Something about these cookies makes people go nuts. Myself included. Maybe it’s because they look as sweet as they taste, or that they’re difficult to make, or maybe it’s that they are French (because let’s face it…they’re good at food).
The idea of making French macarons at home seems a little foreign to the usual baking crowd, and I don’t blame them. These cookies are not easy at all. The main indicator of success is the “foot” of the macaron, or the little ridges on the sides. To this day I’ve made the cookies 3 times and only the most recent time (this batch) had feet. You can imagine my excitement, and you can also imagine how strange my Dad must have felt about me babbling about “feet!”
There are a few different ways to make these cookies, but a lot of the tricks are pretty consistent. If you make them you have to be hyper aware during each step ensuring that you sift correctly, don’t overmix, don’t undermix and wait till the cookies are tacky before baking. It’s a lot of little steps and then you have to wait to bake them. I’ll tell you one thing, if you don’t get the feet you may or may not feel like dumping the tray in the trash after all the work. But the good news is that all renditions of this cookie (feet or not) taste pretty delicious.
I followed Beth Le Manach of Entertaining With Beth’s macaron recipe video. She has a great recipe and great tips. However, I also recommend spending some time on Youtube to get a sense of other’s tips and tricks and unique flavors.
1/2 cup (150 g) fresh raspberries, worked through a sieve to extract 3 tbsp of juice
Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins.
Eggwhites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.
Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Add food coloring when peaks are almost stiff.
Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar once or twice. Discard large lumps of almond.
Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won't have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.
Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips.
Bake for 20 mins, ensuring that they are down and will not stick to the tray.
For The Buttercream
Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar.
Place sieve on top of a bowl the same size. Work raspberries through the sieve with a spatula, pushing them through, mashing them around until you extract their juice. You want 3 tablespoons of juice.
Add juice to buttercream, and whip until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ " in diameter) Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them.
Refrigerate if not serving, bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!