I co-hosted a meet & greet baby shower this past Saturday for a dear childhood friend at my house. I really enjoyed the months prepping for it and decided to try several new recipes (more posts on new recipes to come). One of which was French macarons – the easy version! Not only did I learn how to properly pronounce them (macaron instead of macaroon), but I learned how to make them! This recipe is an easy macaron recipe and it worked great, even for my first try! Before I decided to try my hand at the French macaron I called several local Seattle French bakeries and they charge typically around $2.50 per macaron – say what!? After hearing what it would cost for half a dozen macarons I instantly decided to take on the challenge of making my own and now I will be making my own from here on out!
I researched recipes for about a week before I settled on the one to try. I had to purchase a few new ingredients to me; almond meal flour, gel food coloring and caster sugar. Thank goodness all are sold on Amazon because I didn’t have to go out of my way to specialty stores to find them – just a quick order and they were placed on my front porch in two days, score!
I hope you decide to give them a shot – so fun for special events! I actually made them a week before hand and they froze beautifully! I will do the exact same thing the next time. I also used my silpat which worked perfectly – love that thing. The only thing I would do differently next is to get one of the paper templates for help with dropping the liquid shell mixture so that they are uniform. Mine were pretty close in size, but would make them look a little more uniform.
French Macarons ~ The Easy Version
Makes around 15-20 macarons — Prep time 25 minutes
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond meal flour
- 2 medium egg whites
- Small pinch salt
- 1/4 cup caster / fine sugar
- Gel food coloring if desired
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- Added flavoring, for instance vanilla extract or other
Preheat oven to 300°F (no fan). Mix the powdered sugar and the almond meal together well in a bowl and throw out any lumps.
In a separate large mixing bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy. Then add your gel food coloring to the desired color. Gently stir in the powdered sugar and almond meal mix. The mixture should become loose and less airy – this is what you want.
Using a piping bag with a 1 cm / 1/3″ nozzle, fill with the shell macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe a small blobs onto the baking sheet remembering that less is more because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes – the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely before handling, this will prevent cracking.
Make the Filling – beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can beat in any flavourings you may choose to the filling.
Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours as this will make them even more chewy and tasty. They also freeze very well as noted above.