Making French Macarons

French Macarons

Little sister is a Valentine Day’s baby. For her birthday this year, she asked for the classic Chanel handbag. It’s a few thousand dollars out of my price range, so I decided to get her the next best thing: French macarons—both are from France (sort of), so it’s basically the same, right?

This is a basic French macaron recipe. Making them the first time can be a little intimidating, but they get easier with each go. For the filling, I usually use raspberry jam, which is what my sister prefers. On other occasions, I’ve used homemade butter cream and a delicious pistachio cream I found at Zingerman’s.

Ingredients

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Pulse powered sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture until fine.

2. Preheat oven to 280 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until frothy.

3. When the egg whites are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters.

4. Stir in vanilla extract.

5. Gently stir in half of the sifted almond-flour mixture, folding it into the meringue using a flexible silicone spatula. Once the first half of the almond-flour mixture has been thoroughly folded in, stir in the second half until fully incorporated.

6. Pour batter into a pastry bag (or gallon-sized Ziploc bag with a small hole).

7. Draw 1-inch circles in rows, spaced 1.5 inches apart on parchment paper or baking sheets.

8. With your filled-pastry bag, pipe out 1-inch rounds, carefully making sure that it’s flat, rather than forming peaks. Once the circles have been filled, rap the baking sheet on the table to release any trapped air. This will also help smooth out the tops. Continue until all the batter is used.

9. Allow the sheets to sit for 30-45 minutes, until the maracons are dry to touch.

10. Bake sheets one at a time in the oven for 15-18 minutes each. Rotate the sheets halfway to allow even baking.

11. When removed from the oven, allow a few minutes to dry, and then carefully peel each macaron off of the sheets.

12. When the macarons are cool, sandwich each pair with the desired filling.

Suggested Fillings

Raspberry Jam
Buttercream
Pistachio Cream
Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Cream
Nutella

Makes about 24 macarons (48 halves)

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