France / Recipes

How To Make French Macarons

Maria Jordão

Published on
How To Make French Macarons

Impress friends and family by making your own batch of delicious French macarons at home. These sweet, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth macaron cookies are not only tasty but they’re also great to look at. Mix and match colors and flavors to create treats best suited for the occasion.

Even though this snack is a staple in French cuisine, that’s not where the recipe first got started. It’s believed that the macaron cookie was originally created in Italy and brought over to France in 1533 by Catherine di Medici—a noblewoman from Florence who married the future King of France, Henri II. The first macarons were very simple cookies made of sugar, almond flour, and egg whites.

Over time, Italian macarons came to win over the hearts of the French all over the country. Different regions in France adopted the recipe but the macaron as we know it today didn’t come about until the 1890s when the Parisian confectioner La Maison Ladurée perfected the recipe. Pierre Desfontaines, the second cousin to the founder of La Maison Ladurée, began sandwiching buttercream, jam, ganache, and compote between cookies. 

Until this day Ladurée remains one of the most popular spots for macarons in Paris and around the world. You might even have one in your city. But if you don’t want to spend a few bucks on one small sweet treat you can always try making your own at home. Be warned, macarons are not an easy treat to make, so we suggest you brush up on your baking before going full steam. 

Homemade French Macaron Recipe

Servings: 30 macarons

Ingredients:

Macarons

Vanilla Buttercream

Pink macarons with pink background

Add any food coloring to make it your favorite color by Unsplash

Instructions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine powdered sugar, almond flour, and ½ teaspoon of salt, and process on low speed, until extra fine. Sift mixture through a sieve into a large bowl.

In separate bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt with electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the granulated sugar until fully incorporated. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and beat. Add the food coloring and beat until everything is incorporated.

Add about ⅓ of the sifted almond flour mixture at a time to the beaten egg whites and use a spatula to combine. Continue slowly adding remaining mixture. 

Place macaron batter into a piping bag with round tip. Place 4 dots of batter in each corner of rimmed baking sheet, and add a piece of parchment paper over it.

Pipe macarons onto the parchment paper in 1½-inch circles, keep them at least an inch apart. Tap baking sheet on a flat surface a few times to release any air bubbles. Let macarons sit at room temperature for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until dry.

Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C). Bake the macarons for 15 to 17 minutes, until well-risen. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool before filling.

For buttercream, add butter and beat with a mixer for 1 minute in large bowl. Sift in powdered sugar and beat until fully mixed. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat to combine.

Transfer buttercream to a piping bag with round tip. Add dollop of buttercream to one macaron shell. Top it with another to create a sandwich and repeat.

Maria Jordão
Writer
Lisbon, Portugal
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