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Basic French Macarons

We've taken the guesswork out of making these patisserie beauties, so you can prepare them at home (for less than 25 cents a pop!). Be sure to weigh the ingredients precisely, and follow the step-by-step directions to make meringue, fold in the almond mixture, and pipe the batter into rounds. Choose one version or a mix, then delight one and all with the gorgeous, delicious, professional-looking results. Martha made this recipe on Martha Bakes episode 305.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 20 to 25 sandwich cookies
Basic French Macarons

Photography: Linda Pugliese

Source: Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds (71 grams)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (117 grams)
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
  • Jam or other filling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lower third. Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute.

  2. Pass almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer solids in sieve to food processor; grind and sift again, pressing down on clumps. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains in sieve.

  3. Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid) 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high (6) and beat 2 minutes. Then beat on high (8) 2 minutes more.

  4. The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add flavoring and food coloring, if desired, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds.

  5. Add dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. Repeat just until batter flows like lava, 35 to 40 complete strokes.

  6. Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip (Ateco #804) inside a glass. Transfer batter to bag; secure top. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets; line with parchment.

  7. With piping tip 1/2 inch above sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles.

  8. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, 13 minutes. Let cool. Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies; top with remaining half. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Cook's Note

When Martha made this recipe on Martha Bakes, she used strawberry jam for the filling.

Reviews (9)

  • Nani25lG8l 14 Sep, 2014

    Tried the chocolate version -replaced 3/4 cup cocoa for almond flour. It was a big disappointment. Could tell immediately it was too thick. What did we do wrong, asked my 11 year old granddaughter :(

  • Hpnguyen 25 Mar, 2014

    After following several recipes with not so successful results, I found the
    Step by step instruction by Martha is very easy to follow, but surface is not as smooth as Macarons supposed to be then discovered that this recipe left out an important step. After piping onto the parchment paper, tap on counter twice to release any bubbles then leave out on the counter for 30 minutes to let it set. The surface will become smooth, then put in the oven, middle rack. My oven only needs 10 minutes.

  • ARuderman 18 Mar, 2014

    Love the ingredients for this recipe, but key tricks are missing. One, add your egg whites to the almond/powder sugar mixture-- not the other way around. After combining the two, the batter should be very smooth and more like honey than lava-- slow, but it should melt into itself when you drizzle your spatula. Once you pipe the macarons on to your parchment-papered baking sheet, you need to let the cookies "dry" for 30-90 minutes. This allows a smooth top to set. Happy baking!

  • thomasprivates 18 Mar, 2014

    Is macaron are not made with italian meringue usually? Or did i miss something?

  • Jessi7 8 Mar, 2014

    I just made this recipe today-they came out great! I noticed, though in step 3 you don't add the sugar until the egg whites are at least at soft peak. The whites will fall if you add all of the sugar at once. I let them get to stiff peak then added the sugar in a slow stream as the mixer was still running. Also, a 3/4 inch round cookie? Mine ended up being a 1 1/2 inch. I've read recipes (including Martha's) that leave the piped out cookies at room temp for a bit. Does this effect the outcome?

  • rleefreeman 27 Feb, 2014

    The cookie part looks great but it seems incomplete without some filling recipes. Also, how much flavoring?

  • vj_jovina 25 Feb, 2014

    To carpediem28; yes you can use almond meal. It is actually a better option as it has been processed very finely. Keep in mind though to weigh the almond meal according to the recipe because a cup of sliced almond and a cup of almond meal weigh differently. You can also check the filling with other recipes that have been posted in the website. Check the French tag.

  • CarpeDiem28 24 Feb, 2014

    I would like to try this recipe and was wondering if I can use almond meal instead and also what kind of filling can I use to fill the cookies?

  • tsilv425 20 Feb, 2014

    This recipe worked really well for me, but I would appreciate some insight into the "Cool" direction - how long on the pan, if at all, before moving to a rack? I have found the bottoms stick to the parchment paper, so I have been lifting up the entire parchment paper and putting it on a rack to cool. I didn't think leaving them on the pan would make sense, because they'd keep cooking . . . Any other insights about how to most cleanly get the macarons off of the parchment would be helpful. Thx

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