Macarons From Scratch

Macarons From Scratch

Macarons.psd

Time to get all sappy. It is almost Mother’s Day, after all. And now that I’m 30 years old (ugh, I still hate saying that), I feel very lucky to say that my mom is one of my best friends. Really. I also feel pretty lucky that I never went through any really horrible phases growing up in which I really didn’t get along with her. Sure I was an angsty teenager at times and I once threw a fit in the mall parking lot because I wanted my mom to buy me clothes from Abercrombie and Fitch and not Macy’s (hello, former self; your current self is obsessed with Macy’s and doesn’t know what was wrong with you… Also, your parents were buying you clothes. Be thankful). But overall, we’ve always had a good relationship. And it’s only gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older.

Not only is my mom a fabulous lady, but she’s lucky to have some of the most wonderful friends, too. I’m not going to lie; I was a little jealous when my mom told me she was taking a macaron making class at Sur la Table with her friends…. and not me. After all, we love taking cooking classes together and macarons have been on my must learn to make ASAP list forever now. But then she had her friends over to put their lessons into practice and invited me.

When I was 14, I might have thought spending a day at my parents’ house with my mom and her three friends was a little odd, but now that I’m 30, it’s basically my ideal day. Especially when macarons are involved. Also, why does my blogging software insist on correcting the word “macaron” into “macaroni”? The nerve.

I’m going to give you the basic raspberry macaron recipe we followed from Sur la Table. But know that I’m ridiculously excited to try about a million different macaroni recipes in my NEAR future… Including some savory ones!

Raspberry Macarons (makes 35):

  • 7 oz. powdered sugar, divided
  • 4 oz.  almond flour or meal
  • 2 T dried, finely ground raspberry powder
  • 4 large (4 oz.) egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3 1/2 oz. granulated sugar
  • Red gel food coloring (optional)
  • Filling of your choice (chocolate ganache with a little raspberry jam is perfect)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degreesWe used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour and it was pretty perfect. Also key? We were making four different macaron recipes, so we immediately divided all of the ingredients first thing.

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We popped the almond flour in the food processor with powdered sugar to make sure it was sifted as best as possible. If you’re adding any powdered flavoring, this is the place to do it. For our raspberry macarons, we added the raspberry powder… which was really freeze dried raspberries processed into a powder.

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Making macarons also taught me that I really need to put my food scale into better use. Because exact measurements are so important in macarons, it was essential to use the scale… We even weighed the egg whites.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine eggs whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Then add  granulated sugar slowly while still mixing. Scrape down sides of bowl, add red food coloring (if you’re using it). Gel food coloring is best since liquid can offset the consistency of the mixture. We added a little more red to our raspberry macarons to brighten the color a bit. Now, increase the mixer speed to high, whisking until firm glossy peaks form.

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I have to pause to comment on the fact that the Sur la Table instructions say here, “to complete the macaronnage step…” Annnd macaronnage may just be my new favorite word.

Anyway, we sifted the almond flour mixture one-third at a time over the egg white mixture and folded it in with a spatula until the mixture was smooth and shiny.

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Once all incorporated, we mixed more to make sure the batter was firm and dripped slowly from the spatula.

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Then we were ready to pipe the mixture into rounds on a baking sheet. The pastry bag needs to be fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (#12) and the batter needs to be piped into 1 1/3-inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets.

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The ladies got these super helpful guidelines from Sur la Table, which we used under the parchment paper as guides to make sure our macarons were the right size.

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Once the macarons are all piped, we had to bang the baking sheet against the counter to ensure any air bubbles were released. And then let them stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to set. A slight crust began to form. When they no longer stick to your finger when lightly touched, they’re ready to be baked!

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It’s interesting to see how even a little ingredient change can impact your macaron shape. We added a little lemon extract to the lemon macarons.

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And they definitely piped onto the baking sheet a little smoother and a little flatter.

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One by one, we popped the trays of macarons in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they’re crisp and firm. If they’re still soft inside (they’ll be a bit jiggly), lower the oven to 300 degrees, cover with foil, and bake for a few more minutes.

While the macarons were baking, we all snacked on the delicious food everyone brought to my mom’s.

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Let the macarons cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, and transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Fill with the filling of your choice.

The raspberry macarons ended up getting a little browned… We think it’s because we had the oven on convection initially.

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Once we turned that off, they cooked much more evenly. See how the lemon cookies are much smoother than the raspberry? But a little flatter, too.

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The chocolate ones were looking pretty fabulous, too!

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That’s a lot of macarons….

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We made a couple different chocolate ganaches for filling the macarons. For the lemon ones, we used a lemon curd.

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For the raspberry macarons, we used a chocolate ganache and added a little bit of raspberry preserves as well.

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One thing about my mom and her friends? They’re always laughing together. Such a fun group.

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I thought the macarons look delicious as plain old cookies, but once they were filled with ganache, they became absolutely heavenly!

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I was SUPER impressed with how all of the macarons came out. I’ve heard some horror stories of people making macarons and having them tun into total disasters, so I assumed at least a couple batches would end up being a little rough. But nope!

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Besides the browning on the raspberry ones, I would say they looked nearly perfect.

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And obviously tasted perfect, too. Really, though. I didn’t realize how much I loved macarons until we made these. I could have eaten a million of them.

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And might have come close. I always say I know food is really good if Chris breaks into it on his own (legit he’d starve to death if I didn’t actually place food in front of him) and I know dessert is really good if my dad eats it. Both Chris and my dad willingly ate some of these macarons on their own. Yes!

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Not so bad, right? I feel lucky that I got to see four talented ladies whip these up and now I feel confident that I can take on macarons on my own.

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Thanks so much for inviting me to your girls’ day, Mom! It was a pleasure to spend the day with you, Kathy, Jan, and Anne.

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Let’s do it again soon! You know I’ve been DYING to make my own croissants… that could be the next lesson 🙂

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Have you made macarons before? What was your experience like?

[Sues]

21 Responses to "Macarons From Scratch"

  1. Judy Miller says:

    Such fun and yummmm!

  2. Simply Life says:

    what a CUTE post! these look so professional! I’m very impressed!

  3. Joanne says:

    Aww I love this post!! Your mom is adorable! And so are these macs. Seriously…they are perfect!

  4. Odetta says:

    The macarons look absolutely perfect! This looks like so much fun 🙂

  5. kate says:

    powdered raspberry? who knew? excellent post, I love making macarons, EAT THEM ALL SOON! they may be best the day after you make them, but don’t wait a whole week.

  6. Melissa says:

    I love it! I’ve never made them before, but they’re on my cooking bucket list.

  7. Jen says:

    Sounds like an awesome day to me! Megan and I made macarons a couple years ago. It was fun but that’s the only time I’ve done it… I definitely want to make croissants as well.

  8. Erica says:

    awww 🙂 Yall are so cute! I am with you- I definitely didn’t go through any crazy phases where I “hated” my Mom…but I did throw a minor fit every once in a while. Hopefully Kaylin won’t “hate” me at any point either!! Great group activity. SO pretty

  9. I’ve always had such terrible experiences making macarons, but this how-to looks like the answer to my prayers. 😀 Thank you so much for posting this!

  10. Monique says:

    I have made macarons on two separate occassions and luckily, both times were successful. I make my own almond meal so i sift like crazy. I love the results. Thank you for reminding me that i can make macarons. My mom loves macarons and even tho she is notorious for buying her own gifts and sending me a bill, i think this will be a nice addition to the bag “I” recently bought for her.

  11. I am so totally impressed by these! Sounds like the perfect way to spend mothers day 🙂

  12. Now I know what to do for Mother’s Day for my mom! MACARONS! Hehe…

  13. Ashley says:

    I’ve been longing to make macarons for forever! It sounds like I’d better get on it and hope to get such awesome results!

  14. This sounds like such a fun day! And the macarons look beautiful!

  15. I’m close to my mom, too, and we almost always bake together when I visit. This would be so much fun, love the photos!

  16. Shannon says:

    what fun, these look great!! i am now a macaron fiend 🙂 i’ve probably made 7 batches at this point, and am totally hooked on the method I tried last (where you boil the sugar before adding to the egg whites)

  17. Beth says:

    So beautiful and delicious too!

  18. Looks like everybody had a fun time making macarons. Those macarons look so delicious!

  19. from scratch! You go girl and they look amazing

  20. Susan says:

    What a fun day! I have made macarons only once but I read so many recipes and tutorials about how to make them first. They turned out great and so did yours!

  21. Sharon says:

    BEAUTIFUL post, Sues…Your photography is amazing.
    My friends LOVE you and thank you sooo much for spending the afternoon with us…it was really fun!

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