French Macaron Recipes That Are Truly Fantastique!
Pastry crazes may come and go, but the macaron's appeal is timeless. This Parisian import seduces with its playful elegance; and based on its reception, nothing is lost in translation. Once only found at high-end patisseries, we've perfected the art of making these chic sandwich cookies at home (for less than a quarter a pop, no less). There are more reasons to make these beauties yourself than just to save money, though. For a start, macarons impress; if you serve homemade macarons to your friends and family, we promise they will be in awe.
Macarons are indulgent but not over-the-top. Though high in sugar, these small sweets are relatively low in fat; the only fat comes from the almonds and perhaps from the filling. Another bonus: They're gluten-free.
Here's what you should know about this elegant treat: The macaron is a sandwich cookie of sorts, made from two almond meringue biscuits joined together by a filling. Making macarons is not difficult but it does require precision. That's why we give ingredient measurements in the traditional cups and spoons but also supply gram measurements, as using a scale helps a baker to be more precise. We also have a step-by-step guide on how to make classic macarons.
Macarons are an excellent make-ahead cookie, in fact they can't be made and eaten straight away. They actually need to be "aged" once they are baked and filled. This can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, depending on the filling—something liquidy like jam will be ready overnight, while a buttercream that firms in the fridge can take up to a week. The perfect macaron will have a crisp outside and a soft, chewy middle.
Another reason to make macarons is the sheer range of wonderful flavors possible. We've developed six recipes here, and from there so much can be done in terms of mixing and matching. Try a mint cookie with a dark-chocolate ganache, a white-chocolate buttercream, or even something fruity or herbal filling. If you're ready to be radical, pair a vanilla bean macaron cookie with a mocha macaron cookie sandwiched with milk chocolate ganache. Whichever recipe you choose, whichever filling you favor, these fancy bite-sized treats are always delicious. We consider them the jewels of the pastry world.
Say bonjour to the macaron, your new favorite treat.
Bake By Numbers
Our basic recipe nails the technique but leaves details up to you. There are endless options—betweeen color, flavor, and filling—for creating a masterpiece.
Have some espresso with your cookie—or rather, baked inside. Make ours a triple, as we wouldn't forfeit the buzzy buttercream or the subtly dusted exterior.
Morning joe meets dark chocolate in this rendition, which pairs espresso buttercream with a cocoa-and-coffee-laced shell. Try it au lait.
Think Outside the Shell
Ground almonds are the standard base for these naturally gluten-free cookies, but hazelnuts make a sumptuous substitute—especially when paired with rich chocolate-hazelnut ganache.
Freckles of Flavor
Now that we've given you three routes to a chocolate fix, it's vanilla's moment in the spotlight. This macaron classic is flavored with real vanilla bean, which makes it extra chic—polka dots are so hot right now.
Petals and Preserves
There's nothing so ladylike as an all-pink pastry, but everyone can enjoy these test-kitchen favorites, flavored with rose water and sealed with raspberry jam.