Serious Eats: Recipes

How to Make Macarons

Macarons in the oven. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I'm ashamed to admit that while I have eaten many macarons, I've never made them on my own.

Thankfully, plenty of other people much more skilled in the culinary arts than I am have bravely attempted to make macarons in their home kitchens and have shared their results on that massive virtual brain called the Internet. I'm going to list the most promising recipes I found while aggressively sifting through the web and, from those, pool together a list of tips and tricks for optimum macaron creation. All that info follows after the jump.

Clement's recipe at A La Cuisine was the most often cited recipe I found while searching through blogs. It also differed from almost every other recipe I found due to giving measurements in volume rather than weight. I would assume that weight is the more accurate way to go, but many have successfully reproduced his recipe. To the best of my ability, I converted his measurements from volume to weight and compared them to other recipes I found below to give you a basic macaron cookie recipe.

More Macaron Recipes

A Few Tips

Sift your ingredients, multiple times if necessary. You want your ground nuts to be powdery. No lumps! Almond and icing sugar mixture may be pulsed in a food processor to make finer.

Use old egg whites. No really, leave them out for three days at room temperature if you don't mind waiting for that long. Using fresh egg whites is more likely to result in macarons that are too fragile and flat. Read Veronica's Test Kitchen for more info.

Cooked Italian meringue may be used instead of the uncooked French one. Read Foodbeam's recipe to learn how to make it.

The final macaron batter should have the consistency of magma. What's the consistency of magma? Not too liquidy, nor too stiff. If you form a peak, it should slowly and completely sink back into the batter.

If the cookies form peaks on their tops after piping, flatten them with a wet fingertip.

Although many recipes call for it, letting the batter sit after piping may not be necessary. David Lebovitz didn't think this was an important step.

Prevent your macarons from burning by using a double layered baking sheet (stack two sheets on top of each other) and by propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon for the entire baking period or halfway through the baking period (depending on how large the macarons are or what recipe you're using).

To make it easier to remove the macarons from the parchment paper after baking, pour a little bit of water underneath the paper. After a while the steam will have loosened the macarons.

Let the macarons rest for a day before you eat them. They're supposed to taste better with a bit of rest. This might be the hardest rule to follow.

Basic Macaron Cookie: Steps adapted from A La Cuisine. Ingredients adapted from A La Cuisine, Chubby Hubby, Veronica's Test Kitchen, Ladurée and Yochana's Pierre Hermé recipe.

Bittersweet Chocolate Cream Ganache: Adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme by Dorie Greenspan.

Note: The number of cookies the recipe makes depends on how large you form your cookies. Most recipes failed to give an estimate. If I had to make an educated guess I'd say you could make 30-50 macaron sandwiches with this recipe.

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