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French Macarons

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Macarons are light-as-a-feather French confections that can be assembled pulling from a mix-and-match palette of sweet fillings and bases. Our recipe for this sophisticated French treat offers variations for vanilla bean, chocolate, peanut, coconut, raspberry and pistachio macarons.

  • Yield: Makes 35 macarons

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2009

Ingredients

For the Macarons

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

Suggested Fillings for Macarons

Directions

  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.

  4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately.

Variations

Chocolate: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.

Coconut: Substitute 2 tablespoons desiccated unsweetened coconut for 2 tablespoons of the almond flour, and add 1/2 teaspoon rum; sprinkle with additional coconut before baking.

Peanut: Substitute an equal amount finely ground unsalted peanuts (peanut flour) for the almond flour.

Pistachio: Substitute 1/2 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios (pistachio flour) for 1/2 cup of the almond flour, and add 2 to 3 drops forest-green gel-paste food coloring.

Raspberry: Add 1 tablespoon fresh raspberry puree, strained, plus 3 to 4 drops dusty-rose gel-paste food coloring.

Vanilla Bean: Add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use. For filling you can use our Pineapple Buttercream from the Pineapple Dacquoise.

Cook's Notes

Piping the perfect macaron takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish. Macarons will keep for up to 3 months if stacked between layers of parchment, wrapped in plastic, and frozen.

Reviews Add a comment

  • JLLICEA
    25 MAY, 2015
    Mine came out hollow. i really wanted to love this since they came out not so sweet, but hollow.
    Reply
  • sydneykateland
    18 MAY, 2015
    Does anyone remember the adaptation for the chocolate macaron?! It is no longer under the cooks note!
    Reply
  • Cucapiza
    27 MAR, 2015
    I have a question, does anyone know if I can make them ahead without the filling? How should I store them? I want my daughters friends to spread the filling as an activity on her French theme birthday party. Please help! Thanks Cuca
    Reply
  • gemaduran
    27 MAR, 2015
    To see pictures of my macaroons look me up on fb or Instagram @photography by Gema. They were sooo yummy
    Reply
  • gemaduran
    25 MAR, 2015
    Love it! They turned out great! One thing though, you need to bang the pan to remove any air bubbles and let it rest for 30 mins before baking.
    Reply
  • rds6950
    6 MAR, 2015
    I love making meringue cookies & macrons. But I saw a lot of people talking about having a gooey cookie. Sometimes it's hard to get a crisp cookie when it's humid, when using a meringue. That may have been the issue.
    Reply
  • JFW3
    2 MAR, 2015
    Back before I " knew" that macaroons were "hard" to make, I used this recipe. Perfect the first time I tried it. I've since tried the ones requiring precise measurements, "aged" egg whites, days of flout drying, etc and had utter failure. I come back to this one and ... PERFECT! Don't mess with Martha. She knows her stuff.
    Reply
  • MS11447279
    13 FEB, 2015
    I find that these are so easy to make. I started making them a while back and enjoy the crispy outer shell. I really admired the fillings suggested. I never knew what to fill them with. I just experimented. Thanks for sharing ways to fill them.
    Reply
  • ann_veal
    4 JAN, 2015
    I tried this recipe a few days ago, and it was GREAT. I had always wanted to make macarons, but heard how hard it was-- but if you follow the instructions, you will definitely nail it too. The only thing I screwed up on was not mixing the batter enough at the end. As others had said, watch a video to figure out the consistency you need, and they will be perfect.
    Reply
  • Kristy Lumsden
    14 DEC, 2014
    This is by far the worst macaron recipe. I wasted 5 batches on this and the "basic macaron" recipe thinking it was me, tried two others and they were perfect. Save time and Google "Beth's foolproof macaron recipe" it never fails you!
    Reply