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Macarons · GF (about 40 macarons)

A lot of people get the wrong impression about macarons and avoid making them because they’re supposedly the most difficult thing in the world to make. Truly, they’re not difficult at all. What is difficult is mastering them. For some reason people mistakenly think if something can’t be mastered on the first try, it’s too hard to fool with.

Macaron 101

But there’s no reason to master macarons on the first try. Unless you just burn the crap out of them, they’re going to taste phenomenal regardless of their flaws. It’s like leaning to ride a bike, except that when you “fail” you get delicious cookies instead of a skinned knee. So relax. Tell yourself it’s okay if they don’t have feet, it’s okay if they crack, it’s okay if they’re hollow.

Each time one of those things happen, you have a chance to learn about what went wrong with your technique if you want to learn. If you don’t care about learning, focus on flavor, have fun making a tasty cookie and leave obsessive perfectionism to the professionals.

If this is your first time making macarons, read through these posts to familiarize yourself with some common problems and mistakes.

Macaron Mythbusters: 10 myths you don’t need to worry about (with my recipe anyway).
Macaron Ten Commandments: 10 important points to remember when macaroning
All About Hollows: pointers for honing your macaron technique and minimizing hollow shells
Macarons Are For Eating: macarons are crazy delicious; don’t forget that in pursuit of perfection!
Nut Free Macarons: because food allergies shouldn’t stop you from enjoying these little cookies
Update Avoiding Brown Macarons: using the wrong dye can cause premature browning
Update Macaron Crumble: don’t throw away your cracked macarons, use them as a crunch garnish!
Update French Buttercream: made with egg yolks, so you can polish off the leftovers after making macarons.

I get a lot of macaron emails each week and most of them are about a question already answered in one of those posts. Essentially everything I know about macarons is here, so please check out those posts before emailing. If I haven’t covered your question or problem, snap a pic of your tray of macarons and upload it to the Facebook page so I can help you troubleshoot (seeing them still on the baking sheet tells me a lot!).

Otherwise, get a pot of tea or coffee going and enjoy your macarons!

French Macarons
4 ounces (115g) blanched almonds or almond flour, or whatever nut you like
8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar*
5 ounces egg whites (144g), temperature and age not important!
2 1/2 ounce (72g) sugar
the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2g) kosher salt

approximately 10 ounces (290g) French or Swiss buttercream

If you’d like to see step-by-step photos of this recipe, Mardi from Eat. Live. Travel. Write. has posted some fabulously detailed images here.

Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip. If you haven’t wrangled a pastry bag into submission before (or if you have and found it frustrating), these 12 tips for using a pastry bag will make the process mess and stress free; take the time to read them before you get started and you’ll do great!

You’ll also need two parchment lined sheet pans ready too.

I am hopelessly impatient and given to rushing, even when I know better. So to prevent my macarons from growing ever larger as I pipe, I use a 1 1/2” cookie cutter to trace out guide-circles (about an inch apart) and then I flip the parchment paper over, ink side down.

If you use almond flour, you lucky dog, simply sift it with the powdered sugar and set aside. If a significant portion won’t go through your sifter, however, you’ll need to grind them up until they do.

In that case, or if you’re using whole nuts, bust out your food processor. Process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again. You should have about 2 Tbsp of slightly chunkier almond bits, but hakuna matata. Just add those into the dry mix.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean (not the extract), and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point.

Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.

At that point, turn the mixer off and add in any extracts/flavor/color and whip for a final minute on the highest speed, just to show it who’s boss (and to evenly distribute the color/flavor). I highly recommend not adding any flavor or color if it’s your first time, or if you’re wanting to learn about macarons. Additives make learning trickier. If you’re not here to learn, just to eat, then carry on!

At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue. (Check out this photo if you’d like to see a picture of how your meringue should look.) When you remove the whisk attachment, there will be a big clump of meringue in the center, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.

Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl.

First timers: the dry ingredients/meringue will look hopelessly incompatible at first. After about 25 turns (or folds or however you want to call “a single stroke of mixing”) the mixture will still have a quite lumpy and stiff texture. Another 15 strokes will see you to “just about right.” Keep in mind that macaronage is about deflating the whites, so don’t feel like you have to treat them oh-so-carefully. You want to knock the air out of them.

Undermixed macaron batter: quite stiff. If you spoon some out and drop it back into the mix, it will just sit there and never incorporate. Do this test before bagging your batter and save yourself the trouble of baking of undermixed macarons!

Overmixed macaron batter: has a runny, pancake batter-like texture. It will ooze continuously, making it impossible to pipe into pretty circles. Um, try not to reach that point.

You can evaluate your batter one stroke at a time, no rush.

Essentially, the macaron batter needs enough thickness that it will mound up on itself, but enough fluidity that after 20 seconds, it will melt back down. I’ve heard people describe this consistency as lava-like, or molten, and that’s pretty apt.

Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. (When your bag is too full, the pressure causes the batter to rush out in a way that’s difficult to control, making for sloppy macarons.)

Pipe the batter into the pre-traced circles on the baking sheet. Stop piping just shy of the borders of the circle, as the batter will continue to spread just a bit.

After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter. Rotate the pan ninety degrees and rap two more times. This will dislodge any large air bubbles that might cause your macarons to crack

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. If, when you try to pick up a macaron, the top comes off in your hand, it’s not done.

Once the macarons have baked, cool thoroughly on the pans, before peeling the cooled macarons from the parchment. Use a metal spatula if necessary.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream of your choice and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with their naked halves.

Macarons, against all pastry traditions, actually get better with age. The shells soften and become more chewy, mingling with the flavor of the buttercream too. So, while of course you can eat them right away, don’t hesitate to store them refrigerated for up to a week. If at all possible, set them out at room temperature for a few hours before consuming, because cold buttercream is kinda gross.

*Cornstarch-laced powdered sugar isn’t a problem for macaron making, but it is a problem for Passover. You can buy cornstarch free powdered sugar here.

peanut butter port macarons


Variations

To make Champagne and Roses macarons: add in 1 1/4 tsp rose flower water and some red gel paste coloring during the final minute of whipping. Yes, rose water is usually doled by the drop, but the subtle flavor must compete with the flavor of the almonds and will also lose power in the oven.

Flavor 10 ounces of vanilla Buttercream with a 1/2 bottle (325 mL) Bubbly (something tasty, but not too high-end) that you’ve gently reduced to 3 ounces. Let this liquid cool to room temperature, before adding it a few spoonfuls at a time to the buttercream while it whips.

Fork!

To make Chocolate Chestnut Macarons, replace 1 oz powdered sugar with 1 ounce cocoa powder and add 2 tsp espresso powder in with the almond flour. The espresso powder helps round out the simple chocolate flavor of cocoa without contributing a noticeable coffee flavor.

Whip together 5 ounces of vanilla Swiss buttercream with 5 ounces of chestnut puree and a 1/4 tsp nutmeg.


Fork!

To make Strawberries and Cream Macarons, you’ll need to get a hold of freeze dried strawberries; I found mine at Whole Foods (or buy them online here). Conventionally dried strawberries will not work.

Begin by grinding 3/4 ounce freeze dried strawberries with the almond flour. Then add 1/2 tsp rose flower water and a touch of pink gel paste (optional) during the final minute of mixing.

To make white chocolate ganache for the filling, bring 6 ounces heavy cream to a simmer with a split vanilla bean. Shut off the heat and steep for 10 minutes or up to an hour. Remove the vanilla bean, scraping out the cream from inside each half-pod, and return the cream to a boil. Shut off the heat and whisk in 10 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped and 1/2 tsp salt. Depending on the sweetness of your white chocolate, you may find you need more salt. Cool the mixture to room temperature, and then whip on medium speed with a whisk attachment for about 5 minutes to lighten it a bit. (Alternately you can use dark chocolate.)

Fill half the shells with the ganache and place a piece of freeze dried strawberry on top of each ganache mound before sandwiching.

Fork!

To make Lavender Milk Chocolate Macarons, grind 1 Tbsp dried lavender in with the almond flour. If the lavender is very fresh, it may not grind easily. Grind more if needed. During the final minute of mixing add in a touch of lavender gel paste, if you like.

Fill the shells with 10 ounces of Milk Chocolate Swiss buttercream.

Fork!

To make Bourbon Pecan Macarons, simply use pecans in place of the almonds and proceed with the recipe as normal.

Fill the shells with 10 ounces of Vanilla Swiss buttercream, spiked with as much bourbon as you can handle. The pecan macarons are quite sweet and rich, so they can really stand up to a boozy buttercream. I use about 2 ounces, but taste along the way and use as much or as little as you like.


Fork!

To make Rhubarb St-Germain Macarons, add 1 Tbsp rhubarb bitters and a touch of pink gel paste during the final minute of mixing the meringue.

Fill the shells with 10 ounces of Vanilla Swiss buttercream, spiked with about 1 ounce of St-Germain liquor and 1 Tbsp rhubarb bitters. Use more or less St-Germain, to taste.


Fork!

To make Matcha Chocolate Macarons, sift in 1 Tbsp matcha powder with the dry ingredients.

Fill the shells with 10 ounces of dark chocolate ganache.


Fork!

To make Hazelnut Chocolate Macarons, simply use toasted hazelnuts in place of the almonds, or hazelnut flour instead of almond flour. My hazelnut macarons do not contain any almond.

Fill the shells with 10 ounces of dark chocolate ganache or 8 ounces of Vanilla Swiss buttercream flavored with 2 ounces melted dark chocolate.

Fork!

« Back to the Recipe Box



Any questions?

Jan 19, 2011 · 11:51 AM

I love the delicate flavour of macarons that are not flavoured with the red dye #5 that could have you grow an arm out of your forehead. It’s what makes me destroy egg whites and sometimes end up with macarons and sometimes I get tasty almond cookies. It’s all experience, right? Even if you screw up your macarons, they’re still tasty.

 · Joy · theherbedkitchen.blogspot.com

Feb 24, 2011 · 11:21 AM

I LOVE Macarons!!! More than good chocolate!! We took our daughters to Paris this winter and made it our mission to discover the best macarons! The chestnut ones were very popular with us- Thanks for such great instructions- I want to try making these as they’re gluten-free, and then I can have my own whenever I want without paying a fortune, but I confess I’ve been a bit intimidated! Your post has been extremely helpful!

 · Jennifer · www.adventuresomekitchen.wordpress.com

Feb 24, 2011 ·  7:20 PM

I love macarons, but have never made my own before. I would love to try soon though. This recipe sounds wonderful!

 · Tammy · ildolcebacio.blogspot.com/

Feb 26, 2011 ·  1:26 PM

Hi
Did you use 2 1/2 ounce granulated sugar (table sugar) or caster sugar?
Thanks

 · Calista · 

Feb 26, 2011 ·  2:31 PM

I use plain, granulated sugar. Good luck!

Stella

Mar 21, 2011 ·  1:45 PM

I made macarons for the first time last week and it was a great success and my second attempt this weekend didn’t go as well. Still tasty but didn’t spread out the right way. I’m sure it’s because I didn’t properly deflate the eggs. I’m an impatient baker so your post about the myths was very refreshing.

 · Try It You Might Like It · tryityoumightlike.wordpress.com

Mar 21, 2011 ·  6:18 PM

Heya, I too always throw my sugar in all at once in the beginning! So much easier that way, and saves me the annoyance of having to turn off my hand mixer every minute to slowly add it in…

also, i often swap my almond and powdered sugar ratios to make it less sweet and more nutty, and it’s always produced great results!

last thing, do you use gel or liquid food coloring? if you use gel, you should try dropping it into the egg whites while you’re beating it. It distributes the color much more nicely and faster with an electric mixer as opposed to folding it in, and if it’s gel, it doesn’t impact the consistency!

I already follow a lot of these rules but it’s nice to know there are others like me

the only thing is that i really have made my worst macarons when it’s rainy outside! they just get ultra sticky… and my best macs have come when i leave my egg whites out just one day so i generally don’t want to change that rule…

 · Amrita · www.thesweetart.com

Mar 21, 2011 ·  6:58 PM

@Try it you might like it, I definitely think you have to get three or four macaron experiences under your belt to start to “get” them. If you’ve never made macarons before, you’ll need to experience over mixing, under mixing, and “perfect” so you’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em. Sounds like you’re almost there!

@Amrita, you got it! I do call for the color to go in the whites during the final minute of mixing. Folding would just never get the job done, I agree! I use gel paste, too. And, hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Stella

Mar 21, 2011 · 10:33 PM

I tried making macarons last week and they were such an utter disaster. I think it’s time for me to try again using this recipe — you break down the process so well! Thanks!

 · Ishita S. · bitesoutoflife.com

Mar 21, 2011 · 11:59 PM

Ishita, if you need any macaron hand-holding, I’m usually pretty glued to twitter, so just dash me a message and I’ll help where I can. Good luck! Please let me know how your macaron adventure turns out.

Stella

Mar 22, 2011 ·  6:26 PM

Only one sentence, I LOVE YOUR BLOG very much! Especially the macaron myths !

 · Silvia · 

Mar 23, 2011 ·  8:57 AM

I wish all recipies could be in gram/ml and kilo, would make it easy for me, at least !

 · lin · 

Mar 23, 2011 ·  9:53 AM

Hi Lin! I updated the recipe for you.

Stella

Mar 23, 2011 ·  8:41 PM

brilliant. thank you. i made perfect macarons the first two times i tried, and then my next (last) two times were disasters. i was thinking that it was because i had become too cocky. i was ready to throw in the towel and not give it another go. but now i see that maybe i was actually being too careful? thank you for this — it’s fantastic.

 · kimberly · chezsucrechez.com/

Mar 24, 2011 ·  1:09 PM

Thanks for this. I’ve had intermittent luck with macarons and I’m pretty sure it was because I was too scared to whip the meringue long enough so by the time the dry is incorporated then it’s a runny mess. Thank you so much for the suggested lengths of time to run the mixer!

 · cindy · 

Mar 24, 2011 ·  2:57 PM

Cindi, I definitely don’t think the meringue aspect of macarons gets enough attention. It’s every bit as important as macaronage. Let me know how your next batch turns out!

Stella

Mar 25, 2011 ·  5:36 PM

thank you for this. i made clementine macarons with clementine curd for my plated dessert project on my practical exam in pastry school this week. they turned out perfect. i was worried about the egg whites (i let them ‘age’ for three days on my counter) but now i know it doesn’t matter. hooray!

 · Jeanne · stiff-peaks.blogspot.com

Mar 26, 2011 · 12:25 AM

Awesome post, thanks so much! New fan.

 · Jennifer · www.yourhomesweetshome.blogspot.com

Mar 26, 2011 ·  7:29 AM

Thanks for also editing this post to correspond to your mythbusting post. Just thought I’d note that the pics only link to an enlarged version, but not the full post.

 · Zo · twospoons.wordpress.com/

Mar 26, 2011 · 11:02 AM

@Jeanne, how’d your practical go? That was such a stressful time for me, ugh!

@Jen, aw, thanks!

@Zo, check out at the bottom of the picture. It should say the flavor combo and, “read more” which is a link to take you to the blog post.

Stella

Mar 27, 2011 ·  6:05 PM

I was wondering what type of mixer you use? Or would suggest to use?

I was wondering if you will make a Macaron recipe with different and varying flavors of ganache?

Your blog and recipe’s are by far, the best I’ve stubled upon…really!
Thank you!

 · Leila · 

Mar 27, 2011 ·  9:30 PM

I don’t know if you read your posts on older recipes but I have to thank you for this. I am 61 and someone asked me to partner in a coffee shop. I have never baked before but always a cook. I decided I wanted to do different things and make part of what makes us different were good cookies, cupcakes and OH..THE BLOODY MACARON. I have made them about 6 or 7 times to the que of posts that recommend all that you debunk. So with spatula in hand and a new confidence I tried once again. I made the best “looking” macarons yet, some of the tops came off (idon’t know why and the edges browned slightly which has always been the problem) but overall they finally WORKED. Looking as sweet little macarons should. I THANK you for your post….over and over
Anne

 · anne · www.annemcnally.com

Mar 27, 2011 · 10:03 PM

@Leila, I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I think a stand mixer is probably one of the most important tools for a baker. I know not everyone can afford one, but it’s the purchase of a lifetime, you will never have to replace it or buy another. I have not found a hand mixer that I like or could recommend, unfortunately.

Rosco and I just finished a massive macaron photo shoot, so lots more recipes and ideas coming soon!

@Anne, I am so thrilled to hear about your macaron success! I must also commend your stick-to-it-iveness to keep at it so many times. Thanks for taking the time to try mine out, and congratulations on the coffee shop!

I wonder if your oven temperature has something to do with it? Try putting an oven thermometer in, cracking the oven to 300 for a half hour, and checking the temperature. Sounds like it might be running a bit hot.

Stella

Mar 28, 2011 ·  2:40 PM

Oooh so much went wrong when I tried these. I’m not sure if maybe I piped them too thin, or what happened, but they deflated and got really lumpy when I went to bake them. I wanted them to be a pretty green but they turned into a brown very quickly

Perhaps I’ll have to try again another day, but it was a nice experiment! haha

 · Kat · 

Mar 28, 2011 · 10:03 PM

Hi Kat. Did you happen to snap a cell phone pic of the disaster? Send it to me on twitter and I can give you a better diagnostic. If the batter oozed out of the piping bag, rather than coming out in a controlled manner, then they were overmixed.

The color can be a tricky thing, it usually takes more than you think. I hope you’re not too discouraged and can give it another shot. It does take a few attempts to understand what’s going on, in terms of overmixing, undermixing, and getting it just right. Good luck, hang in there!

Stella

Mar 29, 2011 ·  2:23 PM

Novice baker here; is using “gel paste” for coloring important? Would other coloring methods work (e.g powder)?

 · Lizzz · 

Mar 29, 2011 ·  3:36 PM

Lizzz, I haven’t tried using powders before, but I suspect they’d work quite well. If I have a chance, I’ll use some powder in a batch today. I love gel paste because a little goes a long way, where as grocery-store liquid types require much more. If you beat me to it, let me know how the powder works for you!

Stella

Mar 31, 2011 ·  9:36 AM

after pleading my readers for some almond flour, i made my very first batch of macarons per your recipe, and they were delicious (although a bit “nipply” . we Augusta, GA folks are not too familiar with macaronage, and I am hoping to enlighten some. can’t wait to get some more practice under my belt thank you for such a brilliant post!

 · rachelbee · beconfectionate.blogspot.com

Mar 31, 2011 ·  5:35 PM

Rachelbee, so glad they turned out! A few more strokes, next time, and they’ll be perfect. I made a batch using Georgia pecans instead of almonds, and they were lovely (bourbon buttercream inside). I’m sure your fellow Georgians could get behind that flavor combo!

Stella

Apr 01, 2011 ·  1:40 AM

My buttercream tasted really, really buttery. Not in a nice way. How do you avoid this?

 ·   · 

Apr 01, 2011 ·  6:56 AM

I was very much afraid of macarons for long time as it seemed to me that only sophisticated cooks could make it. Your post encouraged me. Unfortunately it was a failure. Macarons were flat (with no skirt), very fragile, empty inside and had cracks. Yet delicious)) What I did wrong you think? Thanks!

 · Yulia · supernova_1980.lj.ru

Apr 01, 2011 ·  9:41 AM

To my sad faced friend , did you use salted butter in the buttercream by mistake? Did you add any flavorings, or did you just try it as-is? Unflavored, the buttercream has a very mild but buttery flavor. Once you add chocolate, caramel, vanilla, etc, it will transform into something much more delicious.

Yulia, I’m excited you worked up the courage to try macarons, but sorry you were rewarded with a failure. Without seeing a picture, it’s hard to say (failed macs tend to all look alike, no matter the cause).

To try and understand which end of the spectrum your problem is, what did they look like before they went into the oven? Did the tops of the macarons have little “peaks” from your piping tip, did they seem quite fluffy and tall, or did they spread out a lot?

Stella

Apr 01, 2011 · 11:48 AM

Dear Stella, thank you for your answer.
I didn’t do the buttercream as i saw no sense-the meringues were spoiled. I made a bad iphone picture if you are interested)) http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5097/5579208121_d7d8cdc1fa.jpg
The tops had peaks and they even remained after baking, the cookies’ surface didn’t become even.

 · Yulia · supernova_1980.lj.ru

Apr 02, 2011 · 11:16 PM

I have had various success with macarons, and I never know what i did right or did wrong. Your article is extremely helpful, as well as the 10 myths. I will stop waiting 1 hr after piping to bake my macarons!

 · debi · www.myalternativecareer.blogspot.com

Apr 03, 2011 ·  1:41 AM

Love love this! I have always wanted to attempt making these. I do not have a kitchen scale and I’m seeing that as an issue, what would the measurements of the ingrediants be in cups and spoons, and how many egg whites is 5 ounces..? Thank you muchly!

 · Eve · 

Apr 03, 2011 · 11:34 AM

@Yulia, it sounds like your macarons were undermixed. Well-mixed macaron batter will not hold a peak, but rather ooze a little and become smooth on top. So next time, mix in the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture just a little longer. This is actually a good victory for you, Yulia, as now you know exactly what undermixed looks like, so you can avoid it in the future

A good last minute test is to pipe just one macaron. Count to 60, then take a look at it. If it has not spread out at all or has a sharp peak, then the batter is undermixed. Usually, squeezing all the batter out of your piping bag, back into the bowl, and rebagging it is enough to “mix” it. Kind of annoying, but less annoying than a ruined batch.

@Debi, glad to be of service!

@Eve, unfortunately, I can’t recommend volume measurements. Macarons are all about a very intense balance of ingredients, and volume measurements are inconsistent and inaccurate. If you have more than a casual interest in baking, I can’t recommend enough that you pick up a digital scale.

You can get a great one at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, or Wal-Mart for just $25. With the cost of macarons being fairly pricey, I can assure you, a scale will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to pitch batches of macs that failed just because of measuring related issues. Take the plunge, ditch cups and spoons, and switch to weight!

Stella

Apr 03, 2011 · 12:52 PM

I am so excited to have found your myth-busting post through the kitchn last night! I’m even more excited that you posted your recipe, I’ve been wanting to try making French style macarons for a while now and the timing couldn’t be more perfect! For Passover I’m going to make both coconut “haystack” style macaroons and almond macarons (I don’t know what flavor yet). In my family we don’t avoid corn so I don’t even have to find cornstarch-free powdered sugar!)

Thank you so much!!

 · Kayla · 

Apr 04, 2011 · 12:21 PM

I tried making mint flavored macarons with green powdered food coloring. I used about 1/2 teaspoon (didn’t measure, just sprinkled in with the rest of the dry ingredients) and I thought the color was good.

Almost all of my macarons came out hollow shells though – fancy flavor and color or not. Must try again.

 · Lizzz · 

Apr 04, 2011 ·  1:36 PM

@Kayla, I love the idea of macaroons and macarons living together in harmony! Snap a pic for me.

@Lizzz, at least the color turned out…. Hollow shells often result from slightly underdone shells collapsing as they cool. And though I advocate a stiff meringue, it is possible to overdo it. I only know what speeds to recommend on a KitchenAid, so you may need to adjust if you’re using a different mixer.

Stella

Apr 04, 2011 ·  4:56 PM

Hi Stella – thanks so much for this post and the corresponding 10 myths. I’m planning on making macarons for my wedding, so I’m making a lot of them. I’ve read in the past that you can freeze the cookie, defrost the day before, and put the filling in the day of. While I could just experiment with this, I’m wondering if you have any experience with freezing them?

 · marta · 

Apr 05, 2011 ·  9:56 PM

Tried this over the weekend. Failed miserably. Cracked tops and no pied. Not sure what went wrong.

 · Kate · 

Apr 06, 2011 · 11:20 AM

@Marta, congrats on your upcoming wedding! I’ve no experience with freezing the macarons, I’ll toss some in the freezer today and see how they hold up. When’s the big day?

@Kate, I’m glad you tried them out, but sorry you didn’t have success. Without more info, it’s hard to say, but I’m learning first time macaron makers almost universally undermix their macarons. If they hold any peak whatsoever, undermixed. If they don’t spread just a bit after piping, undermixed. You want a spoonful of batter, lifted out and plopped back in the bowl, to hold it’s shape for just a few seconds, but after about 30, it will melt back into the rest of batter, disappearing completely. Hope that helps!

Stella

Apr 12, 2011 ·  5:20 AM

You sure can! I wouldn't reduce the recipe any more than that, but half should be ok. Good luck!

 · rabbit · 

Apr 12, 2011 ·  7:37 AM

You sure can!

Stella

Apr 13, 2011 ·  8:35 PM

Argghh! I used to make macs with no trouble at all but now I seem to have a serious dysfunction when it comes to them. Just tried your way twice. First time the whites were overmixed I think since they didn’t get to the right texture and were all runny. Second time fared better at first. Midway thru baking I had feet but by the end they were gone and they baked up hollow. Please help!

 · cinemongirl · cinemongirl.com

Apr 14, 2011 ·  8:04 PM

Hi cinemongirl! Do you mean your meringue was overmixed, or that you overmixed during macaronage? If they collapsed during baking, my guess is that the problem is with the meringue. The meringue forms the structure of the cookie, so if there’s a structural problem, I tend to look at the meringue.

Stella

Apr 17, 2011 ·  7:59 PM

So, I’m making the blood orange and bitters macarons, and when I add the bitters to the merengue it turns soupy. Ahh! Can I whip it up again? What’s the gig?
Thanks!!!

 · Kristin · 

Apr 18, 2011 ·  7:00 PM

August 6th. Can’t wait!!

 · marta · 

Apr 19, 2011 ·  9:20 AM

@Kristin, thanks for finding me on twitter, by the way! I am completely baffled at your soupy meringue, though. Since you mentioned it’s an older mixer, it may just not be beating the whites stiffly enough.

@Marta, awesome! You have lots of time to practice.

Stella

Apr 20, 2011 ·  1:29 PM

Stella, I found your blog from eat,live,travel, write blog..and I must say that i fell in love with this new macarons method..

I’m baking my second batch now and it’s a winner recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing this and I love uuuu LOL and your awesome recipe and method.. I threw the myths far away just now, and from now on, I can claim I found my way of making mac, using yours.. Thank u so much again.. it’s a keeper..

 · RibbonClown · www.ribbonandcircus.blogspot.com

Apr 21, 2011 · 12:07 AM

@RibbonClown, thanks for dropping by! I thought Mardi made such a great post with all those lovely photos. I’m going to update my macaron recipe to include a link to her post to help everyone who wants to see step by step photos.

I appreciate your comment, I hope you enjoy great, myth-free macaron making!

Stella

Apr 21, 2011 · 11:34 AM

hi stella! you recomend to bake the macarons in traditional baking paper instade of silpat?

 · jualonso · horneandoalgo.blogspot.com

Apr 21, 2011 ·  1:12 PM

I don’t know if I recommend one or the other, I don’t have a Silpat so I always use parchment. I imagine they would turn out just fine on a Silpat though.

Stella

Apr 21, 2011 ·  1:43 PM

thanks! im going to try them for easter sunday and then i let you know!

 · jualonso · horneandoalgo.blogspot.com

Apr 22, 2011 ·  3:23 AM

hi stella…someone told me abt the myths and directed me to your blog…short of your recipe, i've busted the myth and followed what you recommended and they are working well, woot! thanks a mill!

 · KitchenGuardian · kitcheguardian.blogspot.com

Apr 22, 2011 · 10:31 PM

@jualonso, yay! I can’t wait to hear how they turn out!

@KitchenGuardian, I’m so glad to hear you kicked the myths to the curb!! Congrats, and thanks for your comment. I love it!

Stella

Apr 23, 2011 ·  1:42 AM

Hello Stella! I love your website, you are so talented!!! Today was my first shot at making macarons and they turned out pretty cracked. I had a few that were beautiful, but mostly they were cracked with no feet. Does that sound like I overworked my batter?

I’d really appreciate your feedback! Thanks, Stella!

 · Shari · 

Apr 23, 2011 ·  6:16 PM

Hi Shari! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. First time macaron makers often _under_mix their batter, so I tend to make that my first guess, but it’s hard to say without looking at them or hearing more info. If you have a cell phone, snap a pic and share it with me @thebravetart on twitter and I may be of better help.

Generally, cracked macarons happen when the batter is undermixed, or when the meringue is underwhipped. When you piped your macarons, if they held little peaks on top or if they didn’t spread at all, then you can blame undermixing.

If the batter seemed well behaved, didn’t hold any peaks, and spread a little, then I generally suspect the meringue. In my recipe, the meringue needs to be beaten until it’s quite stiff; so much so that it clumps in the whisk attachment.

Lastly, if you had difficulty piping them (if they oozed out of the bag) and they spread a good deal, than you probably overmixed them.

At any rate, having one “failure” under your belt actually means you’re a step ahead. If you can take my comment and suss out what your trouble may have been, then it’ll count as a learning experience and you’ll be ready for the next batch. Hope that info helps!

Stella

Apr 25, 2011 ·  4:12 PM

Stella, thanks for the great recipe and instructions. I made my first batch ever and they turned out beautiful and delicious. I did have to do a little tweaking. The first batch cracked and were slightly browned. I then lowered the oven temp. by 25 degrees and let the rest of them dry till no longer tacky and viola!,professional looking macarons. I’m looking forward to many flavoring experiments with these versatile pastries.

 · charster · 

Apr 25, 2011 ·  9:19 PM

Charster, I’m glad you found it helpful. It is rewarding to sit down and snack on your first batch of macarons; or, well, second batch. Happy baking!

Stella

Apr 26, 2011 · 12:57 AM

After spending the past 3 days baking these, I’ve made the following observations:

1) My macs actually turned out WORSE if I leave them out to dry on the counter before putting them in the oven. The ones that went straight in the oven fared the best.

2) Egg whites straight from the egg work better than the ones from the carton. The meringue is fluffier, though both worked out well for me.

3) It takes longer to bake the colored macs than the plain vanilla one. I guess the gel coloring adds too much moisture.

 · Sharmeen · Myboutiquecloset.blogspot.com/

Apr 26, 2011 · 12:17 PM

Hi Stella!!

I’m new to your blog, but I “stumbled” upon your Macaron Myth post and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief—I’ve been wanting to try them, but was more than a little terrified. =P I made a batch of lavender macarons and I think I made the rookie mistake of undermixing the batter—but I am not deterred! The next batch will just be better.

I did have a question though…I have this idea in my head to make s’mores macarons and I was wondering if you had any experience with graham flour or processing graham crackers to replace some/all of the almond flour? Do you think it would work, or should I maybe incorporate the graham flavor a different way?

Just a thought…thanks so much for the recipe and the tips!

 · Casey · 

Apr 26, 2011 ·  7:39 PM

@Sharmeen I’ve never tried the ones from the carton, that’s interesting to know. I have definitely experienced longer bake times when I’ve gone heavy on the dye, to almost freakish lengths. It’s a weird phenomenon.

@Casey So glad you found me! My knee jerk reaction is to say the graham flour won’t work; but, more importantly than that, I think it’s crucial (especially for macaron newbies) to start with a classic recipe before you start experimenting. Any experiment runs the risk of failure, and if it fails, it’ll be hard to sort out a failure with the experiment vs a failure with your technique. So I encourage you to make macarons a few times and become comfortable with them, comfortable with making them, and confident of your success. Then, knowing where you stand, start experimenting. Happy baking.

Stella

Apr 26, 2011 · 10:03 PM

No feet, and no idea how to tweet… any clues about what I might have done wrong…. too thin when I piped? Still darn tasty!

 · bobbieb · 

Apr 28, 2011 ·  2:49 PM

@Bobbieb, when you piped them, did they seem runny and difficult? If yes, then definitely overmixed. I just got a batch of macaron photography back from Rosco, so I will hopefully have a new macaron post ready soon!

Stella

May 01, 2011 ·  9:19 PM

Yay! I made these today and they turned out pretty well if I must say myself. I did not however read through the photoblog link you posted and used a Jellyroll pan for the 2nd batch and they did not turn out well. Oh well, you live you learn, and you get another baking sheet next time instead of trying to improvise Also experiencing a little cracking on the tops of the ones that aren’t on my air lined baking sheet. Is there any reason for that? Is it because the batter sat in the piping bag for awhile before going onto the baking sheet?

 · MissKacey · 

May 02, 2011 ·  8:53 PM

@MissKacey, it may just have to do with your oven or oven temperature, but if they jelly roll pan is quite thin it might hurt the macs. I use standard, restaurant issue sheet pans, which are a single thickness. I don’t think sitting around in the piping bag would present much of a problem, unless it was for an extensive length of time; truthfully, I don’t know. Mine have never sat, in-bag, longer than five minutes. At any rate, I’m glad they turned out well! Congratulations.

Stella

May 06, 2011 ·  6:57 AM

Thank you for the recipe and the sraight forward directions! Although my macarons didn’t turn out as they should. They don’t have feet and taste fudgy. The meringue was perfect, I followed every step and it turned out exactly as you say it should be. When I started folding the dry ingredients I counted 40 folds, I pressed against the sides of the bowl but the batter was not lava like. And then I folded and folded and folded so much that I lost count and still it was not right I decided to pipe it anyway. When piped the macarons spread a bit but the still had a pointy top. I baked them for 18 mins. They look fine, they didn’t crack, almost don’t have a pointy top…but they don’t have feet and don’t taste properly. I feel I should have baked them a bit more. Could that have been the problem?

 · Teodora · 

May 07, 2011 ·  2:24 AM

I followed the directions as closely as possible. Pretty much all of mine had feet, but most of them cracked at the tops. No pointy tops after piping them out, and they didn’t spread out a lot. Not sure what went wrong.

But, I did get two of them pretty much right, and even the failed ones tasted great. So, it was worth it.

 · Jennifer · twohummingbirds.wordpress.com

May 07, 2011 ·  8:56 PM

I don’t think I mixed them enough. They didn’t spread until I baked them and they spread too far with top shells. Boo.

 · Kasia · Www.thecursingcook.com

May 08, 2011 ·  9:24 AM

I made some macarons and they lost all body when cooking, they oozed out the side, rose unevenly, some even collapsing. They were left out to dry for 5 hours. Could that have affected them or was it a case of undermixing. I did mix until the mixture looked smooth and shiny, however there were little peaks on them after piping them out.

 · amy · 

May 08, 2011 · 12:48 PM

@Teodora, if you were able to fold and fold that much and still have batter that held somewhat of a peak, it makes me wonder if perhaps some of your measurements were off? It sounds like an unnaturally stiff batter!

@Jennifer, sometimes all you need is to get a few batches under your belt to work out the kinks. That your batch had feet is a great sign that you have a good sense of macaronage. One thing I will say is to use an oven thermometer to check your oven, sometimes strange cracking is a result of uneven oven temperature.

@Kasia, No spreading but then too much spreading? That too sounds like it might be an oven temperature issue. That’s a new one for me, though. Mysterious!

@amy, that’s a tough one for me to answer. I don’t dry my shells out at all before baking, so I have no idea how to gauge how 5 hours of drying might affect them. It seems a little extreme, however… Why did you dry them so long, if I may ask? At any rate, any time macaron batter holds a peak, I feel it is undermixed.

Stella

May 08, 2011 ·  2:27 PM

Thank you, Stella! I’ll check the oven’s temperature, because I do think we might get uneven heating. We have convection in the oven, would that be a good thing to try using?

Also, what rack should the tray be on? I had it in the middle of the oven, but should it be closer to the top or bottom?

 · Jennifer · twohummingbirds.wordpress.com

May 08, 2011 ·  7:46 PM

Jennifer, I use a convection oven at work, so by all means, flip on your convection switch! I bake with a tray on each available rack; but given it’s a brand new, professional oven, I don’t know how that translates to a home oven.

The best I can say it to try it in different places. You might make up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and try baking them on the different racks, this will show you where your oven has hot spots (say if the back left cookie is always darker, or if the bottom rack burns, etc) without wasting a time consuming batch of macarons. It’s always a good idea to get to know your oven.

Stella

May 08, 2011 · 10:22 PM

I am trying to find a natural substitute for coloring the macarons without edible food colors. You had an example of freeze-dry strawberries (for pink color and flavor, i guess), any other substitutes you can think of?

 · ariesaveliev · 

May 09, 2011 ·  3:05 AM

Thank you for the reply Stella! I am blaming the almond flour I used! The cookies were dense and cakey, not at all delicate as macarons should be, and didn’t taste as almonds…so I’m thinking the almond flour was “fake” and maybe it was too lightweight, not as real almond flour should be. I weighed the ingredients, but maybe 115gr of “fake” almond flour is more in volume than 115gr real almond flour. I can’t possibly blame myself It’s always another thing )

 · Teodora · 

May 09, 2011 · 10:53 AM

Thanks so much for your helpful macaron hints! I swear I did everything exactly as your recipe described…and yet:

http://tinyurl.com/4ytz7s3

My meringue looked like the photo linked from your tutorial, and my batter held a peak but then smoothed out after about 15 seconds. Do you have any thoughts as to what happened? This was my first try ever, so I wasn’t expecting perfection…but still. Ugh. Frustrating. Your advice is greatly appreciated!

 · Hallie · 

May 12, 2011 · 10:52 AM

@ariesaveliev, I haven’t found too many excellent DIY dyes, other than the freeze dried fruit. Things like beet juice will change the consistency, and spices like paprika and turmeric will impact the flavor too much. Wish I had more/better advice for you.

@Teodora how intriguing! Well, if you can grind some yourself, then you’ll know for sure what you’ve got on your hands. I’m actually super curious about them turning out cakey, that sounds kind of yummy actually, if not exactly macaron like.

@Hallie, sorry to keep you waiting! Your technique sounds solid; I’ve had macarons turn out like that, in spite of good meringue and good macaronage, usually when a) I forgot to rap them a couple of times to knock out the excess air and b) when I’ve used too much liquid flavoring (like liquors). Lastly, it could be an oven issue, if your oven runs hot or cold.

Lastly, I’ve found that it’s possible to stir the macaron batter enough to make it seem thin/good to pipe, but without sufficiently deflating it. This has happened to me when I’ve used a non-flexible silicone spatula. Hope that helps your diagnosis a bit, but congratulations on jumping into macaron world head first!

Stella

May 13, 2011 · 10:51 AM

Hi stella…thanks for useful tips. I plan to make macaron tomorrow and try to finds as much informations, do and don’ts in macaron making and find your site and i’m so thankful. Hopefully my 1st try will be success. Please pray for me…

 · sharifah · 

May 13, 2011 ·  7:46 PM

@sharifah, fingers crossed! I wish you all the luck. Your first batch may not turn out perfect, but it will be tasty!! Let me know how they turn out.

Stella

May 14, 2011 ·  9:21 PM

have you ever tried making almond flour using almonds with skins? DO you think it would work? Because i really want to try this recipe tonight but only have whole almonds!

 · sierraem · 

May 15, 2011 · 12:19 AM

Sierraem, I do it all the time, it works splendidly. Have fun!

Stella

May 15, 2011 ·  8:18 AM

Hi Stella,
I’ve send my picasaweb link to your mail ie thebravetart@gmail.com. Thanks again for your recipes and useful tips.

 · sharifah · 

May 15, 2011 · 12:09 PM

I’m not really a baker, but I decided to start out running and make these. I’m pretty sure I overmixed it, because the shells turned out rather flat… more like cookies than the beautiful domes I was hoping for. Still, they tasted absolutely delicious (I made the lavender and milk chocolate buttercream variety). I look forward to making them again! (Probably right now, actually… (;

 · lily · 

May 15, 2011 ·  2:02 PM

@sharifah, thank you so much!

@lily, Congrats on jumping in and making macarons! That’s the beauty of them, even the worst batch tastes wonderful. I’m working on a post to include everyone who’s tried making macarons for the first time, email me a photo if you wanna be included. You will get the hang of it in no time, promise!

Stella

May 15, 2011 ·  7:57 PM

that was the most fun i’ve had baking, probably ever. I used whole almonds and the brown skins gave the shells pretty brown flecks! for my first macarons ever, i think they’re pretty fantastic. AND it was raining.

 · sierraem · 

May 17, 2011 · 10:37 AM

Sierraem, congratulations!! I am so proud of you, that’s wonderful. If you’ve got a photo, email it to me; I’m writing a post rounding up all the macaron success stories and would love to include you.

Stella

May 20, 2011 · 11:26 PM

i finally made them with your recipe this time

 · jualonso · horneandoalgo.blogspot.com/

May 21, 2011 ·  5:17 PM

@Jualonso, congratulations! Thanks for letting me know!

Stella

May 24, 2011 ·  3:10 PM

Hi Stella,

I’m glad I found your blog and I love it.
HELP! HELP! HELP!
Ever since laying eyes on macarons about a year ago, I’ve been racking my brain trying to make these little critters. I took a course (which cost a lot of money) but they didn’t come out right when I tried at home. I’ve read everything and anything I could find on the blogosphere about macs, troubleshooting and whatnot.I even bought a digital scale and oven thermometer, candy thermometer (for making certain fillings) but still I couldn’t make a single batch right.
After trying so many times, experiencing so many disappointments and throwing away tons of batter, I’d almost given up.
Yesterday to my great surprise, I found your site and read, read, read every word. I printed your recipe and got up the courage to give it one more try. They came out fantastic (I have a picture but I couldn’t find your e-mail, so please forward it so that I can send the pic)and were demolished by my husband and kids within an hour. Though a few of them browned, which caused me to play around with the oven temp until I found an appropriate setting, most of them came out really nice and they were very tasty. I was so excited that I decided to bake again today. Only this time I have no idea what went wrong. I did the exact same thing that I did yesterday, but today, they didn’t get feet, a lot of them cracked and some of them were left hollow with just a dome on top and too chewy and moist in the middle. HELP, THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY! What can I be doing wrong? As I write this mail, after having them sit out for over an hour, I just put in my first chocolate batch ever and most of them cracked and don’t have feet!!!FRUSTRATING, FRUSTRATING, FRUSTRATING, HELP!
Thanks,
Dalia

 · Dalia · 

May 24, 2011 ·  3:46 PM

Dalia, congratulations on finally enjoying some macaron success, however short lived. I’m at work now, so can’t answer in depth, but please email me thebravetart@gmail.com, or by using the contact form on the About page. Send any pix you can, and I’ll try and help!

Stella

May 28, 2011 ·  9:40 PM

Thanks to your blog and some patient advice from the other side of the world I finally have a successful Macaron. Macaron singular as most of the the batch were not mixed enough at the end so they cracked and look more like pointy meringues. But I spotted my error before it was too late and mixed the last spoonfuls a little more and hence the one successful one. Any how, they are all edible and a 100% improvement on the last lot, but still room for improvement!

 · Nic · www.niccooks.com

May 30, 2011 · 11:26 AM

@Nic, congratulations! Even if you only had one successful macaron, you learned a huge lesson, what undermixed macarons look like. Which means you won’t have that problem in future batches. It should be smooth sailing from here. Cheers!

Stella

Jun 04, 2011 ·  4:50 PM

Amazing work, Stella! After visiting Ladurée in Paris I found your website and as a result, I dreamt all night about making macarons – how pathetic is that?! Anyway, the next morning, I wanted those dreams to come true but didn’t quite succeed… They were quite flat and, also, formless. It was difficult to get them in a round shape – what do you think went wrong? When making the merengue, it was first very stiff, then, before that last minute on the highest speed, I added rose essence and colour, but then the machine became quite warm and I fear that I overdid it. Could this have affected the merengue, and this way, the whole batter in the end? Thank you so much for having the patience of answering, your blog is adorable!

 · Louisa · 

Jun 04, 2011 ·  8:52 PM

Hi Louisa! You’ve been to macaron Mecca— jealous!

I think your meringue was probably fine; your comment that they were difficult to pipe leads me to think the batter was over mixed during macaronage. Slightly to very runny batter is super difficult to pipe and a classic symptom of over mixing. You’ll have to see if my analysis jives with your experience, but I hope it gives you something to go on. Keep me posted!

Stella

Jun 06, 2011 ·  5:43 PM

I’ve been looking at tons of mac recipes online, and they vary slightly from one to another although they are generally the same. I know your meringue is stiff and dry compared to others. I’m curious if the batter’s end result (post-macaronage) should be the same regardless? I’ve made 6 batches so far, 4 have failed for various reasons and 2 have been somewhat successful. So should the batter all look the same regardless of the recipe, the meringue and other subtle differences?

Here’s my first good batch http://www.babybumblebee.me/bobbie2011/macaron.jpg

Not sure I like the way the feet almost cracked off the tops, but I’m taking it as a major success given my previous failures.

THANK YOU for sharing your insight!!!!!!!

 · bobbieb · 

Jun 07, 2011 · 11:19 AM

@Bobbieb, shamefully, I haven’t made or eaten macarons made with other recipes in the last like, ten years, so I don’t know. My food memory is short. My recipe is also different in its ratio of ingredients, so it may have some quirks of its own.

Mardi has extensive macaron experience in a number of different recipes (linked above; she’s the girl with the step-by-step photos). Try shooting her an email, I’m sure she’d be happy to explain the differences.

Your macarons are totally adorable, so congratulations!

Stella

Jun 08, 2011 · 11:15 AM

Another success story
I only have one non-stick liner so I undermixed a little (40 strokes), piped a tray, tried them out, mixed the batter a little more and retried it (etc etc). And Voila!
Firstly this is the most successful recipe I have used, and secondly by doing several rounds you get the whole spectrum of under- to over-mixed in one batch – great learning experience.
Multiple flavours here I come!

 · Kate · 

Jun 08, 2011 ·  9:04 PM

Thank you so much for your recipes, myths and commandments. Very insightful!

I always seem to get an air pocket in my shell. Any advice on how I can correct this? http://tinypic.com/r/x6leyt/7

 · Mary · 

Jun 14, 2011 ·  6:16 AM

hi stella! love your website
i tried your macaron recipe, the first batch turned out beautiful! but after that almost all started cracking in the oven with only a handful of nice looking ones, please help! D:

 · michelle · 

Jun 14, 2011 ·  6:59 PM

@Michelle, I’ve definitely found that as you start out on the macaron path, there can be some rough patches in the beginning. You’re not a machine, so you can’t do everything the exact same way every time. But with a few successful batches under your belt, which you already know you’re capable of, you’ll really start getting the hang of it. It’s definitely like riding a bike. Don’t be scared to fall off a few times, you’ll master it soon enough.

Stella

Jun 15, 2011 ·  6:34 AM

Hi Stella, I love your website. I happen to stumble on your macaron recipe never tasted a macaron before but tried to make once before and was a disaster. So thought why not have another go. To my delight they were a success, followed your recipe to the letter. Still not totally sure if they taste how they should. They were crispy on the outside but not all that chewy on the inside more crunchy could this be that they were cooked too long. Also in all the pictures of macarons they are a bit more thicker than mine were could this be from beating the egg whites. When I beat the egg whites for the time you suggested (mine is not a kitchen aid)I beat till it clumped in the whisk but didnt seem to clump quite as much as your picture showed. Was concerned about over beating. Any suggestions would be great.

Here’s a picture not sure if this works
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.436889239101.235650.668829101#!/photo.php?fbid=10150204510689102&set=a.436889239101.235650.668829101&type=1&theater

 · Scramblekid · 

Jun 15, 2011 · 10:31 AM

@Scramblekid, aww, I can’t see your picture. Maybe we have to be friends? Anyway, be encouraged that your macarons came out nicely! I think the first step of making macarons is to establish a good shape, frilly feet and smooth domes, etc. Doing so means achieving a good technique, which is of course really important for macarons. Refining the texture inside is all about fine tuning, from mastering your own oven, to understanding the nuances of the meringue, and that is really the harder part than getting them visibly “perfect.”

At any rate, I do beat the whites until they get seriously clumpy, and also be sure to age your macarons 24 hours before eating, this should really tame down any residual crispiness. Next time, bake them just a hare less…

Stella

Jun 16, 2011 ·  1:31 AM

Ok, I really need help. I have tried two batches now, and I am usually REALLY good at following directions, so I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I am following you on twitter, but I can’t send you a message unless you are also following me, I think! Anyway, my macarons are hollow, and no feet. I don’t think I undermixed, or underbeat the meringue. Oven temp, and my oven is gas, could this be a factor?

 · angsaban · angelasabandesign.com

Jun 16, 2011 ·  8:22 AM

Hi Stella, I am pulling my hair out. I have since made 3 more batches. First one all cracked on top I think maybe the problem was I tried to make them green and used too much food colouring. So tried again all cracked on top. Third time was very careful not to fold egg mixture with dry ingredients too much think maybe over did it too much last couple of times even though dropping some mixture back into the bowl did melt back in after 60 secs. The third batch came out marginally better some had a hint of feet, but some cracked and they seemed to stick more to the baking paper when trying to remove once cooked. I cant believe my first batch were way better than the last 3 I have attempted. The first batch did go chewy in the middle once left over night with the butter cream between them. My work mates loved them, if only I could do it again. The only thing I can think could be the problem is the eggs not clumping as much as yours do to the whisk but the more I whisk the less that clumps to the whisk. So I am hesitant to keep whisking plus my first batch only had a small amount clumped to the whisk and they worked. And secondly maybe it could be the oven temp. But once again my first batch worked and still using the same temp. Any ideas would be great. Do you know any good things for 20 odd egg yolks????

 · Scramblekid · 

Jun 16, 2011 · 10:39 AM

@angsaban, have you read my macaron "10 Commandments"? Oven temperature can definitely play a role. If you’ve already read that, just shoot me an email via the About page and we can troubleshoot.

@Scramblekid, honestly, I think it come down to the fact that none of us are machines and it’s very hard to do everything the exact same way every time. Until you’ve made macarons enough to have a good feel for the stages, it’s hard to promise consistent results. It’s very much like learning any other new skill, you will have successes, but you have to make your way through some failures before you can become a “pro.” But you now know you’re capable of making them perfectly, your oven must be fine and all of those factors, so it’s just a matter of refining your technique. (If you’re so inclined).

At any rate, there are some great ways to use up the egg yolks. One is to make a French Buttercream— just replace the egg whites in the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe with yolks, and the rest of the recipe is the same. It freezes quite well, so you can make a big batch to pull out for cupcakes or macarons in the future.

Here are some other recipes to use up yolks,

lemon curd
passion fruit bars
vanilla bean pot de crème

Stella

Jun 16, 2011 ·  8:51 PM

I think today I learned something important from you. I did not know that I always undermixed the meringue. Thank you.

 · deniz · 

Jun 16, 2011 · 11:18 PM

I sent you an email with pictures…sure hope you can help me.

Thanks!

 · angsaban · angelasabandesign.com

Jun 17, 2011 ·  2:07 AM

Ugh – third batch, failed. First batch was clearly overbaked (tasted tough) but looked pretty much right and had feet. Second batch I think was overmixed. Nearly all cracked. Third batch I was very careful mixing and THOUGHT was good, but also nearly all cracked, no feet in sight. At least batches 2 and 3 taste good. Help!! (And thanks for the encouragement on the buttercream!)

 · jamimess · nightbaking.blogspot.com

Jun 18, 2011 ·  1:37 PM

@deniz, if you’re using a different recipe, it might not be the case. The stiffness of the meringue depends on what recipe you use; mine does require an especially stiff meringue.

@angsaban, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

@jamimess, I’ve often compared making macarons to perfecting your jump shot. There’s no magic way to stand and program your body to ensure that you nail it every time. It’s just a skill that is perfected only through experience. I don’t mean that in a discouraging way, because as you make macarons, understand what you’re doing, and develop an actual technique, you will begin to see consistent success.

Stella

Jun 20, 2011 ·  9:04 AM

If you have a lots of eggyolks left, why don’t you make a crema catalana? (This is how I found the macaron site. I had lots of whites left… )
Hungarian Girl

 · Hungarian Girl · 

Jun 20, 2011 ·  9:32 AM

@Hungarian Girl, what a fabulous idea! Thanks for the tip.

Stella

Jun 23, 2011 ·  1:20 PM

Hi Stella!,first of all thank you so much for the recipe.

I made my first try yesterday and it didn’t end well . I made the recipe step by step and I thought I had done a pretty good job, but when it came down to the cooking in the oven part it went horrible. The macarons didnt grow and they didnt cooked, I cooked them like for 17 to 19 minutes and they were still soft, and to finish it off the paper stick to the tray and to the “attempt of macarons”, they tasted well bu the texture was awful, I could really use some help. Thanks

 · jo3l · 

Jun 23, 2011 ·  2:51 PM

Hiya Stella!

My first attempt in making macarons dated way back to 2009..the macs turned out so hard that I made them into hamburger cookies.

The second try was in 2010 and I was more careful with the process. Had the delicious taste but no feet!

Today, 24th June 1:42AM, third attempt and verdict: my macarons has got beautiful FEET!! so high that I can put dancing shoes on them! Yipee!!

Gazillion thanks to you for posting such detailed processes in making these macarons and reading the 10 myths definitely gave me more confidence in plunging into my 3rd and super successful attempt! =^_^*=

Thanks to you, I will be making these cuties more often now and not just make it an annual event! Wootz!

Thank U! Thank U! Thank U!
Appreciate it lots!!

Huda
Singapore

 · Huda · muffillecious.multiply.com

Jun 23, 2011 ·  4:02 PM

Hullo again!=)

My happiness was short-lived! =( My macs were all hollow and got stuck to the parchment paper. Did I overbeat the meringue?

To remove the macarons from the parchment paper, I poured water underneath the paper but this made the macarons quite damp so I had to bake it for a few minute, bottoms up.

Help?;p

Thank U!

 · Huda · muffillecious.multiply.com

Jun 23, 2011 ·  9:11 PM

@jo3l, it sounds to me like your oven might be running a little cold. Have you tried calibrating it?

@Huda, oh my goodness, I am so happy you finally experienced macaron success (and marked the date and time, lol! XD), at least from a visual perspective. It sounds to me like your macarons might have been somewhat under baked. When macarons aren’t fully cooked through, the meringue will collapse after they’re removed from the oven, which results in a hollow bubble between the cookie and the shell.

I’ve never tried adding water to the pan, but it sounds like it might have backfired….Hmmmm.

Stella

Jun 24, 2011 ·  7:45 AM

hey Stella.
Made my 3rd batch of macarons with your recipe and they were fab, but half of them cracked on top.i followed your recipe to the letter. any clues as to why?
my batter was perfect, oven on 150 degrees CELCIUS.(im an ozzie)
thanks for the fab recipe.
XX

 · kelze · 

Jun 25, 2011 ·  1:44 PM

Quick question Kelze, was your oven set to 150 with the oven dial or registering 150 on an oven thermometer?

Stella

Jun 26, 2011 ·  6:06 PM

Thank you so much for being so descriptive! I am so excited Nelly from CookingWithBooks shared your site with me Heading to make some orange macarons with mango orange compote!
Hugs, Terra

 · CafeTerraBlog · www.cafeterrablog.com

Jun 26, 2011 ·  6:41 PM

Holy Macaron! Your tips, commandments, and mythbusters were exactly what I needed!

Your recipes make macarons so easy!
I had perfect little feet with my first batch!

Now if only I could get my oven to cooperate. I have to babysit my oven every five minutes to keep it just under 300 degrees (based on your tips, I bought an in-oven thermometer)- anything over that, and my tops crack.

And I’m baking at 5600 feet up- everything everything I bake at altitude normally needs tweaks. Not this recipe! Woo-hoo!

Thank YOU Stella for giving us all such inspiration!

Cheers,
Christine

 · Cricket · www.crickpop.com

Jun 27, 2011 · 12:47 AM

@Terra, keep me posted on how your macarons turn out! Love my Nelly. <3

@Cricket, thank you so much for the lovely comment! I’m thrilled to hear you had success on your first time out of the gate. AND at high altitude! How cool is that? I’ve never even been to a high altitude, much less baked at one, so I’m especially excited to hear everything worked out alright. Thanks for letting me know. xoxo

Stella

Jun 29, 2011 ·  8:29 AM

I have finally made the MACARON thanks to you stella! Although I have failed 5 times following step by step, I have finally came to the conclusion that sometimes I don’t have the freshest egg, and also I undermix or overmixed it most of the time. Thank you!

 · Hint · 

Jun 29, 2011 · 10:33 AM

@Hint, it’s definitely all about learning your way through the process, and getting a feel for over and undermixing. Glad you finally made macarons for yourself, congrats.

Stella

Jun 30, 2011 · 11:26 AM

Would you mind showing pictures of how over mixed and under mixed batter should look like? Because I failed so many batches after one successful batch. Especially the ones with colorings

 · Hint · 

Jun 30, 2011 ·  8:53 PM

@Hint, I hope to do something like that in the future. I don’t do my own photography, so I can’t just take pictures any time. I’ll try to make it happen.

Stella

Jul 08, 2011 ·  2:04 AM

Hi Again Stella!

Thought I’d give you an update about high altitude macaron baking. First, your recipe is what I consider my ‘reliable’ one. I’ve been experimenting almost daily with different ratios from different recipes, and yours always produces the best results.

And while I had amazing success with my very first batch from you (thanks!), the feet on my macarons were there, but they were petite. I really wanted the frilly little feet like I see in the books.

After doing some serious nose-against-the-oven-door observations of my macaron’s behavior as they baked in the oven, I concluded that the small feet issue had to do with the rise of the macaron- the egg whites.

Hours of digging online later, I found that at altitudes above 3000 feet, you can’t whip egg whites into the same consistency as you do at sea level. In short, I needed to UNDERWHIP my egg whites in order to get the frilly feet.

So instead of whipping for 10 minutes, I whipped for just under 6 (barely soft peaks). It didn’t feel right at all. But it worked. I ended up with gorgeous, glossy tops, no cracking, perfect bottoms, and nicely proportioned frilly feet like in the book photos! The tops are somewhat hollow, but I think I can resolve that with just a bit more additional whipping of the egg whites, but not as stiff as I had been doing before.

Just thought you’d like to know! Love your blog!

 · Cricket · www.crickpop.com

Jul 08, 2011 · 12:06 PM

And for reference, here are some pics:

This first photo is using your macaron recipe, my second batch. I substituted 30g of high fat Dutch process cocoa for 30g of powdered sugar, and they came out well. Little feet, though.

http://tinyurl.com/6z3hhc8

Blue, no flavor added, still small feet:

http://tinyurl.com/4xv29v4

And now, high altitude, underwhipped whites (teal color):

http://tinyurl.com/42v83fz

What a difference!

 · Cricket · www.crickpop.com

Jul 09, 2011 ·  3:53 PM

Hi Stella,

Thank you for your 10 commandments and 10 myths posts! I love the way you write, your posts are always so fun to read and seem to answer the questions in the back of my mind. My question for you is about hollows. I think I’ve got the meringue consistency and batter consistency ok, but when my macarons come out of the oven (and I take them out at around 300F for 12 mins) they look perfect but are hollow in the shell. I take them out at the 12 minute mark because at that point they pretty much slide off the parchment very easily. I saw that you said sometimes the hollows happen when they haven’t had enough time to cook and the meringue falls back down when it cools, which totally makes sense. However if i leave them in longer than the 12 minute mark, (say 15 or even 1 they come out hard cookies (not chewy.) They are indeed filled more than the 12 minute ones, but still have big air holes. (think aero chocolate bar.) I really wish I can make them have the beautiful cross section that I see in your pics. (completely filled with no airholes, almost looks like cake on the inside!) I do bang the pans pretty hard, and I try to poke out the air bubbles with a toothpick. Any advice? Thanks so much!

 · connie · 

Jul 10, 2011 ·  2:46 PM

@Cricket, thanks so much for the detailed info on doing macarons at high altitude. I’ve never baked in any high alt location, so I have zero experience. I will definitely refer anyone looking for good info straight to you! The teal macs turned out gorgeous, congratulations!

@connie, have you checked your oven temperature? It seems incredible that they could fully bake in 12 minutes at 300 degrees. I wonder if your oven is actually running a touch hot? At any rate, it’s okay for them to be a little hard— once you fill them with buttercream and age them in the fridge for 24+ hours, they will soften as they absorb moisture from the buttercream. Perhaps a slightly lower oven temp, longer baking and aging will prevent hollows and balance out seemingly hard macarons. Let me know if that helps!

Stella

Jul 15, 2011 ·  1:10 AM

Hi,
Thanks for all your detailed experimentation. It really helps! I have a question about making larger batches. I agreed to make macarons for a wedding and will need to make about 500. Can I double your recipe? Triple? Quadruple? Do you have any experience with this? Also, I have read that it is not good to bake more than one tray at a time. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks for your help!

 · Erin · 

Jul 15, 2011 ·  9:50 AM

Hi Erin, the batch size I’ve given is about all a standard Kitchen Aid bowl can handle. Are you planning on using a Hobart to make these?

I don’t have any trouble baking two sheet trays at once, but whether or not that’s a problem for you depends on your oven and how even the heat is. Just whip up a batch and bake off a few at a time and see how that treats you. Good luck, that is an awful lot of macarons!

Stella

Jul 15, 2011 · 12:45 PM

this is WONDERFUL!
But it is impossible to cut & paste yr recipe..
I would love to print this out for 3rd try at these suckers..
Hmm..any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks for all the details
merci
carolg

 · parisbreakfast · parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/

Jul 15, 2011 ·  7:37 PM

@Carol, that’s so strange! There shouldn’t be any trouble copy and pasting it; I just did as a test. Print preview seems okay too. I wonder if the trouble’s on your computer? I tried to email you the recipe, but the email address wasn't valid. Typo?

Stella

Jul 21, 2011 · 11:06 AM

Hello!

Thank you for your very detailed recipes, and for not teaching by scaring! I’m so happy with my first two batches of macarons, and I’m glad I waited till I found the right recipe to make them, or I would’ve been too disappointed with the results to try again. I’ve linked my own post about my macarons, I’d be honoured if you took a look!

 · Jolene · onestitchtwostitch.posterous.com/21-macaron-magic

Jul 22, 2011 ·  9:22 AM

@Jolene, congratulations! That’s wonderful. I’m heading over to take a peek right now.

Stella

Jul 29, 2011 ·  4:14 PM

Thanks!!! I follow your recipe and guess what? I finally make Macarons!!! they were almost perfect at the first batch now I have to try in my oven different temperatures for the perfect ones

 · DebbiePR · 

Jul 29, 2011 ·  7:05 PM

@Debbie, that makes me so happy to hear! You’ll have everything right in no time, just gotta find that Goldilocks temperature.

Stella

Jul 30, 2011 ·  5:22 PM

I tried your recipe today. The first batch was way over mixed, so I started over. The batter turned out perfect, but when they baked, the tops cracked and I didn’t get feet. However, they tasted better than any macarons I’ve made to date and the texture was much, much better than the crunchy ones I had before. I added just a couple tablespoons of baking chocolate to my dry ingredients and they taste so good. They taste like brownies. Macaronies! Anyway, I’ll be trying this again. I really like your blog and thanks for demystifying the mysterious macaron.

 · megan_maria · twitter.com/megan_maria

Jul 31, 2011 · 12:49 AM

@Megan, mmmmm, macaronies! Good luck with future endeavors, I’m glad you’re starting to get the feel for ‘em. You might try making a plain batch too, sometimes wild card ingredients like chocolate can throw you off a bit in the beginning. Cheers!

Stella

Aug 03, 2011 ·  9:44 AM

I got my macaronies to work perfectly yesterday. I added 2 spoonfuls of chocolate during the measuring of the powdered sugar and kept that total weight to 230g. Perfecto. I put some marshmallow creme inside and next time, I think I’ll roll the edges in crushed graham cracker. So good.

 · megan · twitter.com/megan_maria

Aug 03, 2011 · 11:41 AM

@Megan, congratulations!! It is so satisfying to keep tweaking a recipe until it finally obeys. Especially when the result is delicious chocolatey s’mores themed macarons. Nice!

Stella

Aug 03, 2011 · 10:38 PM

Hi Stella

I have still been persevering with your macaron recipe and think I have just about mastered it except for one problem. Many batches are cracked on the top. Some batches have half cracked and half not cracked some have most cracked. In your experience the cracking on the top is this generally from mixing or oven temp. My macarons are not hollow and have feet. The feet look really good about 3-4 mins into the cooking but seem to shrivel further into cooking. Any suggestions would be great, I will not let this beat me!!!

 · Scramblekid · 

Aug 04, 2011 ·  8:15 PM

@Scramblekid, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s your oven. Sounds like it has hot patches…Try rotating them at about 4 min, before they crack. It might help to let those macarons that are getting especially “hot” get some relief by moving to a cooler part of your oven. Let me know how it goes if you try that.

Stella

Aug 05, 2011 ·  1:58 PM

Hi Stella,
I made your recipe two days ago and the meringue was very stiff (enough so that nearly the entire glob was stuck to the wisk). When I mixed in the dry ingredients, I folded/pressed 36 times and did the “lava” test: the little drops disappeared back into the batter after about 35 seconds. The batter was not dripping out of the bag and it did spread a bit with smooth tops. I banged each tray against the countertop as directed. My oven was set to 300 and I baked them for 16 minutes (turning halfway). YET the tops cracked on the first two batches. They were not hollow and rose nicely but all were pied-less. Help!!

 · Kate · 

Aug 05, 2011 ·  7:49 PM

@Kate, I know how frustrating that is! Thanks for checking off all the usual suspects for me. It sounds like you did a really great job. Have you had a chance to check out your oven to see if it might be running a little hot?

If you can’t get an oven thermometer, try splitting your next batch over a few trays and bake them at different temperatures to find the one that’s right for your oven. Good luck!

Stella

Aug 08, 2011 · 11:50 PM

Hey Stella,
I just came across your blog the other day, and I’m in Love! You’re posts are witty & informative… and it’s refreshing!

I’ve recently started making macarons and was delighted to come across your blog and all your posts about macarons
I just read this post and noticed that you use salt in your recipe. I have never used it in my recipes and most of the time mine turn out fine (see pics on my blog) I was wondering… what does the salt do, is it really necessary?

I do plan on trying out this basic recipe soon and I suppose I’ll find out…. but thought I’d ask anyway.

Thanks!!

 · Andrea · saltcitybaker.blogspot.com

Aug 09, 2011 ·  1:36 AM

Hi! and thanks for the recipe.. My first time making macarons with this recipe I followe every step, I use a 3 aged eggs withes, and I got perfect macarons, they had a perfect smooth glossy surface, Egg shell crust, soft in the inside and the cutest feet OMG I was so proud of myself.. But I try to make macarons again (like 4 times), and they always are a mess they dont have feet, they are flat, sometimes they crack, next time they dont but again flat with no feet and not a very smooth surface, a little glossy but thats all!! What Im doing wrong????

 · DebbiePR · 

Aug 09, 2011 ·  1:38 AM

Oh and I use the same temp in the oven

 · DebbiePR · 

Aug 09, 2011 ·  1:42 AM

**** 3 days aged egg whites****

 · DebbiePR · 

Aug 09, 2011 · 10:39 AM

@Andrea, the purpose of the salt isn’t for structure, but flavor!! Macarons contain an incredible amount of sugar, and a hearty dose of salt goes a long way in taming that sweetness. You will have beautiful macarons with or without it, but it’s important to remember macarons aren’t architecture, they’re cookies! That they have a well developed, complex flavor is just as important as their frilly feet, and salt is crucial in accomplishing that goal.

@DebbiePR, I wish I could give you a magic bullet to fix whatever’s going wrong, but making consistently perfect macarons is definitely a skill that is learned over time and with practice. I’m really happy you had a success, so that you know you are capable of perfection! But like any art form, practice makes perfect and these little cookies definitely require practice to master. But you are well on your way, I think!

Try and look at your “failures” and ask yourself, “What did I do differently?” It sounds like you have done a good job of keeping track of what you’ve done the same, and those are important observations too. For example, I found I have this one rubber spatula that is really thick and not too flexible and it ruins my macarons every time. It’s too heavy and crushes the meringue. I finally realized that the batches I made that failed happened with that spatula. I didn’t think something so small could make a difference, but it was the wrong tool for the job.

Stella

Aug 09, 2011 ·  5:29 PM

Thank you so much Stella, I’ll try adding salt next time

 · Andrea · saltcitybaker.blogspot.com

Aug 13, 2011 ·  6:01 PM

Hi Stella,

If I’m dividing the batter into four for different colours/extracts/etc., should I be reducing the timing of the final minute of mixing that would have been for the full batch, or would a lesser quantity not matter?

Thank!

 · Maria · 

Aug 13, 2011 ·  6:31 PM

@Maria, I haven’t ever divided a batch, but rather I make smaller batches to flavor/color accordingly. I’m working in a professional environment, so it makes the most sense for me to do it this way. I instinctively imagine the macarons won’t appreciate being divided; under or over mixing is an easy thing to do at any stage, much less when the process is multiplied over variations… Meringue does not enjoy sitting around and waiting (it will begin to loose structural integrity) either, also making that strategy seem inadvisable to me. Again, I have no experience with that, per se, those are just my thoughts on the matter. Good luck, let me know what you do and how it turns out! Have you made macarons successfully before?

Stella

Aug 15, 2011 ·  5:38 PM

Bonjour Stella-
Thank you, Thank you and Merci beaucoup for your wonderful recipe and website!! I’ve tried three times to make macarons (with losts of time in between to work up more courage)and had completely miserable results. I found your site after reading an article on eat,live,travel,write and was inspired to work up more courage and try again. After studying your myths and commandments I bought a kitchen scale and decided on pistachio – my favorite, although raspberry and rose are a close 2nd and 3rd. They finally turned out! And it was raining! They weren’t perfect, no feet and some cracking but they are beautiful to me! I owe you big time! I have a trip to Paris coming up next April – anything I can send? Seriously! I am that happy and grateful. That was yesterday, I think tonight I’m going to try regular (vanilla) with caramel filling. I’m going to stop and buy a new more flexible spatula and work on my macaronage, slightly lower my oven temp and maybe beat my meringue slightly longer. Thank you stella – you have a new loyal fan!

 · cparisgirl · 

Aug 15, 2011 ·  9:47 PM

I made these tonight with the help of my saboteur eight-year-old son. They aren’t the prettiest ever (he kept moving the baking sheet while I was piping the cookies), but they taste amazing. Can’t wait to try them after they’ve had a day or two to rest. The next batch will be made while he SLEEPS.

 · Renee · 

Aug 16, 2011 ·  6:18 PM

@cparisgirl, thank you so much for such a wonderful comment/compliment! My heart is totally warmed to know you finally made macarons to your satisfaction, excellent choice with pistachio! The most, most, most important part about macarons (aside from the fact they are so delicious!) is that you learn from the experience, and it sounds like you’re on the right track for macaron perfection. Also congratulations on the kitchen scale, you will find it such an invaluable partner in the kitchen. Have fun in Paris, just take lots of pix for me! xoxox

@Renee, adorable! You are a good person to let your son help out during macaron time, I nominate you for saint hood! I don’t have any little helpers just yet, but if you were able to make delicious macarons with “help”, I bet you’ll knock ‘em out of the park on your own, heh.

Stella

Aug 19, 2011 · 12:12 AM

Hi Stella
I have made several batches of our “little friends” and have had decent results, but no matter what I try different, my feet seem to spread out past the cookie. I have yet to produce a perfect foot, they always spread out past the cooke. Also I havent tried convection oven yet, should I decrease the temp and baking time if I should attempt the this? I seem to have a problem determining if they are baked long enough. Thanks for your help.

 · cnurse2525 · 

Aug 19, 2011 ·  9:48 AM

@cnurse, I’ve found when the feet spread out past the macaron, it’s usually an indicator that the oven is too hot. If you could use a thermometer to determine the real temperature of you oven, that’d be ideal, otherwise, start by lowering your oven temp by about 25 degrees. Hope that helps!

Stella

Aug 21, 2011 ·  1:52 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is so wonderful of you to share this fantastic recipe with everyone on the quest for the perfect macaron. I am well on my way thanks to all your advise and I could not be happier.
It is amazing in such a busy world you find the time to write back to all those who leave you a comment. I hope life brings you great things Live Love Be Happy

 · Deb G · 

Aug 21, 2011 · 11:16 PM

Just finished my fourth attempt at this recipe and I could use some advice. I have tried the basic recipe and the chocolate chestnut each 2 times and both recipes take almost an hour in my oven. Until my fourth attempt, I did not have an oven thermometer so I just assumed the temperature was off, especially since my convection setting performs some sort of automatic adjustment. On the third attempt, I tried increasing the temperature slightly but this caused cracking and still took over 50 minutes. My second attempt was by far the most successful (feet!) but took over an hour.

I think I will try a different type of sheet pan next. Do you use vanilla extract or beans? I saw the comment that food coloring can greatly increase the bake time. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I consider the recipe a success but the bake time is a mystery!

Thanks!

 · Dave · 

Aug 22, 2011 ·  2:57 AM

Hi Stella, Thank you so much for all tips given. They are really helpful and I am glad to find your blog as I am very new to the baking world.

I tried your recipe exactly as you mentioned and it turned out way much better than my past 2 attempts. But unfortunately the macarons still have cracks. I checked the oven temperature and it was 284-300 F. It took 18 minutes to get them done but the color was a bit brownish (I did not add any coloring) and they were hollow and had very little or no feet). Could you please advice how to improve them?

Please see my photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/106239480809852921128/August222011

and

https://picasaweb.google.com/106239480809852921128/August222011#5643550099865047042

Thank you so much.

Listra

 · Listra · 

Aug 25, 2011 · 10:07 AM

@Deb, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so glad I can help!

@Dave, that bake time is incredible! OMG. You said until your 4th attempt you didn’t have an oven thermometer, do you have one now? I’d be very curious to know what your oven is registering. I’ve had macarons, for various reasons, take so long as 30 minutes, but never as long as an hour. If you can, let me know what the internal temp is registering on your thermometer…

@Listra, my friend Veron has found a connection between hollow macarons and almond flour that is too chunky. My recipe is quite casual and suggests just tossing in the chunky bits; but it may be that some people have a more coarse sieve and their almond bits are significantly more chunky. I’ve only recently heard this theory, but it sounds really intriguing and solid to me. Compared to your experience, what do you think? Check out Veron's awesome macaron FAQ for more info.

Stella

Aug 26, 2011 ·  3:43 PM

pleaseeee help! It was my 2nd attempt at making macaroons today and were again an utter failure. The mixture seemed fine, and would get incorporated in itself after a few seconds with no peaks. but after baking the macs turned out to be sticky with no feet! they had a smooth top, rose a little and the edges browned a bit. they were really sticky and i cudnt get them off the paper without totally disfiguring them!
i was soooo careful in every step and even tried 3 different oven temps but they didn’t make a difference
PLEASE HELPPPPP!
Bils

 · bils · 

Aug 26, 2011 ·  7:25 PM

@bils, How long were you baking them? If they stick to the paper even a bit, it’s a sure sign that they are under baked. It may mean you just need to bake them longer, but it might also be a sign that your oven runs cool and the heat needs to be adjusted. If you can, get an oven thermometer so you can find out just what temperature your oven registers. Generally, I bake my macarons until I can peel one cleanly from the paper. If it sticks, I just keep baking.

That they’re browning a bit may be a sign the top-element of your oven is a bit hot. You might try baking your macarons in the middle of the oven and putting an empty cookie tray on the top shelf, to insulate them from the top-element and prevent browning.

Stella

Aug 27, 2011 ·  2:35 AM

Thank you so much for the advice. I did grind my almond nuts myself and sifted them completely through fine mesh (so no big chunks left. So next time I will try to use a finer mesh.

About cracking, is it possible because the oven temperature is too high (because the macaron colour was a bit brownish when they could get off completely?

Thank you so much.

Listra

 · Listra · 

Aug 29, 2011 ·  6:18 PM

Hi Stella!
I tried my macarons again – from a GoodFood recipe… and i tried it several times until i got this result http://fashionbazz.blogspot.com/2011/08/precieuses-macarons.html
now.. they were delicious and quite ok… but i can’t figure out why the tops cracked.. on some shells i even got ‘feet’ – yay!
I sifted the ingredients, i even let the shells dry before baking… do you have any idea?
thanks!

 · sonicjuliette · fashionbazz.blogspot.com/

Aug 29, 2011 ·  6:58 PM

@Listra, the oven temp could definitely be too high- ovens are the one wild card I can’t help with, everyone’s oven has such incredible idiosyncrasies. Do try at a bit of a lower temperature and see how that goes. I wish I could be more help!

@SonicJuliette, I’m afraid I am at a complete loss when it comes to troubleshooting other macaron recipes. Different recipes have different ratios of ingredients and different methods, and thus each one is prone to its own problems. You might try leaving a comment on the website whe. Good luck!

Stella

Sep 01, 2011 ·  1:04 PM

hi…..im now……powdered sugar is?

 · khin · 

Sep 01, 2011 · 10:37 PM

@ Khin, powdered sugar is also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar; it looks like a perfectly white dust, almost like flour.

Stella

Sep 02, 2011 ·  3:20 AM

hi Stella, I do love your site and this post, especially the bit about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. the first time i made macarons (not using your recipe) they came out beautifully. I used cup measures not a scale, and my then-oven didn’t even have a temperature dial, so there must have been a lot of luck floating around that day! Today I decided to try your recipe, but I must have stuffed it up somehow because there were very fine cracks on top, and no feet. (I did the chocolate version, and used hazelnut meal). My possible explanations:

a) Undermixing – my piped macarons had little peaks. Although most of these settled down within a couple of minutes I had to tap the others down with a wet finger.

b) Overmixing – but the batter was very runny! So runny in fact that it was spilling out of the bag without any pressure being applied.

c) Meringue – I beat this until very dry – it clumped inside the beaters as directed – but maybe not dry enough? I am using oldschool handheld electric beaters, no Kitchenaid.

d) Temperature – I heated to exactly 300F but after opening the oven door, the temperature fell quite considerably.

Any thoughts? Would love to make macarons as pretty as yours. My early success is making me hungry for more!

 · SM · 

Sep 02, 2011 · 11:34 AM

@SM, how strange for the batter to be so runny it came gushing out the bag, but still thick enough to hold a peak? I’m not sure how to account for that, but when I’ve made batches that came flowing out the bag to that extent, they’ve never turned out nicely. I’m at the point now that when I do have the odd batch that’s that loose, I just toss it. Sigh. Sounds like your macarons had a split personality issue (pun intended?) to be over and under at the same time!

Sorry to hear they didn’t turn out for you. I would honestly say if you’ve had good success with other recipes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Stella

Sep 02, 2011 ·  3:42 PM

First off, I want to thank you for the perfect macaron recipe! My macaron journey began a few years ago and my first two batches looked beautiful but were way too sweet, then my next next batch tasted wonderful but didn’t look to pretty. No I’ve made so many batches I can’t count! And they’re coming out great! I made some lavender shells with a honey butter cream for my friend’s engagement party, which were received extremely well! So thank you!!

Now, I have tried making coconut ones, using just coconut instead of coconut flavoring… and I can’t get it to work. They end up sticking and I have to scrape them off the parchment and then I have a bowl of the most delicious coconut goo. Have any secrets for making coconut shells?

 · Savvy · 

Sep 03, 2011 ·  8:14 AM

hai….tried the macarons….however…..there is an empty space inside it….like…when u bite it….the a hole….a big one..hahaha

 · khin · 

Sep 04, 2011 ·  4:35 PM

Sadly, my first macaroon attempt was a disaster!

They spread out in the oven. Some cracked, while others were nice and smooth but the foot splayed out rather than rising. Also the paper didn’t come away cleanly and they were extremely chewy. At first I assumed they needed longer in the oven but then the tops started to brown so I took them out.

I had a lovely stiff meringue after beating for 9 minutes but then when I added the teaspoon of vanilla essence and gel colour it was much softer and didn’t seem to stiffen up again after more beating.

Any ideas?

 · wingo · 

Sep 05, 2011 ·  3:35 AM

OK, I tried it again and it worked a lot better. In hindsight I think my first batch was overfolded. The peaks are still rather mysterious, but I have a tendency to create peaks on EVERYTHING I pipe, even where this defies the laws of physics. Oh well.

Only prob was that they were a teeeeeeny bit hollow, which I think is to do with my oven temperature. I’ve noticed that a powerful fan forced/convection oven can bake things to ‘done’ at up to 20 degrees (Celsius, I’m Australian) lower than a fan-less oven, or even an oven with a weak-arse fan like mine. So I might try it a bit hotter next time.

Just a thought for the pedants: the ‘flows like magma’ description which everyone uses can be kind of misleading, because WHAT KIND OF MAGMA? In my head I had an image of the just-off-the-rocks, Krakatoa-busting-off type stuff when really I should have been thinking of the thicker, gloopier, lava-cooling-on-the-surface-of-the-earth type consistency. In fact, for the REAL pedants out there, no one even gets to SEE what flowing magma looks like because it’s inside the earth, which is the definition of magma, and when it comes out to the surface it’s called LAVA. Which means that there are loads of bakers out there who DID NOT LISTEN IN THEIR GEOGRAPHY LESSONS.

Anyway, thanks!

 · SM · 

Sep 05, 2011 ·  8:32 PM

@Savvy, Are you using unsweetened, toasted coconut. Many brands of packaged coconut are pre-sweetened and pre-moistened, so it may be that is where all the excess moisture is coming from. How does that jive with your experience?

@khin, oh no! Sorry to hear it. There are a lot of things that could be going wrong to make hollows, but I’m afraid I don’t have enough information to go on.

@Wingo, I’ve found the biggest cause for feet that splay is an oven that’s too hot. That would explain why they were taking on color and getting brown outside, even though they were still underdone/sticky on the inside. Try turning your oven down 25-50 degrees or test out the internal oven temp with a thermometer.

@SM, OMG you have raised a valuable point! That whole magma/lava business is incredibly subjective! Holy crap. Perhaps I need to think of a phrase that is less geologically based…

Stella

Sep 07, 2011 ·  9:44 PM

Honey you RULES!!!!!!! I just made 3 different recipes with your directions and they turn out BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!You are my hero!!! Thanks a Mill.
All my love from the other side of the border..Mexico!!

 · NenisQ · 

Sep 08, 2011 · 10:13 PM

@NenisQ, Mexican macarons, eh? What flavors did you make? I’m so happy to hear they turned out nicely for you, congratulations! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

Stella

Sep 20, 2011 · 11:11 AM

hello stella, i got the perfect-looking macarons but there was one problem, it is so hard inside. i mean when i bite into it, it is hard like rock, where did i go wrong? thx

 · Ne · 

Sep 22, 2011 · 11:52 AM

@Ne, it sounds like they are overbaked. Sometimes they can bake too much, too long without turning brown. But fill them with buttercream anyway and refrigerate, often crisp macarons will absorb moisture from the filling and become perfectly delicious after a few days in the fridge.

Stella

Sep 23, 2011 ·  2:32 AM

I found your blog after a third failed attempt, even had the fancy thermometer for cooking the sugar.

Your directions are so easy to follow, I have now had two successful repeated attempts..even in rainy weather! Thanks so much!

 · LindaH · 

Sep 23, 2011 ·  7:21 AM

Hi Stella! First off, I would like to congratulate you for the amazing blog and for sharing all your expertise with all of us bakers who want to succeed on making macarons, after all, sometimes it’s a matter of honor
This week, before finding your 10 commandments, I decided to try my very first batch of macarons following the directions given in a book I got as a gift. I wasn’t successful. Today, I tried your technique but they didn’t change much from the first result. Could it be because I’m working with very reduced amounts (like 1 egg white, which is 1/5th of your recipe)? I used a scale and carefully scaled down all measurements. Please refer to this link if you would like to see my photos:
http://bit.ly/obiFSb
The very last one rehearsed a foot, but was hollow. The others didn’t have any feet at all and kind of wrinkled after about ten minutes baking.
I would very much appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks a bunch!
Looking forward to making successful macarons. I know I have come to the right place

 · Renata · testadoprovadoeaprovado.blogspot.com/

Sep 23, 2011 · 11:17 PM

@LindaH, I am so, so glad to hear it! Congratulations on your success.

@Renata, I’ve certainly known some people to make a half batch of my macarons with great success. But I do have to wonder if some of the macaron physics don’t break down at a certain point of subdividing. I think it would be hard to achieve macaronage with an extremely small batch, one or two folds and you’d be done! You might try doing a half batch sometime, to see how a bit larger of a batch turns out for you. At any rate, its not unusual to have your first several macaron attempts to fail, so try not to be discouraged. Keep me posted!

Stella

Sep 24, 2011 · 10:24 AM

Hi Stella! Greetings from Singapore!

Just want to say an UBER BIG THANK YOU for the recipe!! I have been experimenting the past weeks with different recipes online ( with italian meringue, with french meringue, with super aged egg white to fresh egg whites ) and guess what they have all been failures.

Yours is probably the first to work for me!!! Thank you so much! Only thing I want to check is that when I bake it at 150 degrees celsius and take it out around +/- 15-18 minutes, they are really hard. Like, really hard. They have lovely beeauuutiful round domes and feet though! I reckon they’d make awesome biscuits to go with coffee, but as a macaron it might break a teeth or two. :X

I’m using a convection oven, and I haven’t piped in the filling yet, or left it overnight to air. Is this normal?

 · Xander · 

Sep 24, 2011 ·  2:20 PM

@Xander, sounds like you have a hyper efficient oven! Perhaps bake them out a little sooner? I’m so glad you’ve had good success with my recipe, I hope you can tinker with the baking time to get future batches to turn out just right. You might try brushing the bottoms of the hard macarons with a little simple syrup, filling with buttercream, and refrigerating them for 36 hours. In this way, they moisture they absorb may soften them and compensate for their crunchy texture. Worth a shot to salvage pretty macarons!

Stella

Sep 24, 2011 ·  6:24 PM

Hi am loving your fab hints and tips I have made 2 batches of macarons and the only thing I am struggling with is getting the colour to hold and the macarons not to brown. I have good gel colours. Otherwise they are great. Do you have any idea where I am going wrong?

 · Sarah · 

Sep 25, 2011 ·  3:52 PM

your recipe is great and fail proof! How do I avoid getting little peaks in the domes when I pipe?

 · jon · 

Sep 25, 2011 ·  5:15 PM

@Sarah, are you using Wilton gel paste? Wilton is notorious for fading in the oven. Look at your local cake supply store, or online, for gel pastes that say “high heat resistant” or “no fade.”

@jon, peaks are a good indication that your macarons are slightly under mixed. Properly mixed macaron batter won’t be able to hold a peak longer than 20 or 30 seconds. Next batch, try mixing a few extra strokes. Good luck!

Stella

Sep 26, 2011 · 10:52 PM

Stella-you may have answered this already but I am in crisis… (in the middle of (trying) making macarons) so sorry!
SO what if you’ve whipped the egg whites and sugar to perfectly stiff peaks, and they were nice & dry-you measured all of your ingredients correctly and you’re mixing, mixing, mixing everything together and it refuses to come together-to the point where taking a spoonful out and dropping it back in REFUSES to come together? I’ve been mixing for about 20 minutes… The batter seems very stiff and will not incorporate. Do I have too much dry ingredients? Do I need to keep mixing for another 20 minutes? What do I do? PLEASE help!

 · Andrea · 

Sep 26, 2011 · 11:57 PM

@Andrea, oh no! A few diagnostic questions: did you make any changes to the recipe at all? ie, substituting any ingredients or making a half/double batch? Did you use a scale for measuring? If so, was it tared to zero before measuring each ingredient? I know these sound like a really silly, “are you sure your computer is plugged in?” sort of technical support questions, but I’ve gotta ask.

When a problem like this arises, it’s because there is a fundamental problem with the balance of the recipe. It’s just not physically possible for the mixture to remain that stiff after 20 minutes of mixing; extreme overmixing will always result in a liquid mess, eventually. A massive imbalance like you’re experiencing comes from either human error or equipment malfunction. It could be something as simple as doubling the recipe, but forgetting to double the whites (or halving the recipe and forgetting to halve a dry ingredient); it could be from converting weight to volume measure; it could be from a scale that’s improperly tared.

Those questions may help you pinpoint what went wrong, but if not just let me know the answers and I’ll keep helping you get to the bottom of it! Fingers crossed.

Stella

Sep 27, 2011 ·  9:44 AM

i make macarons with varied success. my first ever batch = perfection. i declared myself a macron master. 2nd batch = fail. 3rd batch= 1/2 & 1/2. booo.
so i was stoked when i found your recipe/instructions!
i got down to business last night & followed the directions to a T (although my Kitchenaid mixer doesn’t have a 7 speed- it goes 6, 8 )
buuut, bummer. my macarons were all kinds of cracked & footless.
i don’t know what i did.
i added a drop of gel food coloring & 1 tsp vanilla bean paste @ the end (like it says) & everything was looking pretty good. i piped them out onto Silpat & popped them right into the oven.
here’s a pictures of what i got: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6172/6188277423_89b64de08e_z.jpg

these are all from the same batch. the one on the left looks ok- it even has feet i think- but the rest were pretty dismal looking. they still taste god- so i slapped them together but yeah. fail fail fail.
cracked, a little hollow, no feet..help me oh great one!! i beg of thee!

p.s. all the other batches i’ve made were following the oh so complicated: aged egg whites,letting them sit out for 1+hours…etc etc.

p.p.s. i’m stalking you on twitter now. it’s not a crime if i inform you.

 · t.bird · blessthisfood.blogspot.com/

Sep 29, 2011 ·  8:02 AM

Hi Stella… I have been making macarons for some months now… I have tried the french as well as the Italian Meringue method and have been a able to achieve a fairly decent macaron using both methods.. Since I am a perfectionist, I still feel that I could improve my macarons. 1) My macaron shells turn out pretty soft and delicate instead of being a little crispy…so what should i do to correct this 2) when I take out my macaron from the fridge they look shiny and turn sticky on the surface as compared to some of the matt finish looking macarons I have had from pastry shops… where am I going wrong here 3) I want to know what should be the ideal size of a baked macaron 4) My macarons usually turn out with small feet with no frills. Is this acceptable? 5) My husband feels that my macarons are very sweet… can you help me with a recipe which has less sugar ….. Please help!

 · Arti  · 

Sep 29, 2011 · 10:01 PM

@t.bird, you’re definitely getting close!! The fact that you say they are from the same batch makes me think that your oven may be to blame, it may have a hot/cold spot that is making some of your macarons crack. You might try rotating your macarons halfway through. Alternately, it could be a rapping issue. Sometimes people rap their tray by just whacking it on the counter a few times. The macarons near the whacked edge will turn out nice! But the ones near your hands (which didn’t get hit on the counter) can crack. So try rotating your trays during rapping too, to make sure all the macarons get a solid whacking to dislodge excess air. Let me know if that helos!

@Arti, are you experiencing these problems with my recipe or with another recipe? I am not very good at troubleshooting macarons in general, I have only ever really made them with my particular recipe, so my advice isn’t always applicable to other methods. What recipe is giving you the sticky macarons? A quick answer to #5 would be to use more salt! It’s always dangerous in a recipe to adjust the sugar, especially in something like a macaron which relies on the sugar for structure.

Stella

Sep 30, 2011 ·  9:19 AM

I’ve made several batches of macarons (with several recipes) but I’ve now made two lots with your recipe and tips, and they’re pretty successful!

Last time I had two trays which cracked (just a little around the edges) and one perfect but they kept their colour all over and perfectly cooked in the middle. This time they’re still well cooked, but they browned a little bit in the oven and a few cracked.

Still, once they’re filled with buttercream it doesn’t matter a bit, and the people I make them for don’t notice the imperfections anyway!

I’ll keep trying to achieve that “perfect” macaron, but I’m not desperate to – they all taste the same no matter what!

Thanks, Stella, for the great recipe and blog.

 · Ellie · 

Sep 30, 2011 · 10:28 AM

i wacked the sheet like 4 times (rotating after each wack). my husband kept glaring at me- but i ignored him in the pursuit of perfect macarons.

but i do suspect my oven is evil- it’s propane & it’s pretty aggressive. i think i’ll grab a temp thingy & give it another go…and rotate. genius.

gracias!

 · t.bird · blessthisfood.blogspot.com/

Sep 30, 2011 · 11:24 PM

@Ellie, I’m so glad to hear of your success! You might try rotating your macarons halfway through- it may be your oven’s heat is uneven. But your attitude is perfect, macarons are for eating, not for looking!! Thanks for stopping by!

@t.bird, no problem, I hope you can find a solution! let me know how they turn out next time.

Stella

Oct 02, 2011 ·  5:46 PM

Hi Stella, I really want to thank you for your wonderful site and recipe Thanks to you, I’ve finally managed to make a few perfect batches of macarons!

I have a few issues though that I was hoping you could shed some light on!

(1) Amount of powdered sugar – when I tried making your chocolate macaron recipe, and replacing 1oz of powdered sugar with 1oz of cocoa powder, my macarons cracked and many of them were footless. I admit I may have added a little more than 1oz of cocoa powder…do you think that was the problem? I’m afraid to try new flavors in fear of upsetting the seemingly delicate balance of macaron ingredients, so any advice on how to keep this balance would be greatly appreciated

(2) Color – I use Wilton’s gel food colors, but my colors never turn out very well. I usually add about 10-12 drops (afraid to add more—but should I be?) and get a nice pastel color in the meringue, but once the macaron shells go into the oven the colors never turn out! How do you get your macarons to have such beautiful colors?

(3) Drying after piping – it seems that without this step to allow a skin to form, my macarons won’t turn out right (cracked, footless). What do you think could be the problem?

I would really love to hear your thoughts! Thank you Stella!

 · Amanda · 

Oct 04, 2011 · 11:40 AM

Hi, Thanks for your recipe.

I made two batches of Macs and have no problem getting the feet, its just that at 160 Celcius i baked for approx 25 min, the top is browning however the underneath is undercooked (Shell seperates from the bottom).

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

 · Elijah · 

Oct 06, 2011 ·  3:31 AM

Hi Stella, so i found your post very refreshing and made them when i got back home.

Annoyingly two batches both failed. They came out floppy, no feet, etc. I did however save a couple and set them aside them to rest for about 2 hrs and these came out like what macarons should look like – feet and all. What gives? The whole aging on the whites is a time saver though i must admit.

 · piracer · 

Oct 06, 2011 ·  7:25 PM

Hi Stella-
I was wondering if you can provide any advice on baking macarons from your recipe in a gas oven? I’ve seen another recipe that advises to go to 325 degrees for non-convection ovens. I only have a turkey thermometer, should I try putting that in the oven to test the temperature? THANKS!

 · Annie · 

Oct 06, 2011 ·  8:29 PM

@Amanda, congratulations on having a few successful batches under your belt/in your tummy now! When first getting used to macarons, it’s pretty normal to have cracked batches here and there, so I can’t say for sure the cocoa is throwing you off. Until you get really accustomed to macaronage, cracked batches will still pop up from time to time. But having said that, I find that cocoa powder seems to make the batter a little thicker than plain, and so often people undermix chocolate macarons; because of the batters thickness, it is difficult to judge the right amount of macaronage. So it may simply be an undermixed batch.

In regards to the color, I’ve found Wilton colors to be fairly horrible with macarons- they discolor in the oven very often. I use professional high-heat colors I buy through the restaurant. But you can find some online too, just search for “heat resistant’ or “high heat” food dye.

Finally, I don’t ever dry my macarons, so I am a firm believer that you can make perfect macarons without this step. I have found that overmixed macarons will improve from drying for about 15-20 minutes. But that is the only instance in which I’ve noticed an improvement. If you constantly feel that, while using my recipe, your macarons turn out better after resting, it may be you have a tendency to over-mix.

@Elijah, your top heating element may be running a little hot. Try baking your macarons on the middle rack, with an empty sheet pan placed on the top rack to act as a shield. See if this helps protect your macarons so they can cook fully without browning.

@piracer, as I said with Amanda just now, with my recipe, drying can help save a batch of slightly overmixed macarons. As someone who uses this recipe all the time without drying, I know that the key to feet is technique, not drying. But since you’ve noticed an improvement in yours with drying, it may be that you tend toward the overmixed side of macaronage. Next time, try giving it a little less mixing than your normally might. If you’re not using my recipe, though, then ignore all that. Some recipes are designed to dry, so of course skipping that step with those recipes would be disastrous.

@Annie, I don’t have any particular advice. I’ve heard from lots of people baking in convection, electric and gas and the most important thing is to know your oven since it’s the biggest variable between everyone. I’ve made my recipe in the gas oven at our restaurant (I have a convection oven in the basement for pastries and a gas oven upstairs for savory) with success at 300, but it had some hot patches and I needed to rotate the macaron trays halfway through. I can only say, give it a go and see how it works out for you!

Stella

Oct 08, 2011 · 11:41 PM

Hi, may i ask what is ur meaning of 300’ oven? is it 300’F? or 300’C

 · Bernard · 

Oct 09, 2011 ·  1:25 AM

@Bernard, ha! That’s my American bias showing through. Apologies for the confusion. It’s 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stella

Oct 09, 2011 ·  1:40 PM

great blog!!!really looking forward for this tips….going to make one tomorrow…my first batch come out worse…my second try still a bad looking one…the third one has a hole inside after the baking…is the parchment paper is compulsory?

 · siti · 

Oct 09, 2011 · 11:26 PM

@Siti, I can’t imagine not using parchment, unless you had a silpat mat. Otherwise the macarons may stick to the cookie sheet and be very difficult to remove. I hope you can find success!

Stella

Oct 11, 2011 ·  1:42 PM

I cannt get strong collers.
Please tell me how to do it, and how can a get the intense black.
Tks for all fantastic advise.

 · Teresa · 

Oct 15, 2011 ·  7:06 PM

Hi Stella – could you confirm which model KitchenAid mixer that you use to make your batches? How many watts of power does it have? Just wondering if a mixer that has 250-300 watts is enough power.
THANKS!

 · Annie · 

Oct 15, 2011 ·  9:06 PM

@Annie, I’m home from work right now so I’m not totally for sure. I’ll check on Monday and let you know; it a professional KA, so it’s the highest wattage. I’m not sure how big of a difference that would make, but I suppose it is a variable to bear in mind. I’ll look into it. Thanks for asking.

Stella

Oct 15, 2011 · 10:32 PM

you are a complete idiot. you cannot just place the piped macarons into the oven. you have to let them sit for two hours so that they dry out. and it has to be 350 degrees to cook. you place the first tray of macarons on the top for seven minutes and then you rotate and put them on the bottom for seven minutes as you place the second rung on the top row simultaneously. and continue until finished. and you do need CREAM OF TARTAR.
do not listen to this recipe. these are fake macarons. je suis francaise. i would know

 · parisdubois · 

Oct 16, 2011 ·  8:09 AM

@parisdubois Wow. Troll much? Go back to 4chan please.

Stella, don’t even bother answering this guy! It’s so obvious he’s trying to stir up some silly drama. You already answered most of the things he said in your myths post anyway.

 · kazb0t · 

Oct 16, 2011 · 11:16 AM

@parisdubois, lolz dude. Enjoy your fantasy world.

@kazb0t, haha, thanks for the support.

Stella

Oct 16, 2011 · 10:08 PM

Hi Stella I loved reading all your advice on making macaroons. I live in Holland, I love macaroons and would like to start a business in Holland making them. I went on a two day course in England. It was great. The macaroons turned out super. Now back in Holland most of them have ended in the bin. I am sure the main problem is my oven. But before I buy a new one I want to be sure which one. I am thinking of buying a professional oven. Can you advice me on which one? or what qualities to look for. Maybe there is some one who reads your blog in Holland or Belgium who has a oven that works well. Thank you so much. Jen

 · Jen · 

Oct 19, 2011 · 10:28 AM

@Jen, well, you’re off to a great start, European ovens are the best! But, if you’re looking to start a businesses, you by all means need to invest in a professional oven. It’s hard to get consistently professional results without professional equipment. I always encourage anyone to whip up a batch of macarons, but in order to sell them, they have to be flawless so you’ll need the best equipment to start. I don’t have any particular brand I favor, try calling or visiting bakeries you love and asking them what they use. More important than finding a great oven is finding a great oven with a great warranty. If something goes wrong, you need a repair technician in town that you can trust and rely on to help you when things go wrong. Good luck!

Stella

Oct 21, 2011 ·  5:17 PM

Hi Stella, any word on the kitchenaid mixer model and how muc h wattage it has?

 · Annie · 

Oct 22, 2011 ·  7:50 PM

@Annie, it’s this one here. 575 watts.

Stella

Oct 24, 2011 · 10:49 PM

Hi Stella! Long time lurker, first time commenter so last week I finally decided to try my hand at macarons and I got ehh results. After making them, I’m 99% positive my oven temperature isn’t correct so an oven thermometer is on my shopping list and my macaronage technique needs work, but I have a question. I’ve searched all around but haven’t seemed to find an answer. How soon after putting them in the oven do they get their feet? Is it something that happens right away? Mine had no feet at all lol but they were delicious regardless! My coworkers and I ate them all (and they didn’t even notice they were foot-less!)

 · Jenn · 

Oct 25, 2011 · 11:21 AM

@Jenn, Oh, I certainly haven’t timed it, but I’d say mine usually have feet by 7 or 8 minutes into baking. I’ll keep an eye out today and see if I can find out when exactly they puff up.

Stella

Oct 25, 2011 ·  5:00 PM

Im concerned that my egg whites dont get stiff enough. Could it be because im using a (rather cheap) hand mixer and not a stand mixer? Ive beat them on various levels of medium and high for 8-10 minutes. I can turn the bowl upside down and they wont move, I even turn my mixer upside down and the peaks stand up, but the meringue is never as fluffy looking as what I see depicted as ‘stiff peaks’. I usually stop around 10 minutes though, bc i dont want to over beat them. Could a thinner, but still firm meringue be a problem for macarons? Should I continue to beat them longer? Advice please!

 · Ashley B. · 

Oct 25, 2011 ·  9:15 PM

@Ashley, having only ever made this on my own mixer, it’s hard to say. But that they meringue won’t budge from the bowl is a good sign. But I think you’re still safe to beat them longer; if I beat them for 9 minutes on a powerful pro-series Kitchen Aid without overbeating, a few extra minutes on a lower intensity shouldn’t hurt anything. I’ve found underwhipped meringue to be a huge cause for macaron failure though, at least in my specific recipe.

Stella

Oct 30, 2011 ·  3:19 AM

Tried your recipe for the first time tonight and was very optimistic when I put them in the oven. But once in the oven, they spread and cracked without mercy. My oven thermometer was running a little high, but the difference was under 25 degrees (I think the actual temp was 310-315). Aside from dropping the temperature, do you have any other suggestions? I can’t tell from your other comments whether it is more likely that I overmixed it or undermixed. Thanks!

 · Keith · meadowparty.com/blog/

Oct 30, 2011 · 11:21 AM

Hi Stella

Thank you for the recipe. I’ve been trying it with some (albeit limited) success. Sorry for the wall of text here, but I hope you can solve my predicament before I commit seppuku or /wrist. The ignominy of a cracked macaron without feet is too much to bear!

For reference, I am using a VERY old oven that came with my apartment (I’d stab a guess and say it’s 10-20 years old) – heater’s at the bottom and there’s a fan.

First batch, I used pistachio meal and I think I got it just right. However, my oven was too hot and all (save 2) of the macarons cracked. First attempt:
a) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/05.jpg
b) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/06.jpg

I pulled this batch out 7-8 mins into baking. The texture was just right – delicate shell, tender and moist inside. But obviously, the shell cracked and some of them actually browned a little. Also, some of them were actually hollow (those 2 with perfect shells were hollow) – I attributed this to me pulling them off the baking paper before it was ready. Despite the less than pleasing exterior, they were all still edible (and tasty at that!).

Bought an oven thermometer online, but decided to try a second attempt before it arrived because I thought it may have been the fan that cracked the shells instead of the oven being too hot. This time round, I used almond meal and added 30g of Dutch Processed Cocoa without reducing the icing sugar. I’m sure I folded it the same way, but it was too runny. I baked it for 18 mins at 300F without the fan. It obviously wasn’t 300F because they came out like cookies – no feet, flat and crunchy. I forgot to take photos before I (literally) defenestrated them.

Third attempt was after my oven thermometer arrived. I added 30g of cocoa powder in place of 30g of icing sugar. After fiddling with the knob, I finally got the oven thermometer, which I hung on the front of the middle tray, to read 300F. The fan was on. I put a tray in the middle rack and one in the top rack. I was forced to pull them out after ~13-14 mins because they started cracking. Results are as follows:

Middle Rack:
c) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/01.jpg
d) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/02.jpg

No feet, crumbling top, very dry, and flat & crunchy like cookies.

The top rack seemed to fare a little better:
e) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/03.jpg
f) http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l262/drayke9/04.jpg

Notwithstanding the cracks, it looked prettier, had very small feet, but was still dry and crunchy.

Since I had some leftover batter, I decided to experiment. I baked using different temperatures (ranging from 250F to 350F), with different times, using different rack positions, but they mostly turned out like pic “c” of the middle rack. None of them lasted a full 18 mins in the oven, had feet or smooth shells.

While I am inclined to think that my oven has pockets of heat and that is the root cause of my sleepless nights, I am beginning to think I share part of the blame. I’m guessing maybe my macaronage needs work?

Am I doing something wrong? Please help…

 · Ray · 

Oct 31, 2011 · 12:55 AM

Hi Stella!I commented when i got the perfect looking macarons from your step by step recipe and i was very proud of it.. But I try to make them again , six or so times,never get the same results anymore. they dont have feet and they crack, almost every single time. in between the trials, i tried to record all the steps making sure of everything but still dont know whats is wrong. Maybe the first batch i got the perfect macarons are out of pure luck. Plz help can u tell me what Im doing wrong?
pic:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a273/sexygurlz/2011-10-31112812.jpg

thanks alot

 · Ne · 

Nov 02, 2011 · 11:42 AM

Yes! I just made these for my blog, Bad Mama Genny style, and linked here for the recipe.

Mine are Glitter Macarons!

But I didn’t use a mixer and the hilarity that ensued produced the following post:

“Punk Glitter Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream, or, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Mixing Meringue and Xanax But Were Too Afraid to Ask”

http://www.badmamagenny.com/2011/11/02/punk-glitter-macarons-with-dark-chocolate-buttercream-or-everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-mixing-meringue-and-xanax-but-were-too-afraid-to-ask/#axzz1cUZHA6IS

Thanks for the tips—you have me hooked!

Bad Mama Genny

 · Bad Mama Genny · www.badmamagenny.com

Nov 02, 2011 ·  2:15 PM

thank you for recipe merci

 · javan · 

Nov 05, 2011 · 11:08 PM

Sorry everyone for the delayed response! I’ve been out of town for the last two weeks and not keeping up here as faithfully as I should!

@Keith, generally, spread indicates overmixing. Macarons that are mixed just right will only spread a little bit. Good luck!

@Ray, Congrats on getting so many batches under your belt! That you’ve been playing around with oven temperature and experimenting is a great thing; I always make the “making macarons is like perfecting your jump shot” analogy. Even when you do everything you’re told, it takes a few tries on the court to get them because macarons are more about mastering a skill (macaronage & meringue) than following rules (aged whites, etc). That being said, I try to demystify macarons as much as possible here on the blog, so people can focus on what they’re doing right or wrong, rather than having their circumstances sabotage them. All of that to say, it seems your macarons may have a touch of Goldilocks syndrome (oven too hot, too cold, mixed too much, not enough) but the proto-feet in the last photo seems to indicate you are starting to get the hang of it.

I also think chocolate macarons are a bit trickier than plain; the cocoa can sometimes create a sense of thickness in the batter that can screw with your perception of how well mixed the macarons truly are. Maybe focus on vanilla or a more simple flavor for a few more batches until you really get the knack for it, and only experiment with one variable at a time (oven temp, etc) that way when something goes right you’ll know why, instead of having to face a myriad of explanations. Good luck!

@Ne, if I had to guess, I would say it’s a combination of slight undermixing and too hot an oven. The macarons in your photo are slightly browned, even in the middle of the tray, so that’s showing a pretty strong heat. They may also be undermixed a little, but that’s harder to tell just from the photo. Next batch, bring your oven temperature down 25 degrees or so and see if that improves your results.

@Bad Mama Genny, OMG you are such a hero!!! Macarons and no mixer? Yeah, I’d reach for some xanax too1 Congrats, though they are crazy cute. You must have arms of steel now too. Lemme know when Nicarons™ hit the market.

@javan, you are welcome!

Stella

Nov 06, 2011 ·  5:44 PM

Hey Stella! I read your post and it inspired me to make me some Macarons because I had never made em before! But I was saddened by the first 4 batches because they just failed completely. They were flat, bubbly and utterly feetless. I finally caved and aged my egg whites and dried my shells, and they worked! However, I also correctly measured my ingredients this time and I think that might have had a factor. I think next time, I’ll make a batch without drying or aging and I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for the awesome post and the confidence boosters from your macarons myths!

 · Lisa Mai · alimentageuse.blogspot.com/2011/11/french-macarons.html

Nov 07, 2011 · 12:45 PM

My macs often start out in the oven looking great, I see a foot developing, and then one side blows out, and the foot spreads out all around the base. It is like it cannot structurally support it’s own weight as it is baking. Any tips?

 · Tasha · www.kickasscakes.ca

Nov 07, 2011 ·  2:34 PM

I’ve ordered all the items that you can not help but step by step, do not close your curtains

 · javan · 

Nov 07, 2011 ·  6:54 PM

Hello Stella,
First, thank you for such a great input about making macarons! I have made few times with success and very few came out not so good looking, but I am going to try your method as it is way easier than all those steps. I have a question though, not sure if it was already answered as there are so many posts here, but I was wondering if I use the egg whites that you buy at the store in cartons will work… I never know what to do with the yolks and they end up in the garbage… just wondering…
Thanks again!

 · Arissa · 

Nov 07, 2011 · 10:25 PM

@Lisa Mai, did something prevent you from measuring correctly? That would certainly have a dramatic effect on your outcome. But congratulations on having a successful batch, I’m sure you were a proud macaron mama!

@Tasha, that is often the result of properly mixed macarons baked in too hot an oven. If the oven is way too hot they’ll just crack and brown, but when an oven is just a bit too hot, the feet squish out the sides like that. This can also happen if you are experimenting with acidic flavors like lemon or pineapple.

@javan, hmmm….I fear something has been lost in translation. I don’t understand. I’m sorry!

@Arissa, I haven’t used store bought whites before, but my friend has and she says it’s worked wonderfully for her. As for the yolks, ice cream is always a good option. Also, my Fauxreo recipe uses a lot of yolks too. Happy baking!

Stella

Nov 11, 2011 ·  7:16 PM

help! I love reading your blog and was super excited to try making macarons for the first time, but they were a complete disaster! I followed your recipe word for word but everything that could go wrong did go wrong! They were: cracked, hollow, crispy, dry, and footless. They puffed up a bit in the oven but then all deflated. When I was mixing the batter, it seemed “molten”, but then by the time I got it in the piping bag, they seemed over-mixed, flowing out the tip of the bag. Do you think that was the problem, or do you think I also overwhipped my egg whites, since they puffed up and then deflated?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I have all this almond flour and no good macarons to show for it!

 · Diana · 

Nov 12, 2011 ·  8:52 PM

Hi Stella!
Made these today in the bakery I work at (for fun!), using the kitchens’ oven instead of our convection oven in the bakery upstairs. The macaron batter seemed well mixed in the bowl (still slightly stiff, but not firm), but oozed out the piping bag when filled. When piped, the macarons held peaks for as long as it took to pipe the sheet pan, but then mostly dissolved. (Some needed a little smoothing) Upon cooking, the macarons browned at the edges and every single one had cracked by about 8 minutes into cooking, no feet. I’m thinking the oven must have been hot — I’ve never cooked in this oven, but wanted to use an oven I could replicate results with at home. Also, I only got one sheet pan’s worth of macarons… How does a thicker macaron effect baking/feet forming/structure?

Anyways, I plan on giving it another several go’s, but wanted to compliment you on and absolutely AMAZING tasting recipe. I used vanilla bean paste instead of a fresh bean/extract, and these were delicious. My coworker was constantly sneaking tastes of the raw batter and gushing over it!

Thanks for a great blog!

 · Sarah · 

Nov 12, 2011 ·  9:02 PM

@Diana, macarons are definitely a bit like riding a bike in that it can take some practice before things go exactly as planned. I have very rarely seen overwhipped whites (adding the sugar in the beginning as I do makes that a little more difficult), so I doubt that’s your problem. It could be that they were overmixed, as you describe them flowing out the bag. Enjoy eating your failures and have at another round, trying to go “under” a bit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing until you find the Goldilocks zone. I wish there were a magic bullet, but macarons can take a bit of practice to master.

@Sarah, that your macarons browned in just 8 minutes is a sure sign that the oven was too hot. Can you rustle up an oven thermometer to try and gauge the heat inside? Otherwise, they may have been on the slightly undermixed side of the equation since they held peaks so long; but it’s hard to say. A screaming hot oven will ruin them no matter what. Next time, crank your oven down maybe 50 degrees (or more!) and bake them a bit cooler.

When I make my macarons on the slightly side, they only take up a 1 restaurant sized sheet pan (and yield more like 30 than 40), so you’re on track there. When I go smaller, it’s about a sheet pan and a half because of my spacing.

Stella

Nov 13, 2011 ·  2:00 AM

Hi, I thought I posted a question, and then I guess i forgot to press submit button or something. Anyway, how can u make macaron perfect round when not using silpat? Do u hav photos of macaron taken directly above? thank you , from alba, nz.

 · Alba · 

Nov 13, 2011 · 11:13 AM

@Alba, haha, you did! Just posted in my 10 Commandments article, not the recipe. I answered your question over there, but when I have a second, I’ll repost it here too. I’m on my phone now, hard to type!

Stella

Nov 15, 2011 ·  1:50 PM

Hi Stella,
Love this site! I’ve been making macaron for a while and have been experimenting with flavors. I have a question for you regarding using freeze dried fruit. I tried this several times in the past using strawberries, and pineapple. The strawberry came out ok, a little soft, but presentable. The pineapple, tasted fantastic, but was a horrible mess. I used about 4 tablespoons ground freeze dried fruit and added it to my almond and sugar mixture. What do you think went wrong. Do you think I need to cook them longer? Please help!!

 · texastastebuds · 

Nov 16, 2011 ·  7:41 PM

@texastastebuds, As I grind my freeze dried fruits up with my dry ingredients, I’m not sure how 4 Tbsp would translate as a weight. My experience with the pineapple is that it causes the macarons to be a little flat with squished out feet. Normally, you only see weird feel like that with a super hot oven, but the pineapple ones often look weird. As you say, they’re delicious thought! We took a photo of some recently, because I love how they taste so much I’m willing to forgive their strange appearance; I’ll post it soon. Were yours just strange looking, or did something else go wrong?

Stella

Nov 18, 2011 ·  8:15 PM

It usually takes me around 30 minutes to sift my almond flour. The almond flour clogs the sifter. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for any sifters or strainers to help this process go faster and more smoothly. Thanks!

 · Andy · 

Nov 19, 2011 · 12:36 AM

I have just made macarons for the first time ever using your method – my macarons look perfect!!! The only thing I did differently was use a hand mixer (as I don’t own a stand mixer). I beat it on the lowest setting for 3 minutes, the medium setting for 2 minutes, the second to higest setting for 2 minutes (then added vanilla and food colouring) and mixed on highest speed for 1 minute. So happy!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

 · Gells · 

Nov 19, 2011 · 11:54 AM

@Andy, it definitely takes a few minutes to sift up the almond flour, but 30 minutes is excessive. I wonder if your sieve is too finely meshed. When I sift the flour through the sieve, I use a whisk to help move/press the mixture through. Sometimes I also use my hands to “rub” the dry ingredients through. I’ve heard some people say that’s a no-no, but it hasn’t give me any problems. So, if you’re not already, try actively pushing the mixture through with your hands/whisk/spatula. If you’re already doing that and it still is taking you that long, I’d say either your food processor isn’t grinding the almonds finely enough and/or your sieve is too fine. I use a sieve I bought at the grocery store for $5. You’ll just have to visually compare yours to a future purchase to see how the meshing looks. Hope that helps!

@Gells, I am so thrilled to hear about your success, but I’m even more appreciative that you passed on your tips for using a hand mixer! I’ve never made macarons that way and people often ask what mixer settings to use for it, but I just didn’t know. Now I will refer them to your post! Thanks so much!

Stella

Nov 21, 2011 · 11:39 AM

Tried my first batch ever yesterday with my 13-year old daughter. I underbaked a few of them, and, in general, got no feet, but they were delicious, and we’ll have to try again. Your Swiss buttercream (milk chocolate…for my wife, could be no other) recipe was delicious, but didn’t read carefully enough and realize how big the batch was…so we’ll be spreading buttercream on everything for the next several days. How can that be bad?

 · DaveRef · 

Nov 22, 2011 · 12:26 PM

@DaveRef, haha. Nice! Well, the buttercream freezes beautifully. So portion it into Ziplock freezer bags (maybe 10 ounces bag), label ‘em and toss ‘em in the freezer. Pull out one next time you make macarons or cupcakes and you’ll be set! Congratulations for involving your daughter in the kitchen, I know you’re building beautiful memories with her.

Stella

Nov 24, 2011 ·  3:59 PM

okay so I need serious help… First time try total failure… learnt alot did a ton of no nos so I wasn’t too upset with that one. Second time I used a Martha Stewart recipe using measuring cups..much to my suprise/joy/excitment which all lead to alot of bragging they turned out perfectly! a few days later I tried them again exactly the same way…possibly may have used too much egg and food coloring…but they turned out terrible little deflated blobs (my husband still wouldn’t let me throw them out tho) so the next day I tried your recipe… now I bought a scale I have suspicions however, that it isn’t very accurate..and it is terribly hard to read… anyways they looked like they were working until the very end…they had no feet and a huge air buble in between the top and the bottom almost forming a “skin” on the top of the cookie…with some crackles through the top…I wasn’t going to let that stop me though..so I went back to the original Martha stewart recipe that had worked and retried the same night…My macaronage looked perfect and everything was going great I put the first tray in the oven and to my absolute delight they worked!(one or two cracked possibly because of uneven heat…but they worked!!) I put the second tray in after the first had finnished cooking and when I went back to take them out they didn’t look at all the same. The second tray had next to no feet..one or two had tiny tiny feet…and the tops looked like crackle cookies… dome shaped and covered in cracks. Does this have to do with my oven heat? Help Help Help! (unfortunately I only took pictures of the good batch on my second try)
By the way I have been reading this blog/site daily!! I LOVE IT!!

 · katrinar · 

Nov 25, 2011 · 12:38 PM

@katrinar, you’re on a serious macaron mission! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. As a quick note, you can calibrate your scale by weighing a stick of butter (wrapper removed); it should weigh 4 ounces. If it’s off by more than a half ounce, one way or the other, then your scale is indeed faulty. A little fluctuation is natural (butter doesn’t come in exactly four ounces down to the gram, but close enough to calibrate) but if it’s way off base, you have a problem.

But, getting down to the macarons themselves, my first piece of advice to you would be to go for consistency. It doesn’t matter if you use my recipe or Martha’s, but learning how to make macarons is a skill that takes practice. You have to have practice to gain the experience you need to judge macaronage for yourself. But by jumping around between recipes, even between flavors & colors too, you essentially put yourself back to square one every time, because every recipe has a) different ratios of ingredients and thus b) a different strategy.

My recipe, for example, plays by a different set of rules than many macaron recipes, so anything you “learn” making mine won’t help you with Martha’s, and vice versa. On top of that, each time you add color or a new flavoring agent, you change the dynamic of the recipe. Once you really understand macarons, that’s no big deal. If you just care about eating them, it’s no big deal. But if you truly want to get them, understand what’s going on, you need to eliminate as many variables as possible. To keep from getting bored, vary your buttercream flavors and colors, play with ganache and fruit fillings, etc. A simple, vanilla macaron is a great canvas for a lot of flavors.

You may indeed have some oven heating issues if one tray came out grand and the second was iffy. Your oven may be slow to reheat, so when you opened the oven door to remove the 1st batch, then opened it again to put in the 2nd, your oven temperature dropped and by the time it recovered, your macarons had suffered. Next time, maybe give your oven ten or twenty minutes between trays to let the heat stabilize.

Lastly, to speak to the bubble issue you brought up, is to keep in mind the purpose of macaronage is to strategically deflate the meringue. People often undermix because they’re so used to gently folding meringue into cake batter or souffle mix, etc. But in macarons, you want o remove the bulk of the air; too much air in the mix will cause a big pocket of air to form, or the macarons will crack as all that excess air tries to escape.

Tons of info there, but honestly the most important part is consistency. Pick a recipe, pick a flavor and stick to it until you master ‘em.

Stella

Nov 27, 2011 ·  5:31 AM

Hi Stella,

i have tried many recipe and they turn out the same. i am wondering what has gone wrong. the macaroons always turn out to be coarse and brown on the surface of the shell. and there was no feets.

after researching, i thought it was because of the temperature that was set too high. however, even lowering the temperature, the macaroon turn out the same and th e worst part is its not cooked in the inside.

i really need some help here.. could you kindly provide your advise by replying me through my email? Thanks!!
ho_sengmin@hotmail.com
hope to hear from you soon!

 · minmin · 

Nov 29, 2011 ·  7:02 PM

Hey Stella
I used peanut butter in place of the nuts and it worked beautifully. Not sure if this is viewed as macaron sacrilige or if its been done before…just thought i’d tell you don’t have any pics tho cause everyone ate them before they could be filled!

 · jess · 

Nov 29, 2011 ·  7:19 PM

@jess, not even remotely sacrilegious, I do it all the time (grape jelly mixed in with buttercream for filling!). Congrats on your successful batch, that’s awesome!!

Stella

Dec 03, 2011 ·  6:41 AM

Hi there Stella! Is there a recipe where I can make macaroons in small batches? Cause I have failed so many times till I wanna try to make small batches at a time. Thanks!

 · Sylvia · 

Dec 03, 2011 · 12:22 PM

@Sylvia, you can cut this recipe in half if you like! Unfortunately, with macarons, if you make the batch too small macaronage becomes a strange beast. So I don’t recommend making them in anything smaller than a half batch. Hope that helps!

Stella

Dec 03, 2011 · 10:22 PM

FEET?! I’m on my 4th batch and have only had one cookie (not one batch) with the tiniest little foot. I think I’ve been under mixing and not deflating the meringue enough because I’m getting a lot of cracking. If you get a chance, a pic of the batter at “lava” stage and maybe a shot of the cookies on the pan would be great to get a sense of what I am shooting for on these little guys. I’m also experimenting with the oven temp… wish me luck!

 · Christine · 

Dec 07, 2011 ·  8:23 PM

Hi Stella!

Thanks for the very much needed steps on macaron(age)! It FINALLY came together in my 3rd batch and it’s true…you gotta get a few under your belt to know what is what (I was over-doing my batter in the macaronage – pancake batter).

Question for you…can you make a big batch of the batter and keep it to use the next day or two?

Thanks again!

 · naomi · 

Dec 07, 2011 · 10:27 PM

@naomi, so glad you’ve finally got the hang of it! Unfortunately, due to the delicate nature of the air bubbles trapped in macaron batter, they have to be baked right away and won’t hold in the fridge. Bummer, huh?

Stella

Dec 08, 2011 ·  7:35 AM

Hi Stella,

Your recipe and BraveTart are awesome! The instructions that you give are so clear and easy to follow, which is awesome for me since the next hardest thing I have ever made are chocolate cookies.
I have made a couple of batches of macarons following your recipe, I think that I have made my mixture reasonable well. I beat the egg whites for a good 10 minutes to get the stiffness and take good care when folding in the dry ingredients. However when the batches go to bake, the trouble begins. I set my convection oven at 150 degrees and pop the maracons in for the good part of 20 minutes. They puff up well but do not develop feet and when they come out of the oven they start to concave in and shrivel going quite flat. However they do come off cleanly from the baking paper after they cools down a bit. They are crispy but not having feet and going flat is making them look real sad. Do you have any hints for me? Could it be my oven? Oh, and yet again thanks for the recipe!

 · Herman · 

Dec 08, 2011 · 10:31 AM

@Herman, so glad you jumped into macarons feet first! Even if there are no feet…yet. I am suspicious that perhaps your oven is running a little cool. With your next batch, set your oven to 165 to see if they just need a little more heat. Please let me know how they turn out. Fingers crossed!

Stella

Dec 08, 2011 ·  7:42 PM

Hi Stella,

Thanks for replying! This time around, I piped them into four different pans and baked them all at different temperatures at 150, 160, 170 and 180 (all Celsius). Sadly the result is the same. I have uploaded some of my photos here: http://nine510.com/macarons/index.html
Please help me with it, I really want to make them and my fridge is running out of space for the macaron-turned-cookies. I am so sad that they keep on collapsing. Maybe I am not beating the eggs properly?

 · Herman · 

Dec 09, 2011 · 12:17 PM

@Herman, I have never made macarons with a hand mixer, so I am not quite sure how that may or may not influence the outcome. But it’s easy to imagine that a handmixer has a significantly smaller “horse power” to its motor and it may require significantly more beating. One of my commentors has left some tips about her experience using a hand mixer to make macarons; just search the recipe page itself and see what pointers she had. I think they may just require more beating.

Stella

Dec 09, 2011 ·  1:39 PM

My daughter and I have been making macarons all fall with growing consistency in success using your recipe. The first time we made them for a baby shower and they turned out beautifully. The best compliment came from a guest who was french who thought they were delicious and couldn’t believe we had made them ourselves! It does seem that we have to let them sit out for a while before baking to get the feet and no cracks on top. We are making alot for Christmas gifts and wanted to make ahead and freeze the shells. Have you ever done this? Any advise on freezing them?

 · Janet · 

Dec 10, 2011 · 12:59 PM

@Janet, that’s so awesome, thanks for sharing your story with me! Congrats on learning the zen of macarons! I may not rest mine, but if it works for you I won’t argue! The most important thing about making macarons is learning, about yourself (your techniques), your ingredients, your equipment. And that’s just what you’re doing; perfect!

I haven’t ever frozen any before; I put some in the freezer as a test batch, but one of my coworkers threw them away. Argh! I’ll report back when I know more.

Stella

Dec 12, 2011 · 12:26 PM

Hihi Stella,

Omg your macarons looks so pretty and delicious!! Came across your website while googling for solutions to my failed macaron missions for xmas and sincerely hope that you could help.

I’ve made 4 batches so far and other than the second batch, the rest of the batches all failed. The batter that i had was lava-like and could be piped nicely onto the baking sheets. But the horrors came mins after i put them into the oven. They just start ballooning up and crack with no feet at all… I’ve attached a picture and really hope that you could help.

ps. pardon the weird shape, i was trying to make a heart shape macaron for my family. And the end product literally describes my feelings – broken hearted.

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r140/nitepolaris/002.jpg

Thank you so much!!!

 · lyra · 

Dec 12, 2011 ·  1:31 PM

Hi Stella, how do you reduce the champagne for the champagne and roses macaroons?

I’m going to be trying these soon and may well need your help!

 · Emily · 

Dec 12, 2011 · 10:28 PM

@Emily, it couldn’t be easier: put the champagne into a sauce pot over medium low heat. Simmer until it’s reduced to the amount instructed in the recipe. Done!

Stella

Dec 15, 2011 · 12:56 PM

I am (ever so cautiously) venturing into the world of macaron-concocting this weekend, and I’m beyond relieved to have found your blog today. I was going ballistic over ageing eggs and this that and the other. Wish me luck!!!

xoxo

 · Sheela · 

Dec 15, 2011 ·  6:31 PM

@Sheela, good luck! I hope some of my posts have calmed your fears. Just remember, no matter what you will have delicious macarons to snack on!!

Stella

Dec 15, 2011 ·  8:02 PM

hi stella,
should i say i am happy today? i am the HAPPIEST after looking at your macarons and making them just like (well almost like) you thanks a million a million times. YEAH i finally made them.

 · sandhya · 

Dec 16, 2011 · 10:47 AM

@sandhya, congratulations, congratulations! I’m so happy to hear about your success! Thanks for coming by to share. Enjoy your holiday macarons!

Stella

Dec 17, 2011 ·  3:22 AM

Hello Stella!

Do you happen to have a lemon variation of these macarons? Thanks!

 · Karyna · 

Dec 17, 2011 ·  4:25 PM

@Karyna, I sure do! Just blitz the almonds and powdered sugar with the zest of one lemon. You can add about a 1/2 teaspoons of lemon extract in at the end too, but this can exacerbate cracking in the macarons for some.

Stella

Dec 19, 2011 · 11:03 PM

Hey Stella!
I was wondering, how can you prevent your macarons from cracking in the oven? I love your recipe, but half of the macarons end up cracking and become hollow. Any way to prevent this? Thanks

 ·  Charlotte · 

Dec 20, 2011 · 10:36 AM

@Charlotte, if some of your macarons are cracking, but others are turning out nicely, it may be an environmental factor at play, like hot spots in your oven. When you have macarons that crack, do you notice a pattern? Like they only crack around the edges of the tray, or in a certain spot?

Otherwise, I’m afraid the biggest contributor to cracking & hollows is the technique. Macaron making, more so than most other recipes, is definitely about experience rather than knowledge. Knowledge helps, which is why I’ve tried to write so many blog posts giving as much info as I can, but in the end it’s like perfecting your jump shot. You can read and read all about it, but in the end it all comes down to technique.

That being said, hollows can be exacerbated by a too-hot bottom element (so try double panning), too chunky a nut flour (sift and grind more), and meringue that is insufficiently deflated. That the macarons also cracked may point to the latter- if there is too much air in the batter, the macarons will crack as it all starts to escape.

Hope some of this info is helpful to you!

Stella

Dec 22, 2011 ·  3:18 PM

Hi, Stella

After reading your blog, I’ve decided to try making macarons. After few failures, now I can make sponge feet almost every try without many cracks on top. But I have one concern. Somehow my macarons have empty space between the sponge feet and the shell. Is it normal?! Would you tell me what to do?! I’m still working on the perfect round shape though.
Thank you for the beautiful posts. I also tried the florentines and it was a big hit.

 · Aesuk · 

Dec 22, 2011 ·  4:10 PM

Oh, somehow I missed your answer to Charlotte right above my question. I did double panning. Perhaps I should lower the heat down a bit more. See how it makes difference. Did I happen to over-beat the meringue though?! Anyhow thanks… Have a great day! ^^

 · Aesuk · 

Dec 23, 2011 · 12:01 AM

Hi Stella

I’ve made macarons a few times, though this time when I made my macarons they cracked and had no foot on them. I was wondering if you had any tips to help with these problems. Thanks

 · Seza · 

Dec 23, 2011 ·  1:05 AM

I tried making your macaroons today and they didnt turn out very well. None of them had feet and when I piped them out there was a little “comma” on the top that stayed even after I baked them. Also, when I tried one the tops where kind of crunchy but then the middle/bottoms were chewy. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

 · Dana  · 

Dec 24, 2011 ·  8:07 AM

Can this recipe be halved?? I don’t want to waste too much on my first try in few it doesn’t turn out right.

 · jamie · 

Dec 24, 2011 ·  3:33 PM

@Aesuk, sorry for the delay in my response! Hollows can be caused by a few things, so there’s not always an easy answer. Since you said you did try double panning, perhaps for the next batch grind your almonds and powdered sugar together a little more and aim for a finer mixture. Overwhipped meringue is likely not the problem (it takes a lot to overwhip this particular meringue), but sometimes it’s possible to fold in the flour/powdered sugar without sufficiently deflating the meringue. This extra air can cause hollows, so it’s important to crush out the air in the meringue during macaronage, though that’s a nuance of technique that often just takes practice to achieve.

@Seza, without any other information to go on, the mostly likely guess is that you undermixed during macaronage. When macarons have too much air in the batter, they will crack and break as they bake because of all the air left inside still trying to escape.

@Dana, thanks for the info! The little comma (or peak) on top of your piped macarons is a sure sign of undermixing. Next time, you’ll just need to mix them a little longer; you want all the peaks to disappear within 30 seconds. If you pipe a tray and it still has peaks that don’t settle down, no worries! Just scrape up the mixture and pipe again. Usually, the act of scraping up the mixture and putting it back into a piping bag is enough agitation to get the batter just right.

@jamie, you can definitely cut this recipe in half. I’d be careful cutting it down any more than that, macarons get weird in teeny-tiny batches. But half should work out just fine. Good luck!

Stella

Dec 25, 2011 ·  9:27 PM

Tonight was the second time I’ve tried to make this recipe, and just like last time, about halfway through baking, my macarons sort of bubbled and then flattened out completely. They also didn’t grow feet either time. Please help! I refuse to let these cookies defeat me

 · Madeline · 

Dec 25, 2011 · 10:11 PM

I just wanted to come by and thank you for this recipe. I just tried this today for the 4th time so far, and I finally got macarons that were not cracked and had feet. However, the feet spread out too much, and it ended up looking like a ring around the macaron shell. Would this be due to not having enough initial heat?

And I was also wondering… wouldn’t adding vanilla extract to your meringue add too much moisture to your macarons? I’ve used other recipes where you’re only supposed to whip up the meringue to stiff peaks, and I’ve always gotten macarons that were too moist or too chewy. I felt that by whipping the meringue until it clumps inside the whisk attachment of my KitchenAid, my macarons turned out great. The macarons I made today had no salt or vanilla extract.

In addition, are you using a convection oven or a conventional oven? I noticed that convection ovens cook faster than conventional ones, and mine’s an electric oven with no fan.

Anyway, thanks so much! I now truly believe that you don’t need to age your egg whites or dry out your piped shells.

 · Andrew · 

Dec 28, 2011 · 11:19 AM

I made my first macarons ever with this recipe a few days ago and they turned out quite great for a first-time batch by a relative baking n00b (and mostly because of my unevenly heated oven). So first and foremost: thank you for this awesome recipe!

Then I have some burning questions in regard to flavoring, coloring and meringues.
First of all, can one over-beat a meringue? If yes, what does that look like and what would be the consequences?
Second, can you put liquids into the macaron batter (either in the meringue or during macronage)? I’m thinking of liquid flavors and foodcolorings here. To put it differently: what does liquid do to the batter?

Again, thank you for this recipe which gave me the courage to make macarons!

 · Rianne · 

Dec 29, 2011 · 12:20 PM

@Madeline, it sounds like your oven is running hot. Try reducing your temperature by 50 degrees and seeing how they turn out for you after that. Good luck!

@Andrew, I think you may be having the same trouble as Madeline. When an oven runs really hot, the macarons feet spread out rather than up, so maybe reduce your heat a bit and see if that helps. But I’m thrilled to hear you’re starting to get the hang of macarons.

As for vanilla, I prefer adding vanilla beans rather than extract because then I can add another extract on top of it (ie, vanilla orange), but you certainly can use extract if you’re not going to add another flavor on top of that. It’s just important to measure it rather than eyeball a splash.

I use a convection oven at work, but my friend Mardi (who has the photos in the link above) uses conventional. Macarons can turn out either way, but you’ll have to adjust your baking times accordingly (which is true no matter your oven, because all have their own quirks, etc). Hope that helps!

@Rianne, I’m so happy to hear you’re having some macaron success! To answer your first question, yes you can overbeat meringue. It will start to break into strange looking clumps and have a kind of grainy, broken quality.

Second, you can add liquid to the macarons, but you have to be really careful about it, only using a tablespoon or so. I advocate adding it in during the final minute of whipping the meringue so it is evenly distributed, but you can stir it in during macaronage too. But the drier the macarons, the better, so use top quality extracts that are more potent and gel coloring rather than liquid food coloring. That way you can get the flavors and colors you want, without using too much liquid.

Stella

Dec 30, 2011 ·  8:00 PM

I can’t tell you enough how much your macaron lesson has helped me conquer my fear of macaron-making. I think I finally have it down – with the trickiest part for me knowing when they’re done! I’ve blogged my success story with your recipe, and a link back to you. I think I’m addicted now! Are you hiring

 · Bonnie · bakecookeatmove.blogspot.com/2011/12/french-macarons-conquered.html

Dec 31, 2011 · 12:10 AM

I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful recipe and blog. Reading it gave me the confidence to go jump in and make these beautiful Macarons. After one batch that was undermixed, and one batch that was overmixed, I think I have it now. Success! I blogged it tonight and linked back to your blog. Thanks again! Bonnie

 · Bonnie · www.bakecookeatmove.blogspot.com/2011/12/french-macarons-conquered.html

Dec 31, 2011 ·  5:39 PM

@Bonnie, you sound like Goldilocks, trying this and that until you found that’s just right! Congratulations, thanks so much for stopping by to let us know of your success. Cheers!

Stella

Jan 01, 2012 ·  4:50 PM

I noticed you mentioned you use a Kitchen Aid mixer.. do you by any chance know how the Bosch Universal (its the older model, 3 speed) would do with this recipe? For years I made wonderful macarons with my Kitchen Aid but after burning up my 3rd motor (2 mixers, 1 blender) I bought the Bosch. However I now miss my old Kitchen Aid which I sold in a yard sale two years ago (why oh why didn’t I just hold onto it??? oh yeah we moved almost 4000 miles into a MUCH smaller house….) For kneading the Bosch reigns supreme but for merengue, well let’s just say I am a bit of a skeptic right now. Any suggestions?

 · Peggy · piglogsandtaterberries.blogspot.com

Jan 02, 2012 ·  9:07 PM

Hey there,
thanks for the recipe/pictures/explanations. i followed your recipe and got almost-macaroon looking macaroons for the third time. (ha!)
for the three batches i have made so far, i have this problem with them sticking to the bottom. you say leave them till they are ready to come off on their own, but once i left them too much that they all barely came off on own but all dried like crackers. would this be the conduction problem w/ the oven? i have not set my oven. the coat is perfect @ 300/18min w/ no feet. (since still wet stuck to the parchment p)any suggestion other than setting the oven? thanks, BraveT!

 · ellah · 

Jan 03, 2012 · 12:33 AM

Me again. Wondering if you ever tried to freeze the shells unfilled? Seems like it should work?? Thanks.

 · Bonnie · www.bakecookeatmove.blogspot.com/2011/12/french-macarons-conquered.html

Jan 03, 2012 ·  5:40 AM

I love your recipe! It’s so far the only one that works for me! The only concern I have is that the meringue becomes foamy and dry after 9 mins. And my macarons came out a bit hollow. Should I beat it lesser? Thanks!

 · Jacklyn · autumnheartz.blogspot.com/

Jan 03, 2012 ·  6:43 PM

Hi Stella!
I whipped up a batch of macs today using your basic recipe, although I did make a few changes. When I was whipping the meringue, I got to the final minute and added cinnamon extract in place of the vanilla, and a tiny bit of brown Wilton gel paste, as I intended to make cinnamon macarons. I turned my mixer on and all I could do was watch while my very stiff, dry meringue drooped and then liquified in a matter of seconds. I dumped it out and started over, omitting the gel paste and only adding the cinnamon extract, but the same thing happened again. Eventually I started yet again and just didn’t add anything before the final minute, and added cinnamon to the dry ingredients. It worked out fine, but do you have any idea what might have caused my failures? Could it be the extract I used? I’m now afraid to add any extracts/colors to make interesting macarons lest they destroy my meringue. Help!

 · Cassidy · 

Jan 03, 2012 ·  8:02 PM

@Peggy, I personally haven’t had any experience with it, but I had a reader write in to say she had been successful with her attempts to make macarons in one. Unfortunately, I don’t know the details, but it can (much to my surprise!) be done. Good luck, and my condolences on the loss of your Kitchen Aid.

@ellah, it’s not unusual for a properly cooked macaron to seem crisp at first; once you add a buttercream filling and “ripen” them in the fridge for 24 hours, they will soften considerably. That being said, there is definitely an upper limit to how long they should bake; there is a window between the macarons sticking to the parchment and being overbaked, and it varies from oven to oven. After the macarons have developed their feet, don’t be afraid to check on them often to find out exactly when they’re ready to come out. With practice, you’ll find the perfect amount of time for your oven.

@Bonnie, I haven’t ever frozen the shells, but I feel pretty confident that you could without much trouble. Let me know if you ever try it!

@Jacklyn, it’s hard to say about whether you should do the last minute or not, not knowing what kind of mixer you’re using, etc. But for me, the last minute is really important from taking the meringue from, “pretty stiff” to “absolutely dry.” Hollows in macarons can be caused by a variety of things, from too chunky a nut flour to underbaking or insufficiently deflated meringue. It’s really an issue that’s only resolved with a lot of practice.

@Cassidy, What a frustrating experience! But I have a simple answer for you: it’s definitely the extract. Cinnamon extract is actually cinnamon oil, which will completely deflate/liquify the meringue (you know how meringue recipes always warn you about not getting even a spec of egg yolk into the mix?). Use ground cinnamon instead, added in with the dry ingredients.

Stella

Jan 03, 2012 · 10:54 PM

Thanks, Stella. I’m using a Kitchenaid so I was following your steps of 3+3+3 mins at 4/6/8. I guess I need to start checking the oven… mid tray gives me burnt top + hollow base but low tray gives me burnt base… I’m going crazy, I know! LOL!

 · Jacklyn · autumnheartz.blogspot.com/

Jan 08, 2012 ·  5:50 PM

Hi Stella,

I’ve tried your recipe after trying many other different recipes and yours have come closest to decent success for me. It pipes nicely, develops feet, but I have one major problem. The cookies stick after 20 minutes of baking time and usually have to add 10-15 minutes more time before they release, which browns and crisps up the cookie a bit much. I’ve tried both parchment and silpat with similar sticky results.

Beginning to think my sheet pans are the issue. They are Norpro jelly roll/sheet pans and are dual ply aluminum construction. Would the insulation from the air gap in the pan prevent the bottom of the cookie from baking up properly? Thanks for your help.

-Rob

 · Rob · 

Jan 09, 2012 ·  6:25 AM

Thanks for putting up this recipe, I’m going to try it, have just made the Pierre Herme version, will report back to you on my results.
Brave Tart – great name by the way.
Great website too!

 · Lila · www.olfactoryevents.com

Jan 10, 2012 ·  3:12 PM

@Jacklyn, oh no! It definitely sounds like your oven is working against you!

@Rob, I’ve never used that sort of cookie sheet before, so I can’t answer you with anything definitive. I will say that if you have to bake your cookies for 35 minutes before they’ll release it sounds like your oven may be running a little cool. Have you been able to check the internal temperature with a thermometer?

@Lila, thanks so much for the kind words! Good luck!!

Stella

Jan 11, 2012 · 12:21 AM

hello stella. My macarons look absolutely perfect on the outside. However, the interior is pooling at the bottom and the shell is hollow. I am beating to stiff peaks and folding until a ribbon forms from the spatula. I’m using a convection oven and baking at 300 degrees for 12 minutes. I am noticing slight browning on the tops. Any trouble shooting ideas? Thank you!

 · kristin · 

Jan 12, 2012 · 10:45 AM

@kristin, it sounds to me as if your oven may be running a little hot; to see browning after only 12 minutes in a 300 degree oven is unusual. Have you been able to check the internal temp of your oven with a thermometer? Aside from that, you may do well to put an empty tray above your macarons to “shield” them.

I’m currently working on a post to address the issue of hollows, I will email you when I finally have it up, it’s too much info to leave in a comment, haha. Hang tight and I’ll have that ready soon! Hope some of this info helps in the meantime though. Cheers!

Stella

Jan 12, 2012 · 10:49 AM

i tried 12 batches and all of them had no feet at all. i tried from stiffed batter to sloppy one still no feet. i sit for 3 hours still no feet. do you think humidity take part. i live in very humid country as its hard to get shell (hands out clean). do we need to sieve the egg white?

 · elly · 

Jan 12, 2012 · 10:58 AM

@Elly, aw, I hate to hear about your trials and tribulations with macarons! I know here in Kentucky, I can make macarons on a rainy summer day, so for me humidity has never been a problem. BUT!! That level of humidity may not compare at all to what you experience where you live and extreme humidity may be working against you.

Stella

Jan 15, 2012 ·  8:18 PM

Hi Stella. I decided to attempt macarons today after an epic failure right before Christmas, reasoning new year, better result The first pan I put in came out cracked and didn’t rise, so I pulled out the oven thermometer and checked the temp then reduced it to 275. The second pan I cooked for 23 mins and they have feet and didn’t crack but didn’t rise that much and are hollow. The third pan I cooked at 280 for 23 mins. This pan have beautiful feet and did rise, but are hollow. It occurred to me that between cooking the 1st pan and the 3rd it had been almost an hour. Could that have anything to do with how they came out? Also, I live right at sea level in British Columbia and it snowed here last night. I know you said humidity shouldn’t change anything, but I’m wondering about the fact my furnace kicked in last night and my house might actually be warmer and drier than normal may have helped that last batch. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jackie

 · Jackie · 

Jan 16, 2012 ·  9:02 PM

After spending the entire weekend tossing out batch after batch of these little devils I was about to call it quits, until that is, I read your blog. I bought a macaroon cookbook a few days ago thinking, hey these are pretty! I can make them no problem!! Sadly I was a little too optimistic, and said cook book has now been heavily annotated with your suggestions. I just placed an order for a kitchen scale, and am keeping my hopes up that it is the missing link in my macaroon mishaps or at least it will help narrow down my mistakes… . I am very excited to give it another shot!! Thanks so much for all the advice!

 · Goldilocks · 

Jan 16, 2012 · 11:28 PM

@Jackie, I don’t have much experience drying out my macarons, since I always just pop ‘em straight into the oven, so I don’t know how that might have influenced your results. I will say that 280 still sounds like a very cool temperature to bake your macarons; what was the temperature when you originally checked it and reduced the temp? While 300 works wonderfully for me, I will say that every oven has its own sweet spot, so you may find cooler temps work better for you, but I’d be curious how your macs turn out if baked at 300….

@Goldilocks, huge congratulations on buying a scale! Seriously, the single most important thing you can do to up your game in the kitchen. High five. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, I hope it’s helpful to you in your macaron quest. Keep me posted!

Stella

Jan 18, 2012 · 12:53 AM

I’ve tried several macaron recipes and my main issue is the hollows. I can’t get that fluffy, full interior. I tried your recipe this last weekend and they were still hollow. Also, they didn’t form proper feet. I’ve heard that underbaking them can cause the hollow shells, but I ended up baking them for about 30 minutes (checking every few minutes after 18 ). Do you have any clue what my problem is?

 · Debbie · sweetsbydebbie.blogspot.com

Jan 18, 2012 ·  7:32 AM

WOW! Thank you for the recipe! Made (and ate) my first macaroons a couple of evenings ago following your recipe to the letter and they were amazing. I ate most of them. I did them a pale bluey green to match my kitchenaid! I think they may be my next addiction! Will be making more tonight!

 · Suzie · the-sound-of-bright-copper-kettles.blogspot.com/

Jan 18, 2012 · 12:07 PM

You are the Master.
Just saying.

Thanks for this recipe and all the help that went along with it.

 · cgs · 

Jan 18, 2012 ·  9:16 PM

oh my goodness, you are a miracle worker!! my kitchen scale arrived today, i followed your recipe to the T and voila! i have macarons! (it did take a couple of trials to get the oven situation figured out)i am so happy! you should write a cook book, I would definitely buy a copy

 · Goldilocks · 

Jan 19, 2012 · 11:55 AM

@Debbie, I wish I could point you to an easy answer, but hollows can be caused by a variety of things. You can scan through the comments, I’ve tried to elaborate before on some of them.

@Suzie, congratulations! I’m so thrilled to hear about your success! Macarons and a matching mixer? Too cute!

@cgs, hahaha, thanks so much.

@Goldilocks, I am so, so thrilled to hear it! Congratulations on getting a kitchen scale! A whole new world of baking has opened up to you now, and what a way to break it in. I’m so happy your macarons came out nicely!

Stella

Jan 19, 2012 ·  7:53 PM

Okay, so I followed every step in your recipe and they came out looking perfect. No cracks, no peaks, perfect little feet, and they came right off the pan with no struggle. So I thought it was a success, I filled them and let them “age” over night. I tried them today and was surprised to find that they were more or less hollow and not at all chewy. It was also sort of like they shattered after the first bite. I cooked them in the second rack from the top of the oven at 300 degrees (verified with a thermometer) for 18 minutes. Please help! I feel like I am so close to getting this right.

 · CookieRookie · 

Jan 20, 2012 · 10:46 AM

@CookieRookie, I am trying to work on a post that will cover the various causes of hollows, because unfortunately it’s not a problem with a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a variety of causes. If you scroll through the comments, you can find some of them addressed in other comments to tide you over until I finish my hollows post. Hang in there!!

Stella

Jan 20, 2012 · 11:34 PM

Stella,
That you for your thoughts…I took pictures at the different temperatures and times so I could document what I did. I’m going to email them to you.

 · Jackie · 

Jan 21, 2012 ·  1:40 PM

@Jackie, thanks! Look forward to hearing from you.

Stella

Jan 25, 2012 · 12:05 AM

Hi Stella,

Your website is hilarious! I love your sense of humour

I made my first batch today and they were very flat and sticky when I peeled them off of the baking paper.

(I added about 1/2 cup of blueberry juice {I just smashed some blueberries up and pushed them though a sieve} to the meringue at the last stage of beating. Is that wrong?)

I also found them quite salty- what kind of salt do you use?

Thanks!
Tessa

Ps I still ate them- they were nice even though they looked like mini cow pats

 · Tessa · 3-men-and-a-lady.blogspot.com/

Jan 25, 2012 ·  6:51 AM

@Tessa, I’m glad they still turned out tasty at least! The blueberry juice is definitely the problem. Macarons are extremely delicate and just a few tablespoons of liquid is enough to ruin them, so they definitely couldn’t withstand as much a half cup. For blueberry macarons, I recommend buying freeze dried blueberries and grinding them with the powdered sugar/almond mixture, it adds intense blueberry flavor without the moisture so the results are much better. I use kosher salt, too; apologies for not specifying. Hope the info helps!

Stella

Jan 26, 2012 · 10:43 PM

Your recipe and your other posts about macaron myths gave me great confidence to start making some of these cute little treats for myself. I have only made one batch, and the first trays cracked terribly, and had no feet. With the second lot, I gave the technique used in many other recipes of allowing them to form a skin a try, and this time only two cracked, with the others having smooth shells and feet. I am eager to give making them another try, but what are the primary reasons for cracking? simply air bubbles, or does oven temperature also come into it?

 · Zoet · 

Jan 28, 2012 · 12:08 PM

@Zoet, cracking is caused by undermixing 99% of the time. But it can also have to do with oven temperature and bits of unmixed meringue streaking through the batter. Have you been able to test your oven’s temperature? It may be by the second batch the temperature had leveled off, while in the first one it was low. I only say that because in my experience my macarons don’t really show any improvement by drying the shells.

Stella

Jan 28, 2012 ·  5:28 PM

Hello Stella! I have made macarons plenty of times and most of them end up looking rather nice. The problem is is that the macarons are always hollow. Completely hollow. I follow all the directions specifically, and I always get very nice feet and all, but they just end up being hollow! What could I be doing wrong? Thanks!

 · Christine · 

Jan 29, 2012 · 12:15 AM

@Christine, my big thesis on hollow macarons is coming soon, I promise. Stay tuned!

Stella

Jan 29, 2012 · 11:27 PM

Hi Stella –

Very much looking forward to that post you’re working on about hollows…

Your recipe was my 4th or 5th attempt at macarons, all the same, pretty outside, hollow inside.

See here (these were just made this weekend using your recipe, which turned out the prettiest so far): http://michelleb.tumblr.com/

I’ve attempted macarons with 3 different recipes (Not So Humble Pie, FoodNouveau and yours) with the same pretty-outside, hollow inside result. I bake some of these (from your recipe) up to 30 minutes at 300 with the same result. Use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour and put that in the food processor with the p. sugar for a total of two minutes (have always done this). Used a kitchen aid mixer and timed myself following your recipe exactly for the meringue. Definitely the best recipe – I really want to make yours work so I’m finally reaching out after a 6th attempt failed today… Always hollow shells no matter the recipe or the method or how long or short I bake, or how hot or cold my oven (yes I have an oven thermometer and have tried everything from 285 to 350 with doors cracked and closed, and always double panned – gas oven with temp verified by thermometer).

It just can’t be underbaking if I get the same hollow shells after 30 minutes in the oven…Please write that post soon! I’m so anxious to make my macaron insides match the outsides.

 · michelle · 

Feb 01, 2012 · 11:03 PM

Dear Stella,

I have at long last decided to man up and have a go at the fabulous macaron. Valentine’s is coming up and it seemed the perfect excuse. Well that and the bottles of homemade raspberry liqueur I’ve been aging. But I want to know exactly how to go about it. Is the liqueur usable for this purpose? If so, how much would I use? I’ve never made these before and so I have no idea how strong the flavoring needs to be to stand up to the almonds. Would you recommend using it as-is, or gently reducing it some? Help me O̶b̶i̶-̶W̶a̶n̶ ̶K̶e̶n̶o̶b̶i̶ Stella, you’re my only hope!

 · Psyche1226 · 

Feb 01, 2012 · 11:44 PM

@Psyche1226, it can be really tricking learning how to find the right balance of liquids in a macaron recipe. I do add liquors (St. Germain, among others), up to an ounce; but it’s a little bit more of an advanced technique. The excess liquid makes judging macaronage very difficult. Instead, I’d recommend gently reducing the liquor by half and then whipping it into your buttercream instead, an ounce at a time until the flavor is to your liking.

Stella

Feb 03, 2012 ·  8:20 AM

Stella HELP! I’ve tried making macaroons a few times now and they always fail! My latest “recorded” attempt saw me add two teaspoons of blueberry juice (with a tiny amount of puree) to the meringue to make flavoured macs. I did leave them to rest but even after an hour they did not form shields. I thought I would try baking them anyway but they came out flattened and several cracked. I would love any advice you might have!

 · Paige · www.facebook.com/groups/220034921424486/

Feb 03, 2012 · 10:17 AM

@Paige, that makes sense; this recipe isn’t meant to be dried and won’t ever form a shell no matter how long you wait! Have you tried just making plain macarons? It takes a lot of practice to get them just right, but every time you add a new ingredient (like blueberry juice and puree) you change the balance of the recipe, which makes it harder to get right.

Stella

Feb 04, 2012 ·  9:44 PM

Well, something sad just happened. Im whipping my egg whites, 3 mins on 4, 3 mins on 6 and 3 mins on 8. They got nice and dry and stiff with the clump in the middle of the whisk. All good so far. I stopped it to add my 2 teaspoons of flavoring and powdered food coloring. I beat on high for 1 minute and in that time, my meringue went from dry and stiff to pancake batter. No more clump to knock off the whisk. This is the first time this has ever happened and… its raining outside. (I know, please dont roll your eyes at me, lol). Im the LAST one that wants to believe that the fickle weather is going to dictate my mac craving! But geez, how/why did my merigue lose its stiffness so quickly? Im hoping you have a logical explanation. I mean, if it was the weather, the meringue probably wouldnt have gotten stiff in the first place right?? And, it did! I saw it!! Thanks for any advice LOVE your blog.

 · Ashley · 

Feb 04, 2012 · 10:48 PM

@Ashley, Ugh, how frustrating! That liquification business can happen when using certain types of liquid flavorings, like those with high oil content. It can also happen if you’re using too much extract. What kind/flavor were you using?

Stella

Feb 05, 2012 ·  2:45 PM

WOW. You hit the nail right on the head, Stella! I used orange oil. I THOUGHT I was being smart by using the oil to get a stronger flavor that wont get overpowered by the almonds during baking. Lesson learned!
Ive heard that dried flavorings yield the best results, but is there a way to get a stronger taste from liquid flavorings when dry isnt readily available? The last batch I made, I only used orange blossom water in the meringue and it came out great, the shells were perfect. But by the time they were done baking, the orange taste was baaarely there.
What about orange zest, or is that pretty oily too?

 · Ashley · 

Feb 05, 2012 ·  4:07 PM

@Ashley, there really is a fine art to adding liquids to the macaron batter. I’ve had luck adding up to 2 ounces of creme de violette and St.-Germain, but even a single teaspoon of certain extracts and liquids will kill the macarons outright. I haven’t had any trouble adding zest (except lime, I can’t get that to work) at the end of whipping the whites, but I’ve had others write to say that they have. It may be dependent on the oil content of the particular orange. Frustrating, huh?

In the meantime, until I figure out my comprehensive extract guide (haha), try pulsing the orange oil in with the ground almonds and powdered sugar, that way the flavor will be evenly distributed but won’t collapse the meringue.

Stella

Feb 06, 2012 ·  3:32 PM

So frustrating! Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, you try something new and the macarons freak out on you, haha. I’ll definitely try the oil in the dry ingredients next time. Good idea! Thanks, as always.

 · Ashley · 

Feb 08, 2012 ·  6:17 PM

Stella – Is it possible to get the batter to the right consistency (lava, ribbons, absorbs back into itself in 20-30 secs) but still not have deflated the meringue enough?

I’ve continued troubleshooting (hollows) and got better results stacking two aluminum, commercial grade baking sheets with the temp below 300 inside, but the macs were still very “airy” inside, though less hollow for sure. Not at all like the professional macarons I’ve eaten.

Thanks.

 · michelle · 

Feb 09, 2012 ·  4:46 AM

Hi Stella, if I reduce the amount of powder sugar to 150g, will the results still come out the same?
Thanks.

 · Cece · 

Feb 09, 2012 · 10:39 AM

@michelle, it definite is possible. There is a difference between just stirring the mixture until smooth vs crushing out all the bubbles. I wish I could find a way to impart that technique without a video, but it is so hard to describe. I am working on a new post about preventing hollows, just have been too swamped at work to finish writing it. Hang tight, hopefully I will post it later this month.

@Cece, recipes work just like math problems, whenever you change the variables, you change the results. Why do you want to reduce the powdered sugar?< /p>

Stella

Feb 14, 2012 · 12:41 AM

love macaroons! I’m gonna try making this one day… they aren’t the easiest, but surely tastiest treat ever! and purty =)

 · ChubbyChineseGirl · www.chubbychinesegirleats.com

Feb 14, 2012 ·  3:23 AM

Stella, I love this! I’ve been browsing through macaron recipes and I’ve found yours and eat.live.travel.write are the best! I tried macarons three times and the first time turned out beautifully. The other two.. well, not so much. They didnt form skins no matter how long i put them out for, they didnt form feet, they browned on the bottom, easily cracked on the top, and hollow. Im pretty sure i didnt undermix because they spread very well.

 · Julia · 

Feb 14, 2012 ·  7:55 AM

Stella…

Just wanted to say a MASSIVE thankyou for this guide. I’ve never eaten a macaron, but felt like having a go anyway. Smooth shells, little feet, and only minor cracking in the ones next to the oven fan (oops). While I have nothing to compare them to, they all got eaten so I figure they were passable. Thankyou for providing such a clear and detailed guide …I’m looking forward to making some champagne macarons for my upcoming 21st!

 · lulu · 

Feb 14, 2012 · 10:36 AM

@ChubbyChineseGirl, you might say they taste purty great!

@Julia, you can leave these macarons out for days and you’ll never get a skin, it’s just how this recipe is formulated. So at any rate, save yourself the time and don’t bother with it! If they’re browning on the bottom, though it sounds like your oven’s heating element is too strong from the bottom. Either try double panning or adjust the temperature down a little.

@lulu, congratulations!! I’m so happy to hear they turned out well for you. The most important part is to enjoy eating them!! I hope your birthday is a smashing success, champagne macarons sound delightfully celebratory.

Stella

Feb 14, 2012 · 10:57 AM

After well over a year and 330+ comments, I’m closing comments for this recipe. I’ve loved hearing your success stories and giving whatever help I can in macaron trouble shooting, but it’s also become a little difficult to keep up with.

If you have a question, chances are I’ve already answered it, so try searching the comments (control/⌘ + F, plus the keyword you’re looking for) to see if I’ve already addressed it.

Also, be sure to read my Macaron Myths and Macaron 10 Commandments too, they answer a lot of common questions and issues.

If you find your question still hasn’t been addressed, just visit me on facebook and I’d be happy to troubleshoot with you. It’s especially helpful if you can upload a photo of your macaron so I can see what went wrong. Or upload a picture of your success so i can give you a virtual high five!!

Stella