Much Ado About Macarons!
There are tons of recipes out there for macarons, along with a lot of “helpful hints” and suggestions. The truth is that a successful macaron starts with following the directions very precisely. I frequently like to add in a little extra of this or that to most of my cookie or cake recipes – if you do that while making macarons, you’re doomed. With that in mind, what follows is a personal favorite macaron recipe.
By the way… macarons are vegetarian and naturally gluten-free!
Yummy Macarons with Buttercream Filling
Ingredients (for both Macaron’s and Buttercream filling)
2 large egg whites
1-cup butter (unsalted)
¾ cup almond flour
1 pinch of cream of tartar
4-½ cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
½ cup fine granulated sugar
Optional: ¼ tsp. raspberry extract
Red food coloring
Directions for Macaron's:
Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper (I highly recommend the mats as the parchment paper can get a little unwieldy)
Sift almond flour and 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar together 2 times, set aside
Whisk room temperature egg whites on low speed on mixer, add cream of tartar and increase speed to medium mix until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and gradually add the ½ cup of fine granulated sugar. Increase speed gradually and beat until stiff peaks form.
Sift flour mixture over whites with a sieve; discard any lumps or pieces that remain.
Fold mixture together gently with a rubber or silicone spatula. Use short strokes and a folding motion – do not try to whip!
Add raspberry extract and 6-10 drops of red food coloring until the color suits you.
Continue folding batter with spatula until extract is incorporated, color is blended and batter is smooth as it flows off of your spatula.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag or use a regular Ziploc plastic bag with one corner cut off.
Pipe one-inch rounds onto your silicone mats or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Gently drop baking sheets onto the counter to settle the macarons and pop any air bubbles.
Let macarons stand uncovered for 15-20 minutes until a crust has formed on top.
Preheat oven to 280 degrees.
Bake the macarons for 15-18 minutes, DO NOT OVERBAKE – they should not be brown at all.
Remove from oven and let cool for 40-60 minutes.
Directions for Filling:
I use a standard buttercream filling because the taste and consistency just pair so nicely with the macaron shells.
Cream butter and 3-½ cups confectioner’s sugar together in a large bowl using a stand mixer. Beat on high until light and fluffy.
Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of half and half (milk if you prefer to save a few calories) until consistency is smooth and ready to put in a piping bag.
Add ¼ teaspoon of raspberry extract and 1-2 drops of food coloring.
Mix well, transfer to piping bag – pipe small circles on one half of the macaron shells, top with remaining shells and serve.
Macarons are best served fresh, but can be saved for 7-10 days if refrigerated in an airtight container.