Macarons, the lovely little French cookie. Honestly, I had never even heard of these until a few years ago. And, I had never had one until I made chocolate macarons myself. In fact, I wasn't even sure that I made them correctly until I went to New Orleans a few months later and tried a variety of flavors there. Turns out, I made them correctly. Phew. Macarons are crisp, light, delicate cookies that lend themselves to so many colors and flavors. The combinations are endless. 

A lot of people are going to scare you and tell you how hard they are to make. Or they're going to assume they're hard to make. Well, they're not. Just because bakeries charge $3 per cookie does not mean you can't make them at home. In fact, you should make them at home because they charge so much! You do have to have a scale though because the measurements must be precise (hence the reason that the recipe is all by weight below instead of volume). So, I beg of you...try to make these yourself. They're not as daunting as they seem, and even if they may not look the prettiest on your first try, they'll still taste good. Practice makes perfect, which gives you a great excuse to make and eat more cookies! 

To help you with your journey, I took a few pictures of the process. If you read this and are still scratching your head (hopefully that's not many of you), I found this post helpful, too.  

Vanilla Bean Strawberry Macarons Recipe
Makes about two dozen sandwiches
Print this recipe

*Note: If you're like me and don't always plan ahead, you can microwave your egg whites to age them. Just place them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 seconds.

For the macarons:
110 grams almonds (blanched or slivered)
200 grams powdered sugar
100 grams egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours*
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
50 grams granulated sugar

For the strawberry filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
3 strawberries, hulled
1 cup powdered sugar

To make the macarons, line two large sheet trays with parchment paper or a silicone baking pad.

Next, combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground and blended.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and whisk on medium high speed until foamy (this incorporates air into the egg whites). Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod and add them to the egg whites along with the vanilla extract if using. Increase the mixer to high and slowly add the granulated sugar while mixing until the whites are smooth and shiny and stiff peaks form.  
Gently add the ground almond mixture into the mixing bowl with the whites.
Using a wide rubber spatula, gently but quickly fold the almond mixture into the egg whites. You want to be gentle so that you don't deflate the egg whites. There should be no streaks in the batter, and it should be thick and flow from the spatula when you lift it. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a plain round tip (like a Wilton #12). Carefully pipe the batter into small circles on the prepared sheet pans. You want them to be about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter and spaced an inch apart from each other. The more you practice this piping, the easier it'll get and the better the rounds will look. Let them sit at room temperature for one hour until a hard shell forms (don't skip this step).
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. After the macarons have sat for an hour, bake them for 12-18 minutes. You'll know that they're done when they develop the "feet" on the bottom and you can easily pick them up off the tray. If they stick to the tray, crack on the tray, or do not remain intact, put them back in the oven for another couple of minutes. Once you can lift one off the tray, transfer the entire tray to a wire rack to cool before removing the rest of the cookies. 

To make the filling, add the butter, vanilla, salt, and strawberries in a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined. Add in the powdered sugar and pulse until mixed and thick enough to pipe onto cookies. If needed, add more powdered sugar.  

To assemble the cookies, match the cookie shells together based on shape and size. Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe a dollop of the strawberry filling on the flat side of one cookie and press the other cookie on top until the filling shows on the edges. 

Store cookies in a covered container.  

Cookie recipe from Annie's Eats
Filling a She Makes and Bakes recipe 
 


Comments

09/06/2012 7:40pm

Strawberry and vanilla bean anything sounds amazing, and I love how fancy these pretty little cookies look :)

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09/07/2012 11:34am

These macarons are perfect with beautiful feet!

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09/07/2012 9:15pm

Well these turned out beautifully! The first time I made macarons I had great success. But the second time, I had meringue in my head and only set the oven to 175...no wonder they didn't rise! These look so sweet and addictive! : )

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I LOVE French macarons! They are so sweet and delicate :) Definitely one of my favorite desserts - I always end up buying one when I see them at a bekery... my weakness ;)

Yeah lots of people are intimidated to make them at home - I think its the whole aged egg whites and measuring by weight component, but they actually aren't very complex at all!

Reply
09/10/2012 10:48am

I have bought these a few times but never made them. I love your photos and I think I will give them a try as soon as it cools down a little.

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09/22/2012 10:07am

I just stumbled upon your blog from dessertstalking (which I do!) and I think I'm going to love your blog. Can't wait to look around more on here. It looks great!

Reply
Debra
09/24/2012 7:19am

Those are lovely little yummies and pretty.

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Claire
02/22/2013 7:53pm

Hello! I tried "aging" the macarons by microwaving it for 10 seconds, but it caused chunks of eggs to be cooked - is that supposed to happen? Thanks.

Reply
She Makes and Bakes
02/22/2013 9:10pm

Nope, that shouldn't happen. It could be that your microwave runs hot. I'd try it for less time or with your microwave at a lower power (or let them age overnight).

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