An easy macaron recipe for sweet, almond cookies. These chewy cookies can be sandwiched together with your favorite filling.
This French macarons recipe step by step is all you need to master. Once you’ve got this down, you can create endless color and flavor combinations. This is a simple macaron recipe, and makes a basic French macaron.
Homemade Macarons vs Homemade Macaroons
A macaron biscuit is made from a mixture of egg whites, sugar and almond meal. It’s a cookie with a glossy top that cracks when you bite into it. The interior is chewy and soft. The macaron shell itself is mildly flavored. It is the filling in the middle that gives each macaron a unique flavor.
This simple macaron recipe is not to be confused with macaroons. They are completely different cookies. Macaroons are made with shredded coconut.
A macaron is a meringue-style but with more texture. The base ingredients are egg whites, sugar and almond meal.
An Easy Macaron Recipe
To make a consistent macaron cookie there are a few steps to follow. The first is measuring your ingredients correctly.
For this recipe, it’s advised to use the gram amounts specified. Cups vary in sizes and so does the scooping technique used. Measuring in weight rather than volume takes away this variable.
Eggs also vary in size, so measure your egg whites. Any leftover egg yolks can be used in lemon curd, which happens to make a great macaron filling.
Egg Whites For Macarons - Do They Need Ageing?
Ageing egg whites is something that is often recommended when making meringue. This is because older egg whites whip up quicker than fresh.
However it can be hard to know at what stage your egg whites are so the addition of cream of tartar will help give them the volume they need even if your eggs are fresher. Just ensure the egg whites are at room temperature.
Easy Macaron Recipe Step by Step
Step 1 - The Almond Meal and Confectioners Sugar
Ground almonds are a key ingredient in macarons. You can use blanched or unblanched almonds, but unblanched will make a rustic macaron with the little brown flecks of almond skin.
The almonds meal, though already ground, is ground again in a food processor along with confectioners sugar and blended until smooth. It's then sieved and blended again if there are any lumps. This helps to achieve smooth macaron shells.
If you have a very powerful blender take care you don’t over blend and heat the almond meal too much. Otherwise the almond meal will become too oily and stick together.
Step 2 - Beat the Egg Whites
The egg whites are whipped with the cream of tartar until they are just holding a soft peak. Slowly white granulated sugar is added, a tablespoon at a time until the egg white has firm, glossy peaks and sugar grains can no longer be felt when mixture is rubbed between your fingers. Stop beating once it gets to this stage so you do not over whip the egg whites.
Step 3 - Fold the Almonds with the Egg Whites
Tip the almond mixture into the egg whites and fold it together gently but confidently so there are no clumps of almond meal left. Don’t beat it in, or you’ll lose the egg white volume, but ensure it is well incorporated.
If you lift your spatula out, you should be able to create thick flowing ribbons in the bowl. It is at this stage that colours can be added should you wish to.
The best food coloring for macarons comes from a gel food-coloring. This is because it brings the least amount of liquid to the batter. Don’t add too much though, only a very small amount is needed.
Step 4 - Piping the Macarons
Line two cookie trays with parchment paper. Use a dab of macaron batter to stick the parchment paper to the cookie tray.
Insert a ¼ inch round nozzle in a piping bag and fill the bag with the macaron mixture. Alternatively use a zip lock bag with a corner cut off. The macarons won’t be as consistent but it still works.
Pipe 1 inch (2.5cm) macaron circles onto the parchment paper. You can free hand them or initially draw an outline on the underside of the parchment paper as a guide.
Whack the cookie tray once times on the bench to remove any large air holes in the batter.
Step 5 - Forming a Macaron Skin
To help achieve that crispy macaron shell, let the macaron sit out and form a bit of a skin. Leave them to sit for about 40 minutes (or longer if it's a humid day) until they no longer stick to your finger when touched.
Step 6 - Baking the macarons
Once the stickiness has gone, they can be baked. Macarons are baked at a low oven temperature so the egg whites don’t brown, or rise too fast and crack.
Oven temperatures vary depending on the oven, so finding the perfect macaron temperature takes practice. In a standard oven a temperature of around 284 °F-300°F (140°C-150°C) is what you're aiming for. In a convection oven, start lower, at 266 °F (130°C)
The macarons need to rise slowly so their tops crisp up evenly and the bottom of the macarons ruffle and form what is known as ‘macaron feet’
Keep an eye on them while they are baking. If they are browning too fast or the ‘feet’ are spreading out too much then your oven may be too hot and you should turn it down a little more.
Leave the cooked macarons to cool before carefully peeling them off the baking sheet.
Step 7 - Filling the Macarons
Basic Macaron Ganache
- 150ml pouring cream
- 200 grams chocolate (dark, milk or white chocolate)
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it into a heatproof bowl.
In a saucepan heat the cream until just starting to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes before stirring it together. Once stirred, pour it into a bowl and place it in the fridge to cool. Removing it every 15 minutes to stir it will speed up the cooling process.
Once it is very thick it can be piped on one macaron shell, then sandwiched together with another macaron shell. Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- 90 grams ground almonds
- 200 grams confectioners sugar
- 85 grams egg whites (about 3 medium sized eggs)
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 50 grams granulated white sugar
- In a food processor, combine the ground almonds and confectioners sugar and blend until smooth. Sieve into a bowl. If there are a lot of large ground almond bits remaining blend and sieve again.
- Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add in the salt and white sugar, a tablespoon at a time and keep whipping until stiff peaks form and you can't feel grains of sugar when you rub a little between your finger.
- Tip the almond mixture into the egg whites and use a spatula to fold it together until it creates a sticky and well-incorporated batter. If you lift your spatula out, you should be able to create thick flowing ribbons in the bowl.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a ¼ inch round tip and line two cookie trays with parchment paper. Use a dab of macaron mixture to keep the parchment paper stuck down on the tray. Pipe 1 inch (2.5cm) circles on the baking sheets. Once piped, bang the tray on the bench once or twice to remove any air bubbles.
- Leave the macarons to sit out for about a 40 minutes until they are no longer sticky when touched.
Preheat a standard oven to around 284°F - 300 °F (140°C -150 °C). If using a convection/fan-forced oven, start lower, at 266 °F (130°C ). You’ll need to test your own oven and find the exact perfect temperature that works for your oven.
- Bake the macarons for around 15 minutes. Do keep an eye out as they bake, and tweak the oven temperature if needed.Once baked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool before peeling off the baking paper. Sandwich together with your favourite filling. (See a basic ganache recipe in the notes below). Macarons can be stored in the frigde for up to a week.
150 ml pouring cream
200 grams chocolate (dark, milk or white chocolate)
Break the chocolate into chunks and place it into a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan heat the cream until just starting to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes before stirring it together. Once stirred, place it in the fridge to cool. Removing it every 15 minutes to stir it will speed up the cooling process.
Once it is very thick and scoop-able, it can be piped on one macaron shell, then sandwiched together with another macaron shell.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g