Successful French Macarons

Who doesn’t love French Macarons?

You know, those soft, often pastel-colored, sandwich-like confections filled with sweet buttercream?

When you consider they’re made from just a handful of ingredients, they shouldn’t be that difficult to make, right? Wrong.

Until recently, these have been the most difficult cookie ever for me to master.

macarons lavender

Homemade French Macarons do indeed have a difficult reputation.

You can read my earlier post about making French Macarons HERE which featured my first, mildly successful attempt several years ago.

At the time, I didn’t realize it would take so long to find a recipe that would consistently work for me.

Well, I’m happy to say after 2 years, countless books, numerous articles, one class and tons of online videos… I’ve finally figured out the elusive French Macaron.

macaron bowl

There are any number of macaron recipes and techniques and there’s no one, single correct road to success.

I’ve included the full shell and filling recipe I use, a little further down in this post but I’ve also singled out 6 important techniques that I credit with helping me produce successful French macarons.

  1. I use an Italian meringue recipe which involves mixing half the required egg whites with the almond flour and powdered sugar to create a paste. The other half of the egg whites are whipped into a meringue and mixed with a heated sugar water before adding it to the almond flour paste to make the macaron batter.
  2. I use silicone, Silpat mats instead of parchment paper.
  3. When piping the shells. I think smaller circles are better than bigger ones. I pipe mine about 3/4-1-inch in diameter.
  4. Once piped, allow the shells to sit (or rest) for at least 30-minutes.
  5. Use the convection setting on your oven, if you have one.
  6. When shells are removed from oven, allow them to remain on the hot tray for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

copper bowl of macarons

Homemade French Macarons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60-100
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup egg whites (divided in half, at room temperature)
  • 300 grams of almond flour
  • 300 grams of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder (or powdered egg whites)
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 300 grams of granulated sugar
  • Food coloring (gel paste is best)
  • Kitchen scale for measuring grams
Instructions
  1. Measure all ingredients precisely.
  2. Use food processor to blend almond flour and powdered sugar.
  3. Sift the flour mixture through a strainer to get all the lumps out.
  4. Add the meringue powder (or powdered egg whites) to ½ of the egg whites.
  5. Stir egg whites into the flour mixture. Mix well. This will create a paste. Set aside.
  6. Begin to heat the water and granulated sugar in a saucepan.
  7. Whip the remaining egg whites until slightly frothy.
  8. Watch the temperature of the sugar water. Once it reaches 245-degrees, add the food coloring and quickly pour the liquid into the whipping egg whites. Pour carefully to prevent hot splattering.
  9. Continue to whip the egg whites until thick and glossy.
  10. Pour glossy meringue into the bowl with the paste.
  11. Fold the mixture until it's flowing like lava but not runny. Do not over mix.
  12. Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with metal tip.
  13. Pipe macaron shapes onto Silpat sheet.
  14. Pipe them about an inch apart.
  15. Bang the tray on a hard surface to eliminate any air bubbles.
  16. Allow piped macarons to sit for about 30 minutes. This is called "resting".
  17. Bake macarons (one sheet at a time) for 14-minutes.
  18. After baking, allow baked macarons to sit on hot sheet for a few minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
  19. Once cooled, match up same-size shells and pipe filling between two cookies.
  20. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
  21. NOTE: If you pipe smaller shells, this recipe will yield far more.
  22. The actual ingredient prep time is not time consuming but piping shells and baking multiple sheets will take several hours.

macarons stand
Almond Buttercream Filling
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 60-80
 
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 grams granulated sugar
  • 30 grams of almond paste
  • 230 grams of unsalted cold butter
Instructions
  1. Whip the eggs and sugar in a mixer until you get a thick batter.
  2. Pour into saucepan and add almond paste.
  3. Stir continuously on low to medium heat until paste is dissolved and mixture is thick.
  4. Careful not to over heat or mixture will burn.
  5. Pour into dish and refrigerate while next steps are completed.
  6. Cut the butter into chunks and whip in mixer on high until butter is light and fluffy.
  7. Add the chilled almond mixture and continue to whip on high until well-combined.
  8. Spoon filling into piping bag with metal tip.
  9. Pipe onto single macaron shell and sandwich with a second macaron.

copper pot macarons

I don’t know about the cost of French macarons in your neck of the woods but in my area the smaller cookies are $1 each and the slightly larger ones are $2 each.

I added up the cost of the ingredients for me to make just one batch and it was under $30.

Considering that I can make between 60 and 100 cookies using this recipe (depending on piped size), I’d say $30 bucks is a pretty sweet deal… in more ways than one.

How cute would these be at a tea party, or luncheon or baby shower?

I’ve also packaged up my macarons and gifted them to friends and neighbors.

Of course, they love them.

french macarons

As you can see, making successful French macarons is a bit labor intensive.

However, I’ve gotten faster and better with each batch.

You can scroll through my Instagram account to see some of my other recent macarons HERE.

After all this time at tackling homemade macarons, I think it’s pretty safe to say… I’m on a roll.

I hope you give them a try too.

Thanks for stopping by.

See  you back here next time. ♥

  • Kimberly

    Lisa your macarons are beautiful so shiny and smooth. What is your oven temperature when you bake your macarons?

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Kimberly.
      I struggled for so long to try to make perfect macarons.
      I use a convection oven and bake them at 300F.
      If you’re not using a convection oven, you should bake them at 325F.
      Good luck. Macarons are finicky but this recipe really works well for me.

  • Candace

    I love everything about this post! Especially your beautiful photos. Can’t wait to see what other flavors ( colors ) you try next. Candace

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Candace.
      I’ll keep everyone posted.
      So happy to finally figure out those darn macarons too-lol.
      Hi to Phil from me.

  • Aisha

    Thanks for this post! Do you purchase your almond flour (if so, any particular brand) or do you make your own almond flour?

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Aisha, I purchase the almond flour. I use Bob’s Redmill Superfine Almond Flour.
      I’ve made my own almond flour before but honestly, it’s a drag to make. It’s so much easier to just buy it.
      I’ve also used several other brands and the Redmill brand has worked the best for me so, that’s what I stick with.
      Good luck with your macarons. Please let me know how they turn out.

  • Sophie

    Waouh!!, Lisa I’m impressed, you’re awesome…
    As a french girl, I must confess that I’ve never succeeded to make such perfect and I guess delicious Macarons .
    Your website is delightful and I wonder how you manage to do all the things you do.
    “Mes compliments” from France

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Bonjour Sophie, merci beaucoup pour vos doux mots. Bienvenue en France, je suis content que vous vous êtes arrêté pour une visite. Oh, vous devez acheter des macarons merveilleux tout le temps. J’aimerais visiter la France un jour, juste pour acheter les marchés aux puces et acheter des macarons français authentiques. Ce serait merveilleux. Bonne journée à vous. Visitez bientôt.

      (Hi Sophie, thanks so much for your sweet words. Welcome from France, I’m glad you stopped by for a visit. Oh, you must buy wonderful macarons all the time. I would love to visit France one day, just to shop the flea markets and buy authentic French macarons. That would be wonderful. Happy day to you. Visit again soon).

  • [email protected] Designs

    I knew you would master those Macarons! You are always up to mastering a challenge!…they look awesome!!!! Sharing this tremendous accomplishment on FB!
    Have a great week Lisa!!!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Oh, Shirley-thank you. You’re oh-so sweet.
      I’m so excited about my French macarons because they have taken me so long to learn how to make them.
      My family thinks I’m nuts-lol.

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Pssst!! Lisa! I have a confession to make. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never tasted a macaron. I know!! Where have I been!! Around here we don’t have a great bakery and I guess I haven’t felt the urge, until now, to make them myself so I could sample how they taste. The first time I heard of a macaron was several years ago when they had a blogger contest making the best macaron. *sigh* I love a cooking challenge. I am definitely going to give them a try. You are such an inspiration!! Big hugs!!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Lol, Marisa. I know a lot of people who have never eaten a macaron before.
      Boris and the kids don’t even like them.
      I have to say, the only reason French macarons have such an elevated status in my house is because I’ve spent so much time (years) trying to figure them out-lol.
      Please do let me know if you give them a try. I’d love to know how they turn out for you.
      Happy day.

  • Lynn Spencer

    So, what I want to know is…when are you having the macaron-making class? Let me know and I’m there!!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Ha, ha Lynn.
      Despite my recent macaron success… I’m still very much a beginner.
      I’d like to start experimenting with different flavors for the shells and fillings now that I’ve got the basics down.
      I’ll definitely keep everyone posted as I figure out new tips.

  • Dana

    I took a macaron making class from Sur La Table a few years back and loved it. These look amazing Lisa. As always! My area is too hot for me too make meringues (Hawaii with no a/c, so my house is in the 90s during the day!). Once I get back on the mainland or at least someplace cooler, these are definitely on my to-do list.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Dana, I took my first macaron class at Sur La Table too.
      Yes, macarons are so tempermental-the heat probably would impact them.
      FYI-I do use a few teaspoons of meringue powder (or powdered egg whites) which is supposed to help compensate for humid conditions.
      Happy day to you.

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