Busy Weekend Part II: Macarons!!!

I finished the last batch of the macaron favors right before I left to go for our emergency dance lesson on Saturday.

Yes, that’s right. I’m making macarons for our wedding favors!!! Why would a girl who is notorious for not baking decide to bake one of the most difficult pastries in the world for her favors?

Because I love them and I’m obsessed with Laduree. By now everyone knows I love macarons. And no self-identified foodie could get away with NOT making her own something for her wedding, right? Right… if she’s crazy. And so it goes…

I attempted the ridiculous and actually succeeded after several tries.

There are many different macaron recipes out there, but there are really only two techniques: French and Italian. Many say the Italian method is more reliable, and I suspect it is if you can get the temperature right on the sugar. But I could not, so I found more success with the French method.

Here is the recipe from Martha that I modified a little bit. I have had the most luck with this adaptation of the French method.

French Macarons

  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup aged** egg whites (KEY STEP: aging the eggs)
  • Pinch of salt 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions to make the macarons:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, blend the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar.

Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until it is completely incorporated. It should be the consistency of lava, and peaks should melt away at this point.

Add six drops of whatever food coloring you want. (I added red drops for light pink and green drops for pistachio green.)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace one-inch circles two inches apart from one another. Be sure to flip the parchment over so you don’t bake the pen ink or pencil carbon into the macaron!!!

Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little.

Tap the sheet against the counter to get the air bubbles out. One or two taps will do.

THIS IS KEY: Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 30 minutes.

Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar (I put a wooden spoon between the door and the oven to keep it the tiniest bit open–THIS IS ANOTHER KEY STEP). Bake for about 12 minutes.

The macarons should have “feet”—those little bubbly-edged things at the bottom. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

I made mine in several different batches in the past couple of months and froze them.

I’m filling the macarons with ginger jam for the green and grapefruit marmelade for the pink (I looove grapefruit, and we’re also serving grapefruit-flavored Italian soda as our little signature refresher at the cocktail hour). But if you want to make your own filling, the recipe is below.

To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

I haven’t filled them yet. I’m packing them frozen for the trip down to our venue and then will do them the night before and put them in these (remember these?) tiny Chinese take-out containers that I made labels for.

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Good luck!!! It’s not at all hard once you get the hang of it!!!

Next up… the last minute bachelorette party!!!

**Aging helps concentrate the egg whites. You put them in a bowl and set them out for 24-36 hours. Be sure to use pasteurized eggs!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Perfume

Location:
DC
Wedding Date:
May 2014
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comments

  1. Member
    lemon 635 posts, Busy bee @ 4:18 pm

    hooray for BEAUTIFUL macaroons! :) I think you’ve definitely mastered them!

  2. Member
    bearcub 1561 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:23 pm

    AWESOME.
    You’re officially a baker, now!! :)
    I’ve also heard that if you stack your cookie sheets together (basically making a thicker cookie sheet), it cooks the macarons more evenly.

  3. Member
    bnd 30 posts, Newbee @ 4:28 pm

    awesome! thanks for sharing!

  4. Member
    dorsay 2281 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:31 pm

    WOW, these are amazing. Can you we have a macaroon making party at some point?

  5. Member
    LovestheBear 1250 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:39 pm

    I saw this recipe on Martha’s site not too long ago, I was scared off bc it sounded really tricky. Thanks for the tips! I think I might have the guts to try this one out!

  6. Member
    xLailax 414 posts, Helper bee @ 4:39 pm

    You’re amazing Miss Perfume!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Butterfly, Guest @ 4:39 pm

    They are actually spelled “macaroons”

  8. Member
    Vic004 804 posts, Busy bee @ 4:43 pm

    I think you are my hero. I have wanted to make these and they seem so difficult! I just have to get over the aging the egg whites part and just try it. Your jelly flavors sound amazing too!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Lindsay, Guest @ 4:43 pm

    Haven’t you been keeping yours frozen for the last few months? Are you worried about how they will hold up since the recipe say freeze up to one month?

  10. Member
    owlsrock 13 posts, Newbee @ 4:45 pm

    @Butterfly: Macaroons are entirely different from “Macarons.” The French macaron more resembles merengue cookies & are more airy due to egg whites. Macaroons [like the ones with coconut] is not light or airy because of the condensed milk and the shredded coconut. The Macaron and the Macaroon also have very different dispositions. They don’t look alike at all.

  11. Member
    owlsrock 13 posts, Newbee @ 4:47 pm

    Btw, Miss P, your macarons are very gorgeous! They look very Laduree. (=

  12. Member
    perfume 2239 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:48 pm

    @owlsrock: Yes, I concur. They’re French macarons, not to be confused with coconut macarOOns. Though they are used interchangeably, this version is more accurately spelled with one ‘o’.

    @Lindsay: Good question! I tried one of the older ones out, and it’s held up fine!!

  13. Member
    doublemint921 499 posts, Helper bee @ 4:50 pm

    Oh these look super yummy!!! Maybe after my wedding I will give baking them a shot, or at least once I have more time :) Thanks for the tips!

  14. Member
    yorkie 1291 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:53 pm

    I heart all things grapefruit! Those look divine! You must check out the macarons over on Cannelle et Vanille! http://www.cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/

  15. Member
    perfume 2239 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:56 pm

    @Miss Yorkie: Ha! You read my mind…I did a post on Cannelle-Vanille’s recipe

    http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/01/26/fabu-food-favor-strawberry-and-vanilla-cream-macarons/

  16. Member
    mascara 859 posts, Busy bee @ 5:07 pm

    The macarons look DELICIOUS. I want one.

  17. Member
    vistagirl 2338 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:18 pm

    fun tip with egg whites- if you can get your hands on a copper bowl or whish it will make life a LOT easier- it makes those peaks form!

  18. Member
    vistagirl 2338 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:18 pm

    ok so i can’t edit but i meant wisk, not wish!

  19. Member
    laurajane 317 posts, Helper bee @ 5:24 pm

    They look amazing-quite a feat for a non-pro! Well, and a pro!

  20. Member
    plumeria 296 posts, Helper bee @ 5:40 pm

    Mmmm I love macarons too! I must try these someday.. I admit I have been intimidated up til now! You’ve inspired me!

  21. Member
    Mrs. Mouse 4828 posts, Honey bee @ 5:52 pm

    Wow, amazing. They look so beautiful! What great favors, and they go so well with your theme.

  22. Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:53 pm

    You’re are awesome! I can’t wait to try this recipe, my family is obsesses with macarons :) Thank you for showing us the key steps.

  23. Member
    bruschetta 5565 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:03 pm

    Um, wow. I’m totally impressed and, as a self-confessed foodie, a little intimidated. Now I gotta mix up something homemade for the wedding!

    I love how delicate they look — but how you were able to just stuff them in the freezer for safe-keeping!

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    heavnzbrat, Guest @ 6:43 pm

    btw: can i just tell you how awesome you are. from the invites to the brown bags I’m really impressed at how well you are keeping everything w/in your theme and keeping it so classy and beautiful! :)

  25. Member
    crabcake 834 posts, Busy bee @ 7:03 pm

    Those are really pretty!

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    BostonBride, Guest @ 7:12 pm

    I’ve never even had a macaron before (I know, tragedy) and after this post I really want to make them!

    Also, I love you for calling it “the consistency of lava.” Coconut macarons for your Hawaiian volcano destination wedding, anyone?

  27. Member
    hotcocoa 2098 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:15 pm

    These are gorgeous! And so delectable. When Mr. HC and I tried to make macarons, they turned out very tasty but completely flat and ugly looking. Boo.

  28. Member
    pvaulter718 2116 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:18 pm

    Oh I love the tips! I tried to make these once before and failed quick wonderfully. I’ll have to try again soon!

  29. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 9:31 pm

    thank you! i’m totally saving this recipe + how-to!

    i love macarons but never thought a “bakingly-challenged” one like me could try. but hey, i just might be able to do it! :D

  30. Member
    misscookie 795 posts, Busy bee @ 9:48 pm

    Those look yummy!

  31. Member
    labrador 1823 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:56 pm

    I’d never heard of macarons before you started mentioning them way back. Then I saw them on an episode of Desperate Housewives. I’ve gotta get my hands on some and see what all the fuss is about! They look so yummy!

  32. Member
    perfume 2239 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:03 am

    THANKS EVERYONE!!! They were intimidating at first, but became really easy after a few tries.

    @mrspaetz: @pvaulter718: Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can do it! Just keep practicing! I don’t even bake cookies!

    @Miss Labrador: Awesome! Hunt them down! I’m sure gentile Savanah has a wonderful pastry shop that does them.

  33. Member
    tea 2411 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:29 am

    oooh so lovely. i’ve been intimitated myself but now i think i can do it. did you buy almond flour? i could not figure out where to get the stuff since they don’t carry it at my grocery store…unless it’s in the bulk bins. i usually skip over that area

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Marty J., Guest @ 1:11 am

    Yum! I’m trying to perfect my own macarons. Like you, it took me a few batches. I’m excited to give it another try and combine both what I learned from my own trials with your tips. Also, you should make a batch one day with chocolate ganache and a smoosh a half a raspberry inside. That’s what I made. Yum!! I totally stole the idea from Jen at userealbutter.com. You should try it!

  35. Member
    LatteLove 5567 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:45 am

    great tutorial–they look so yummy!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    PrettyInPink, Guest @ 9:49 am

    Highly impressed.

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Trisha, Guest @ 10:35 am

    Very pretty!

    I’m glad you recommended pasteurized eggs for this. Especially since you’re serving a lot of people whose health conditions you’re not sure of…children, elderly, pregnant women, anyone who may have a chronic health condition…all of these folks are at greater risk for foodborne illness from undercooked eggs.

    I have found that the liquid whites have an off taste from the additives. I much prefer, and highly recommend, a pasteurized shell egg like Davidson’s. It may be more time consuming to separate them, but their taste is exceptional.

  38. Member
    quiche 3150 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:46 am

    Wooooooow! Wow. These are exceptional! I can practically taste them. I LOVE grapefruit too, so I think that is a perfect filling.

    Man, I want one! You rock. ROCK!

  39. Member
    lollylolly 7 posts, Newbee @ 1:58 pm

    So lovely! How many macaron cookies (fully assembled “sandwich”) does this recipe make?

    Those take-out containers look huge. How many of these lovely goodies are you packing for each guest box? (Lucky bums!)

  40. Member
    eLLe2 43 posts, Newbee @ 4:30 pm

    i love macarons and i love laduree! great job miss perfume! thanks for posting the tutorial. i found the Martha Stewart recipe too but too scared to try it as i am a non-baker myself! i’m verrry impressed. i might have to try making these gems one of these days.

  41. Member
    Aylee Bits 64 posts, Worker bee @ 8:42 pm

    Oooh… your macarons look yummy!

  42. Member
    espresso 1308 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:50 am

    Those looks amazing!!!!

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    leinar14, Guest @ 4:44 am

    Awesome!!!

  44. Guest Icon Guest
    leinar14, Guest @ 8:58 pm

    uhmmm they look great and taste even better, I’m sure…

  45. Member
    hisbahamamama 994 posts, Busy bee @ 9:38 am

    They’re so pretty…thanks for the detailed tutorial :)

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