few drops of food coloring or flavor extract are needed. Add one drop at a time with the mixer on until the whites reach the color you want; the color and number of drops will not affect the recipe.) Fold the ingredients as little as possible until it is smooth, shiny and slightly runny. If it holds its form, it is under mixed. Scoop into piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
- Pipe onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, holding the piping bag in one place while applying pressure. Release pressure when a 1” cookie has been formed and gently swirl the tip out of the mixture without forming a peak. This will allow the cookie to remain smooth on top. Let stand at room temperature 30-40 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until cookies are firm and crisp. Be sure to keep a close eye on the cookies – they should not brown on top. Remove cookies from oven and cool.
- For a basic meringue filling, place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, whip on high speed until mixture is cool and stiff peaks form, approximately 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Use immediately.
- Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon meringue, flavored buttercream or other desired filing. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap well in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12 (makes 36 cookies)
This time of year a lot of people are baking, wanting to make different types of cookies, and today I’m going to show you a really unique cookie, the French macaroon. A lot of people feel intimidated by this because it’s a really delicate cookie, and for a long time, I was too. But, I found that really what would help you be successful is having the right recipe. I went through a lot of recipes that failed. This particular recipe came from Martha Stewart and it’s almost foolproof. You follow these basic techniques, you’ll end up with a really nice cookie.
Before you begin you want everything to be ready because with this cookie, there’s not a really good stopping point.
One of the most important ingredients is your egg whites, to have them separated beforehand and sitting at room temperature. That’s what we start with and that’s because when they’re warm like that, it’ll increase their ability to hold air and they’ll whip up a lot faster.
You’ll start by adding your eggs first to the mixer, and then go ahead and turn it on too high. Once you see it start foaming, what you’re going to add is a little bit of cream of tartar. This is an acid and what it does is it stabilizes the egg whites and also helps it to increase its ability to hold air. Once it starts whipping up, I’ll gradually add some granulated sugar. This is just a quarter cup. I’m using superfine sugar, which just is a lot finer. It’ll dissolve much quicker to give you a better texture. You don’t want to add it all at once or too soon, because then it prevents the meringue from whipping up nicely. Just a little bit at a time through the mixing. You might just mix it about two minutes on high.
This is what you’re looking for here, and it’s something that’s really stiff and shiny. Also, at this point if you want to add a liquid flavor, like an extract or a color, you would do that now. And mixing is really the most crucial part, especially when you go to add your dry ingredients, because there’s so much fat in the almond flour, that fat will start breaking down your egg whites. I’ll just add half of it. You’re trying to mix as little as possible. If you over mix, you’re going to have a really runny product at the end, but if you under mix it, you’ll end up with a lumpy grainy kind of looking cookie. You want it to be nice and smooth and shiny. You just want to gently fold it till everything is evenly incorporated and mixed up. And, you can kind of tell when it’s ready because if it’s under mixed it’s going to just hold its form, but you want it to be slightly runny so that you know you can pipe it, but it’s not going to keep the exact same form so what you’re seeing. And then when you’re ready, transfer it to your piping bag and I’ll show you how to pipe that.
This is about what you’re looking for. It’s not completely firm, it’s a little smooth and still runny, and that’ll go into the piping bag.
When you go to pipe, you want to keep it in one spot and squeeze until you’re done, and then when you get the shape you want, don’t just lift it up, you’ll end up getting a peak on each cookie, which you don’t want.You’re going to squeeze and when you’re done take the pressure off. Leave the tip right on the cookie and just kind of go in a swirl, and that will give you a smooth top. Just pipe them all out. Leave them apart about an inch.
At this point, what you do with macaroons is you leave them sitting out at room temperature for about a half hour to 40 minutes. And what you do is you end up getting skin from the air over them. With any baked product, you usually notice it on bread, as there’s always moisture in it that wants to escape once it’s in the oven. With bread you see it coming out the top or you see the score where the bread expanded. When you have skin on it, the moisture can’t get out. What it does with the macaroon, is the moisture comes out the bottom. And that gives you the nice traditional feet that you’re looking for right there. While it’s sitting, heat your oven.
And, the recipe calls for about 10 minutes. You want to keep a close eye on them because it only took me about four. You don’t want to get any color on these. Let them cool completely and then they’ll come right off of the parchment paper. And at that point you, you know, fill them with your own filling. Traditionally, it’s buttercream. Like this with a strawberry, I’ll put strawberry jam in there. If you want to do pistachio, I just made a buttercream and I added pistachio paste. Really whatever you want to do. Play around and make them unique to yourself.
Right here, I have a variety of different flavors and colors which is really one of the nice things about them. You can make all these using this same basic recipe. If you don’t want to do them all in one day, they freeze really well, so you can wrap them up really well. They freeze for about three months, and it just takes about 20 minutes to let them defrost.
I know a lot of people feel that French macarons are a really difficult cookie to make, but, what I found throughout the years, you know for years I failed but, finding the right recipe has really made a huge difference. If you use this basic recipe and follow these tips, you’ll end up with a beautiful cookie. And, if you have any questions about what we did, just leave us a comment.