I can’t believe Isla is one! Life with kids flies by so fast, but somehow the days can seem exhaustingly long!
To celebrate we had our friends and family over to shower Isla with love. I decided to go all out with the food and baked goods by making it all myself! I won’t be baking again for at least six months! I decided to really challenge myself by making French Macaroons. These delicate, deliciously sweet cookies can be quite intimidating. But I managed to make forty with two kids in the kitchen.
My number one tip when making these is to give yourself time! Time to prepare the ingredients, time to make your egg white mixture and time to let them set. Letting them set is the most important part because without this step, you’re macaroons won’t have “feet”. The bottom edging when they bake. Instead they will puff up and crack on the top. You want them to rest for 30-60 minutes. Touch the tops, if they are tacky and the batter doesn’t stick to your finger. You are good to bake them!
What I love about Macaroons is that almond flour is used. Making these cookies gluten free. My trick is to buy super fine almond flour like Bob’s. And I sift it myself again to make sure all the lumps are out. This helps make the tops smooth. You must also sift your powder (confectioner’s) sugar. You don’t want lumps in your batter because it will cause your macaroon tops to crack while baking. To really make your batter smooth, I shifted my almond flour and powdered sugar separately before combining them. Then I sifted them once combined, to really make sure the dry mixture is lump free.
What gives these cookies their lightness is the egg white mixture. You have to whip them before adding the dry ingredients. You MUST use room temperature egg whites or you won’t get stiff peaks.
To make sure you get the lightness you, be sure to fold the dry ingredients gently into your puffed egg white mixture. Over folding will cause your Macaroons to be flat and not rise. I fold mine 60-75 times. Till it is a thick lava consistency and there are no lumps. You’ll get a great arm workout!
Vanilla French Macaroons
Prep time: 75 minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Yields: 48 Macaroons
- 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- 3 Egg Whites
- 1/4 Tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/4 Cup White Sugar
- 2/3 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 6 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- Sift your almond flour and confectioner’s sugar separately. Combine into a bowl, and sift again to make sure all the lumps are gone. Set to the side.
- In a stand up mixer or in a large bowl. Add your egg whites, beat for 2 minutes till foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and white sugar. Beat for 8-10 minutes till firm, shinny peaks form. *** If you want to add colour, add your food colouring at the very end of beating the mixture, and add lots, the colour will bake out a bit***
- Add in your dry ingredients, fold gently together with a spatula (60-75 times) till a thick consistency with no lumps is formed.
- Using a piping bag and a 1/2″ circle piping tip. Add the batter to the bag, and squeeze 1 inch circles onto parchment paper, placed on a baking sheet. You can draw the circles ahead of time, or you can eyeball it, like I did.
- Bang the baking pans HARD, 2-4 times to get the air bubbles out. If you have air bubbles, the tops will crack.
- Leave the batter to set, 30-60 minutes. To test if they are ready, tap your finger on the tops. If they are tacky, and the batter doesn’t stick to your finger. They are ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 300F. If you use convection I would turn your temperature down to 275F.
- Bake the Macaroons for 20 mins in the middle of the oven. I highly recommend baking one pan at a time because this batter is very sensitive to heat. If you want to do both at the same time, place in the middle and rotate half way through.
- Remove from oven, and allow to cool. They should easily come off the pan, if they stick they need to be cooked longer.
- Beat butter and powdered sugar in a bowl or stand up mixer.
- Add 3 tablespoons of milk or cream.
- Add vanilla.
- Add another tablespoon of milk if needed, beat for three minutes till smooth.
Once the MacaroonS are cooked, you can pipe the buttercream onto the macaroons to make the sandwiches. You can add some extra flavour by spreading some caramel sauce on the macaroons before piping the buttercream.
I will admit, things can easily go wrong while baking these macaroons. Here are some issues I’ve come across, and how to fix them.
If feet don’t form, the bottom edge. You’re oven temperature wasn’t right or you didn’t let them set long enough.
If your macaroons come out brown on top, or are hallow. The temperature was too high. Be careful when using convection oven. I highly recommend turning down the temperature.
The macaroons cracked on top. The oven could have been too hot, there could have been lumps or air bubbles in your batter. Make sure you sift your mixture, and fold till there is no lumps. And if your oven is to warm, they will rise fast and not bake inside fast enough. Causing the hallow centre. This is a recipe you may need to do a couple times before you perfect them.
Intimidating, I will be honest. Yes they are. But if you put the time in, and maybe try this recipe more than once. You will be so happy you made these because they are delicious! These were a huge hit at Isla’s Birthday party, and was told they would pay me to make more! New business? Maybe!
I hope you enjoy! Be sure to comment and tag me in your photos if you try this recipe out!