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French Almond Macarons

These cookies have a crisp exterior and a slightly chewy center. Macarons can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to two days.

  • Yield: Makes about 30
French Almond Macarons

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005


  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
  • All-purpose flour, for dipping
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sift confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Whisk in almonds; set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats (such as Silpats), and mark circles using a 1 1/2-inch cutter dipped in flour.

  2. Put egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy, then beat in salt. Beat in granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until medium-soft peaks form. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold half the almond mixture into the egg white mixture until just incorporated. Fold in vanilla and remaining almond mixture until just incorporated. Firmly tap bottom of bowl on counter to eliminate air pockets.

  4. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macarons are slightly firm and can be gently lifted off parchment (bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer macarons on parchment to a wire rack; let cool completely.

  5. Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on flat sides of half the macarons, then sandwich with remaining halves, keeping flat sides together. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving.

Reviews (24)

  • RaleighCakePops 3 Aug, 2013

    My new go-to recipe for French macarons! Actually the simplest macaron recipe I've found. And! I colored them pink ;)

  • jimmyfox 14 Jun, 2013

    I am not going to even try this recipe. I love most of Martha's recipes. But looking at this recipe, is a no go for me. I am surprised at this one, as she is so detailed oriented. I got my baking diploma at Cordon Bleu, but wanted to see an American version so I checked on line. Most were like the ones I have. All have you REST after you pipe for at least 15 minutes. And once you pipe you should tap your sheet pans to eliminate your air bubbles. Not tap when batter is in bowl. Sorry Martha

  • Nining 15 Sep, 2012

    I wanted to come up with something exciting and elegant for my daughter's baby shower - and I've always been curious about the macaron's but didn't have the courage. Martha's recipe is not only easy, it is tasty! They were so good I decided to try the Swiss Merengue and OMGoodness - perfection! My son (the pickiest child of all time) can't get enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Kittenploof 6 Aug, 2012

    I'm not very fond of this recipe. I've attempted it twice now and the macaroons have been nothing of the consistency that they should be. To be fair I've always had a bit of a problem with baking and I do not have an electric mixer. This is not an easy recipe.

  • vail08 29 Apr, 2012

    These are amazing! When do you add food coloring to make them colored??

  • jlyn77 23 Aug, 2011

    @juliabobulia92, do you even know what slander means? I guess this recipe "spoke" to you...LOL! Baking and cooking take technique and a multitude of trial and error, this one may be on the difficult side (in order to get it right the first time around).

  • juliabobulia92 29 Jul, 2011

    This recipe is full of LIES and SLANDER. Not only did it only make about ten macaroons, they were enormous based on the instructions provided, and they were not fluffy and delicious. LIES. Do not attempt.

  • plbearden 14 Apr, 2011

    prettypatty: hitomi22 IS correct!

  • prettypatty 14 Apr, 2011

    To hitomi22:

    I do believe the correct wording should be: whomever, not whoever.
    Since this a correction of the recipe, shouldn't the grammar be correct, too?

  • MikeSee 1 Dec, 2010

    I made these with hazelnut flour because I couldn't find almond flour and they were AMAZING.

  • aaz924 24 Sep, 2010

    THe cookies take a little practice to make but it's worth it. I made all three varieties for a party and they were great. I had no problems with them sticking to the parchment paper, but the key is to make sure the egg whites are beaten just right (my first batch was too stiff and the cookies weren't flat, the last batch I made was just right). Give the recipe a try and even if they don't look great they will still taste great.

  • Hitomi22 16 May, 2010

    While this recipe's good, I'm a bit disappointed with whoever wrote the title of the recipe - isn't it supposed to be macaron and not macaroon? There's a huge difference between the two. And also, traditional French macarons are not filled with buttercream, but should be filled with a bit of cream or butter!

  • sharingtheportion 12 Dec, 2009

    Once the cookies are done, if you remove the parchment (with cookies on it) from the hot pan, place a wet dish towel on the pan, and then replace the parchment on top of the dish towel, it will create a steam which will loosen the cookies beautifully.

  • skatesillyheart 11 Dec, 2008

    According to Bruce Healy in the French Cookie Book, you need to bake the macarons on newsprint and on two sheet pans ("glue" the newsprint down in the corners with some of the batter before piping the cookies) and as soon as you take them out of the oven, put the pan in the sink on a slant and lift up a corner of the newsprint; pour a half cup of water under the newsprint immediately and it will, according to him, steam off the macarons- let cool til you can handle and gently slide them off.

  • Justine2008 31 Oct, 2008

    These are modernised french macaroons, Martha..
    Swiss Meringue Buttercream is never used in the middle! It's a flavoured creme!

  • jaclynde 19 Sep, 2008

    Well, I've tried making these twice, and it's been a disaster both times trying to take the macaroon off of the baking sheet, even with parchment paper. The cookie is baked all the way, tastes great, but it falls apart and won't keep its form when I try to remove it from the sheet. It's so frustrating because I've wanted to make these for so long when I have parties, but it never works out.

  • MrsFarmerJen 19 Apr, 2008

    Here's a link to Martha's "Parisian Macaroons" with the flavor variations. I haven't tried either recipe yet but am planning to this weekend.

  • jaclynde 11 Apr, 2008

    I was wondering the same thing myself, but then i realized that the outside part of the cookie just needs to coloring adjusted, so for example if you wanted to make green ones then you just add green food coloring and put pistachio paste in the buttercream instead of almonds.

  • Anna_Marie 28 Mar, 2008

    Did I miss something? How do you make the chocolate ones and the pink ones? The writeup by the photo says all three batches, but the instructions are for only one kind of "batch".

  • LydiaJPlescia 16 Mar, 2008

    Have not made these cookies yet but I will.

  • LydiaJPlescia 16 Mar, 2008

    Have not made these cookies yet but I will.

  • LydiaJPlescia 16 Mar, 2008

    Have not made these cookies yet but I will.

  • LydiaJPlescia 16 Mar, 2008

    Have not made these cookies yet but I will.

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