The best macaron I’ve ever had was from a sweet little bakery in Paris, during my travels throughout Europe. The name of the bakery escapes me, but to my surprise, these gorgeous little French sandwhiches were easily accessibly, just around any street corner.
What is a macaron?
A macaron, not to be confused with a macaroon (which is coconut based), is a meringue-based, delicate French cookie shaped like a sandwhich. Similar to an Oreo cookie, but with a lighter, fluffier and chewier texture. I appreciate both kinds of cookies, but one is clearly the more elite cookie. I will let you be the judge as to which one I’m talking about.
What is a macaron made of?
Macarons are made entirely of almond meal, sugar and egg whites. A meringue (confectioners sugar and egg whites) is then folded into almond flour to form a batter, which is then piped and baked to form the individual macaron shells. The shells are then filled with the perfect consistency of ganache or jam and come in a variety of colors and flavors.
The perfect macaron has a light, airy texture beneath the crust, which is a perfect combination between chewy and soft. A macaron should be soft, but not mushy, and chewy without being crispy. The major difference between an Oreo and a macaron is the distinguishably different textures.
Tips for making macarons:
- Achieving the correct volume in the egg whites is also important when it comes to creating the perfect macaron texture. If you have trouble getting volume when beating the egg whites, try adding a pinch of cream of tartar to each egg white, before adding the sugar.
- When folding the batter, make sure to tap the pan. Refrain from overmixing or the batter won’t rise as well, and you will end up with a collapsed crust. Fold the batter enough so that the ingredients are mixed together, about 20-30 folds.
- Using a silicone mat helps tremendously in correctly spacing the batter. Cleanup is super easy and there is no need for cooking sprays or parchment paper since nothing sticks to the mat. I like to use this silicone mat.
Buttercream filling recipe:
Macarons come in a variety of flavorful fillings, including different jams and ganaches. A popular choice is buttercream filling that is generally used to frost cakes. It’s delicious and the consistency is the perfect thickness for a macaroon. Try out this recipe and let us know what you think!
- 1 cup salted butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
Beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then sift in the powdered sugar. Combine vanilla, then cream in small amounts and beat to combine. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and place a dollop onto a macaroon shell. Top it with another macaron shell to create a sandwich and enjoy your fancy cookie!