Lazy Girl’s Guide to French Macarons

I get asked all the time how do I make French macarons and is it doable. If you’ve ever checked out some of the tutorials online, you might have given up, they seem waaaaaaaay too complicated! But don’t worry, macarons don’t have to be. I’m done the research and put in the time experimenting, and I’ve come up with The Lazy’s Girls Guide to French Macarons: Shortcuts that make making this impossible cookie, possible.

I hope you enjoy my first cooking video: The Lazy’s Girls Guide to French Macarons

Here’s the recipe for reference:

Lazy Girl’s Guide to French Macarons

Ingredients:

210 g of powdered sugar
(Don’t have a kitchen scale? See below)

125 grams of almond meal

30 g of sugar

3 egg whites

gel food coloring

Directions:

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare your baking surface. Some people use silicone mats with templates (and honestly, that’s my favorite way of baking macarons) but if you don’t have a macaron mat, you can use a cookie sheet covered in parchment. You’ll want to place a template under the parchment so that the cookies are uniform. If you do this, though, don’t forget to slip the paper templates out from under the parchment before baking.

2. Now it’s time to measure out the dry ingredients. You’ll need 210 grams of powdered sugar. Yes, it’s a pain to use a scale if you’re not used to it, but trust me, this step is critical. Then, measure out 125 g of almond meal (sometimes called almond flour.)3. Dump both the powdered sugar and the almond meal into a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes. This helps to ensure that the mixture is smooth and doesn’t have any obvious clumps.4. Set the almond meal/sugar mixture aside and it’s time to whip the egg whites. Here’s another shortcut for you. You can just dump in the egg whites, sugar and the food color all at once. Most tutorials have you add the egg whites till foamy, then add in the sugar and mix and then add in the food color. This is totally unnecessary……your welcome! Also, a lot of tutorials say you need to have your egg whites at room temperature….not so. Take those bad boys straight from the fridge.

3. One thing to note on the food coloring, is that you definitely want to use gel food coloring. I’m using one from Wilton that is a liquid gel. This is because your liquid food colors you get from the market make your egg whites too liquidy and tend to brown in the oven. No one wants a perfectly pink macaroon with brown edges…Also, note, that when you add color to the macarons, go a couple of shades darker than you want. That’s because when the egg white foam up and when the cookies bake, they tend to lose a little bit of color.

4. Now it’s time to whip your egg whites. I like to start low and make sure the coloring gets mixed up (and doesn’t fly out of your bowl) before turning the speed up higher.

5. Let the egg whites whip, paying attention to the changes that occur. They should start to lighten and get creamy. Check ever so often to see if they are to the stiff peak stage…..here I am checking them…..nope, still a bit too soft.

6. Now, you can whip them too long, but if you do it shouldn’t be a huge deal, but they will make for a more brittle cookie.

7. So now we incorporate the almond meal/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. This is another critical part of making macarons. We want the eggs and the almonds to come together, but we don’t want all that beautiful air that we just whipped in to escape, so instead of stirring, we need to gently fold the almond mixture into egg whites. I like to hold the bowl kind of on its side and just scrape the sides and then fold the batter on top. So, like I said, this process is critical, and you have to really pay attention. You can fold this too much, letting out too much air, and it will be too runny. You want to keep folding the batter until it starts to smooth out just a bit, and to where it can slowly slip off the spatula….kind of like hot lava. If you don’t mix it enough, the shells will crack, but if you over mix it, then it becomes too runny for the cookies to set up.

8. Fit a pastry bag with a larger circular tip. I like to twist the end a bit to keep the batter from running out while I’m filling the bag. I also like to place the pastry bag in a cup to help keep it open while I fill.

9. To pipe the  macarons shells, hold the bag straight up, and gently squeeze until the batter fills almost the whole template circle. Then, slowly release up and out. This might take a bit of practice, but it gets easier. Don’t worry about them being perfect, they will settle a bit. Also, once you sandwich the shells together, you won’t notice any slight imperfections.

10. Another critical step is whacking the trays on the counter. This does two things…..1. It helps to release any air bubbles that might be trapped in your cookies, and 2. It helps even out the cookies a bit. The first time I did this, I was scared it would hurt the cookies, but now, it’s my favorite part of making them.

11.Now it’s time to let your macarons rest. Let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes on your countertop until they dry out a bit and form a skin on them. You might have to touch one to see if it’s dry enough. If it’s very humid in your area, it might take longer than 30 minutes….it could even take up to an hour. Waiting at this point may be hard, but it’s a critical step. That’s because the skin keeps the cookies from spreading during the baking process. You want your macarons to puff up, not spread out.

12. Bake at 300 degrees for about 13 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, let them cool before peeling them off your silicone mat or parchment paper. Hot macarons are fragile, but they should be easy to remove once cooled. Notice the trademark puffy edges of these macarons? These are called feet, and this is exactly what you want.

13. Now it’s time for my other favorite part….marrying your macarons. Pair them up, matching them by size and shape. Then, fill a pastry bag with your favorite filling. This one’s a homemade buttercream. Swirl it on one side of the macaron and gently sandwich the pair together.

And there you have it the lazy girl’s guide to the perfect little French Macarons….
Give it a try. They always impress at parties and dinners, and they also make a great gift. These babies are headed to some sweet friends who helped throw me a birthday party.
Or watch the YouTube Video:
Bon Appetit,
Lori

 No Scale

 No Scale

Lazy Girl’s Guide to French Macarons – Minus the Kitchen Scale!

Ingredients:

1  2/3  cups of powdered sugar

1 cup of almond meal

1/4 cup of sugar

3 egg whites

gel food coloring

Note, I have not tried this conversion recipe. I looked up the conversion of the grams to cups in dry goods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *