How to Make the Perfect Macaroon
by Farah Sayed
The French macaron, often confused with the coconut “macaroon,” originated in the 1500s. Although this simple cookie is composed of sugar, egg whites, and almond, it’s one of the most difficult desserts to master. With these tips, though, you can be sure to impress your friends and family with your macaron-making skills.
The very first step in making macarons involves whipping egg whites, but recipes don’t tell you that you should use aged egg whites. Using aged egg whites, set out for two to three days, produces a firmer meringue that benefits the consistency of the cookie. Another important factor in the consistency is almond meal. Recipes call for finely ground almonds, which you should sift further to make sure that no clumps remain. Purchasing almond flour, however, can save you this step because almond flour is already very finely ground and ready to use. Basically, just use almond flour if you’re lazy like me 🙂
Everybody likes to use vibrant colors to add some pizzazz to their cookies. The ground almonds add a brown tint to the dough, so be sure to put a lot of food coloring to maintain a bright color. Using gel food coloring produces the best results because many liquid food colorings alter the firmness of the macaron.
Once you prepare the dough, you are ready to place the mixture on a parchment lined pan. Use a pastry bag to create perfect little circles of batter, but if you don’t own a pastry bag, have no fear! Simply take a large Ziploc bag and snip off one of the corners with a pair of scissors. Even if you do own a pastry bag, using a Ziploc bag works better because it’s easy to dispose of once you’re finished.
After you create circles of batter, tap the tray multiple times on your counter. This action drives out air from inside the cookie to ensure that your macarons will have an even surface. Don’t place your cookies in the oven just yet! Let the dough dry for about 15-30 minutes so that the top surface smoothens out and hardens just a bit.
When your macarons are in the oven, it’s a good idea to open the oven a few times to let out moisture. Humidity is bad for macarons, and even baking them on a humid day can ruin the whole process. Keep a very close eye on your cookies, because over-done macarons tend to crack very easily. It’s always better for them to be slightly underdone than overdone. Once you start to see very light golden brown edges, take out your macarons and let them cool.
By following these tips, you’re on the way to creating successful, pretty, and delicious macarons. Even if your first attempt seems like a failure, practice is the true secret to achieve the perfect macaron.
Santopietro, Jill. “French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache Recipe.” Chowhound.
N.p., 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016. <http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/french
Travels, Leah. “Making French Macarons in Paris.” Leah Travels. N.p., 25 Aug. 2016. Web. 07