Macarons. Macaroons. However you say, or pronounce it, this is one delicious little cookie. And terribly intimidating. Airy meringue shell with a creamy delicious filling. I tried my first macaron in Las Vegas at Payard’s Patisserie. Little pieces of heaven! And so beautiful. I almost didn’t want to eat it. But of course my sweet tooth won that battle.
I’ve been wanting to make them ever since but have been utterly terrified. It seemed so much could go wrong and I’d be disappointed. Then, I discovered one of my favorite pastry bloggers, Tartelette, had a tutorial. And it’s a great tutorial! You can find it on the first page of her blog. I highly, highly recommend reviewing her tutorial. I’m not going to go into the detail that she does, and this was only my first time making them. She’s been making them for a very long time!
But first, let’s take a moment to discuss the spelling. According to Wikipedia, Macaron is the French spelling, but still pronounced like Macaroon. But in the US, a macaroon can also be the coconut cookie (which I am not a fan of. Coconut and I don’t really get along well). To distinguish the two, many have adapted the French spelling to avoid confusion. Now that we’ve had our history lesson, let’s talk about how to make this delicate cookie. It isn’t as hard as it looks, as long as you carefully follow the directions.
Step one, take your separate your egg whites 24 to 48 hours before making your macarons. This is to help dry out the egg whites to make your meringue fluffier.
Recipe, courtesy of Tartelette
- 3 egg whites (100 grams)
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 110 g blanched almonds, whole or ground
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites to a foam and gradually add the granulated sugar until you achieve a glossy meringue.
2. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar and pulse them until they are finely ground.
3. Add the almond mixture to the meringue. Fold quickly at first to help break up the meringue. Count the strokes and slow down as it becomes more mixed. Tartelette states that it won’t take more than 50. For my first attempt, I went all the way to 50. 40 wasn’t enough, and 45 would have been just right. When you test a small amount, it should flatten completely on its own. If it doesn’t, it needs a little more folding.
4. Fill a pastry bag and fit it with a small, plain tip. Pipe a small amount onto a sheet pan lined with either silpat or parchment. Pipe a small amount so that when it flattens it turns out to be about 1.5 inches. This is another area where I messed up. I made mine way too big! I didn’t realize how much they would spread. Not necessarily a bad thing, just that I wanted small, delicate macarons. Next time!
5. Let macarons rest at room temp for about 1 hour to harden the shells. Preheat oven to 300F. Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool completely. Fill.
Filling, Raspberry Mascarpone, Courtesy of Tartelette
- 4 oz mascarpone, room temp
- 2 to 3 TB good raspberry preserves
Whisk together. Using a small piping bag, pipe a little filling on half the shells. Top with the other half. Eat, and enjoy! And practice, practice, practice! Overall, my first time went pretty good. Not great, but good. It wasn’t a disaster and they were quite tasty. Can’t wait to make them again! Thank you, Tartelette for providing such a great tutorial! It made the first time much less intimidating!