Baking French Macarons with Michelle Macaron was truly a delight Yes! Macarons, (pronounced mack-a-ROHN) are those beautifully stuffed cookies that come in a variety of beautiful bright colors and flavors. Check out Michelle’s Instagram feed for amazing inspiration. I never thought I’d ever attempt to make those gorgeous treats. Think again, because I did it! Thanks to our wonderful friend and queen macaron baker Michelle Macaron. Michele runs her macaron bake shop in Troy, Ohio.
I’ve been buying French macarons at our local farmers markets for years and love giving these beauties as gifts. Attempting to bake them, well that has always been a bit intimidating for me, mostly because they are so pretty and could I possibly make them and have them turn out and look as good? Well I’m here to tell you, they are NOT as hard to make and YOU too can bake them.
Michelle and I had been talking about doing an Instagram Live together for some time. And finally, the week arrived. I was actually nervous! So, I had my secret weapon, my daughter Sam who loves to bake, help me recipe test before our LIVE. What I learned, to my surprise, was once I got over my nervs and dove into the baking, I was surprised at the actual ease and fun I had making French Macarons. There are 5 ingredients to the shells. Whipping the egg whites just right felt like the most challenging… but that’s where Michelle’s amazing Make French Macaron Beginners YouTube video came in so handy! She actually has tons of videos and I totally binged watched many to gain confidence…LOL
Scroll Down for the full recipe to make a half recipe, 20-25 macaron shells, and the butter cream frosting I used. Michelle also has lots of different variations on her website as well. AND IF YOU have an inner Chef wanting to become a professional baker, well Michelle has her Home Bakery Blueprint Course just for YOU.
Now onto baking French Macarons!
There are a few key pieces of equipment you’ll want to buy to bake a proper French macaron. The good news is they are not pricey.
- A food scale
- 2 Silicone baking mats
- Fine mesh sifter
- Oven thermometer
- Piping tip and bags
- Michelle’s FREE Macaron Circle Guide
And IF you love macarons but can’t seem to wrap yourself around baking them, we still encourage you to try! Even the shells that didn’t turn out perfect were delicious to eat. So, maybe you just prefer the chocolate covered coconut haystack macaroon version, well, we have that recipe for you to try too.
Here’s to happy French Macaron baking! We can’t wait for you to share with us how they turned out and your picture. Do share 😊
How to make the French Macaron Recipe:
French Macaron Ingredients:
- 138 grams finely ground almond flour
- 125 grams powdered sugar
- 105 grams egg whites (from about 3-4 eggs)
- 105 grams granulated sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
*Note: When measuring ingredients start first with the container then add up to equal the measurement needed. For example, if your container weighs 84 grams add 138 to it and that total of 122 grams is what you’ll need. You got this!
French Macaron Method (3 Parts)
Part 1 – Making the Shells:
- Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Use oven thermometer to check oven temperature accuracy.
- Prepare baking sheets with silicone baking mats or use parchment paper with guides (don’t forget to remove the paper guides… I didn’t once and I think that was the problem with cracking tops)
- In a food processor, blend together, almond flour and powdered sugar.
- Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar 2 times through. This took the most time as the finer the flour, the smoother the shells.
- Separate the egg yolks from the white. Save the yolks for later use in Frittata, Pizza Muffins, Pancakes, poached egg with Hollandaise Sauce. Whisk only the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium low speed until eggs become foamy.
- Add in the pinch of cream of tartar.
- Whisk again on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Reduce speed to medium low and slowly add in the granulated sugar.
- After 15 seconds, increase the speed to high (#10 speed) and whisk until really stiff peaks form.
- Keep whisking on high for 2 minutes and 50 seconds. Then whisk again for 2.35 minutes – then for 1.50 minute. Once stiff peaks have formed and they are REALLY stiff, no joke! Stir in food coloring or flavoring.
- Using a rubber spatula, sift in, yes again, 1/3 of the almond flour/powdered sugar blend and FOLD continue until all the almond sugar blend is mixed into the egg whites. The method to folding is also IMPORTANT: It goes like this! SCRAPE. PRESS in the middle. Then TURN the bowl. Use your muscles here!
- Do this for about 1-2 minutes, but not over mixing. Batter should run down the spatula and allow you to make a Figure 8 – that’s when you know you’re done. Watch our IGTV LIVE or Michelle’s Beginner’s Video.
Part 2 – Piping the batter onto your prepped tray and baking:
- Prepare your pastry bag with the 1/2” tip (You will need to snip off about 1/4” of the tip of the bag.)
- I placed my bag with tip attached into a cup for easier filling. Roll down the sides of the bag about half way. Fill your pastry bag not all the way full. Leave room to twist close the top to pipe filling onto mats. If too full the batter comes out of the top, no fun and messy!
- Once mat is filled, you can ONLY BAKE one sheet at a time, take the tray and tap it hard on your counter top 2-3 times to remove the air bubbles in the shells. The shells will flatten.
- Allow the shells to REST BEFORE BAKING for about 30-60 minutes, depending on where you live and the humidity. The tops of the shell need to be smooth to the touch and NOT sticky before you bake them. Run your finger across the top after 30 minutes. It should slide not stick over the cookie.
- NOW you are ready to bake. Put the macaron filled tray into preheated 300-degree oven for exactly 18 minutes total cooking time. Rotate the tray half-way through at 9 minutes.
- Let shells cool completely once baked on a cooling rack before filling. If shells are still warm, the filling will melt…
Part 3 – Time to make your filling! AKA Frosting:
- Decide what flavor filling you’d like to make or double the filling recipe below to make different colors or flavors.
- Make the filling while your shells are baking.
- You can also use this buttercream frosting that makes a larger quantity and has dairy free options.
Buttercream Filling Ingredients:
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar, no need to sift
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or other flavors you like!
- 1 Tbsp. heavy cream or alternative nut milk
- 1/2 Tbsp. milk powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla, lemon, mint, or any flavor you wish!
Buttercream Filling Method:
- Whisk together the butter and sugar. I used a hand mixer.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until filling looks like frosting. Because IT IS frosting! LOL
- Add more milk to thin if needed-1 tsp at a time.
- Can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator 2 days ahead.
What happens if my macarons crack? NO WORRIES! They are still delicious to eat!
Now that you’ve made these pretty French Macarons know that the ones that may not be as pretty still taste great and I actually loved them without the filling! However, my niece came over and we had fun decorating the filling with sprinkles, making colorful spring fillings. Kids love to bake and these are super fun to decorate. We even made a Nutella buttercream frosting! Ooo lala, those were tasty.
Storing Your French Macarons
Storing your French Macarons is the best part — AS delicate as they are to handle, they store amazingly. The key is to store them an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep them crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. You can fill them and take out of refrigerator an hour before serving. The have lasted 2 weeks. You can also freeze them.
We hope you enjoy this recipe and try making them yourself.