If the Macaron were a person, it would be a diva. From Paris.
First of all, the Macaron doesn’t like to be confused with the Macaroon – a cookie that’s actually pretty easy to bake, made from shredded coconut and condensed milk.
Second of all, the Macaron can be pretty persnickety. Although it’s the object of unrestrained adoration from loyal fans, it’s also a high maintenance challenge for the bakers working with it. If a single detail goes wrong, the result can be disastrous – ranging from volcanic eruptions to runny dough. The Macaron is inherently complicated to make, which is why there are 30 steps in this recipe.
If you’re up for a challenge – read on!
- 4 ounces superfine almond flour
- 6 ounces powdered sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of cream of tartar
- 2 ounces granulated sugar
- Kitchen Aid Mixer
- Food Scale
- Mesh sifter
- Parchment Paper
- 2 Mixing bowls
- Hotdog style spatula
- Rubber spatula (for mixing)
- Handheld whisk (or fork)
- Piping bag with a plain tip (1 inch to 1.5 inch circumference)
- Cookie sheets
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Measure out the almond flour and powdered sugar using the scale.
- Whisk the almond flour and powdered sugar together in a mixing bowl.
- Pour the flour/sugar mixture through a sifter into the other mixing bowl. This is VERY important in order to remove any clumps from the mixture, as it’s essential for every grain to be superfine.
- Heat a pot of water to bath water temperature (not boiling).
- Separate the eggs, saving the whites and tossing the yolks. It is essential that not a single drop of yolk (or any other fat, like oil) interacts with the egg whites, or the recipe won’t work.
- Place the egg whites into a KitchenAid mixing bowl, and then place that bowl on top of the warm water. The purpose of this is to bring the eggs to room temperature. While eggs are best separated when they are cold (fresh from the fridge!), it’s important that they be room temperature when before being blended with other ingredients.
- Add the cream of tartar and the salt to the egg whites.
- Affix the bowl of egg whites to the mixer, with the whisk attachment.
- Mix until the eggs become foamy.
- Add the granulated sugar one teaspoon at a time, allowing each teaspoon to dissolve before adding another.
- Whip until the egg mixture becomes white and shiny, and can hold a peak.
- Look at the sides of the mixing bowl — you are trying to see if there is any stray granulated sugar along the sides that didn’t get mixed in.
- Use a spatula to scoop down the stray sugar back into the mix with the rest of the batter. Stir until blended.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the KitchenAid apparatus.
- If desired, add food coloring, gently mixing until streaks of the food coloring show up in the mixture (do NOT over-stir!)
- Using a rubber spatula, delicately blend the flour/sugar mixture into the whipped egg using a folding motion. Add the flour/sugar mixture gradually, ½ cup at a time.
- Stir until the moment the mixture appears smooth (do NOT over-stir!)
- Transfer the mixture into the piping bag.
- Place a dab of the mixture onto each of the four corners of the parchment paper.
- Place the parchment paper onto the cookie sheet, batter side down. This will ensure that the paper stays affixed to the sheet.
- Pipe the cookies onto the baking sheets — about the size of a half dollar.
- Tap the baking sheets again the counter several times in order to release any air bubbles.
- Allow the cookies to stand for 20 to 30 minutes. This is so that the cookies can dry out.
- Test the cookies to see if they are ready for baking. When ready, they will become slightly shiny and tacky when you touch the surface.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. However, do check on the cookies – when they are ready, you should be able to put your finger on top of the cookie, move your finger gently, and the cookie should be firm with no wiggling.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely.
- Use a hotdog style spatula to remove the cookies from the parchment paper.
- Match each of the cookies to a “mate” – less attractive cookies should be at the bottom, while the prettier cookies go on top.
- Add the filling the planar side of the bottom cookie (about half a teaspoon to a teaspoon, depending on how big your cookies are), and then affix the top cookie on top. Repeat until all cookies are complete!