Macarons, the iconic pillowy French dessert, are now enjoyed all over the world. Despite the French taking credit for this treat, it actually originated in Italy. During the Renaissance, the Italian chef of queen Catherine de Medici brought the dessert over to France. It soon exploded in popularity, and pastry chefs throughout the country began to make them.
The light and airy macaron had humble beginnings, being produced in Venetian monasteries since the 8th century. Back then, people called them ‘priest’s bellybuttons’ due to the pastry’s shape. They also had straightforward ingredients in the Renaissance era, made with just almonds, egg white, and sugar.
However, the modern macaron we know today came about much later in the 1800s. The recipe that calls for a creamy filling sandwiched between two meringue cookies originated in the French capital. Today, it’s the most popular dessert in the country, with the eclair coming in second.
We actually celebrate National Macaron Day every year on May 31, and there are many festivities throughout the United States. Check your local news to find a celebration near you. They also serve free macarons at select locations in New York City on March 20th every springtime!
Nowadays, you can find macarons in many places throughout the world, with exciting new flavors, and variations. Some chefs have even started making savory macarons like basil mint and Thai curry! In this recipe for macarons, though, we will keep it pretty simple for the first-timers. Surprisingly, macarons aren’t too difficult to make; everyone from the seasoned baker to the beginner can follow along! We hope you love them!
Treat your loved ones (or just yourself) to these delicious homemade macarons
Try your hand at making these delicious treats.
What you’ll need:
- Two large mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Electric whisk
- Small spatula
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cooling rack
- Piping bag with a rounded tip
- 1 cup almond flour
- 4 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Gel food coloring (whatever color you like; we used red for this recipe)
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
How to make this delicious treat:
- First, grab one of the mixing bowls and your sifter. Pour the almond flour into the sifter, and sift it into the bowl.
- Repeat this with 1 3/4 cup of the powdered sugar, and again with the 1/2 tsp salt.
- Use a whisk to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.
- Now, grab another large bowl and pour in the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use an electric whisk to mix the ingredients until it becomes frothy. Then, add the 1/4 cup granulated sugar gradually, whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy.
- Next, add 1/2 tsp vanilla. Use the whisk until mixed completely. The mixture should be thick enough that you can turn the bowl over, and it won’t spill out.
- Now pour 1/3 of the flour mixture from the other bowl into the egg white bowl. Use a small baking spatula to combine.
- Add a small dollop of the gel food coloring of your choice, and mix it thoroughly with the spatula.
- Next, add in another 1/3 of the flour mixture from the other bowl. Combine with the egg white mixture completely, and then finish it off with the last bit of flour.
- Grab your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Scoop some of the macaron mix into the piping bag, and put a rounded tip on the end.
- Squeeze the bag to form circles with the mixture. Repeat to make as many macarons as you’d like or until you’ve covered the baking sheet.
- Tap the baking sheet on the table to get any bubbles out of the macarons. You want them to be as smooth and flat as possible.
- Let them sit at room temperature for 30 mins to one hour (until they’re stiff to touch).
- Once they’ve hardened, bake them at 300 degrees F for about 17 mins. Check on them often to make sure they don’t burn.
- Now, in a large bowl, mix one cup of softened butter with an electric whisk. Blend until soft and creamy.
- Add the remaining three cups of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
- Finally, add 1/4 heavy cream to the mixture gradually, continuing to whisk.
- Once your buttercream mixture is complete, add it to the piping bag.
- Now, place your macarons on a cooling rack or another baking sheet.
- Once cooled, pipe the buttercream filling onto half the macarons.
- Put the other half on top to create sandwiches, and enjoy.
There you have it – an easy-to-follow, delicious macaron recipe for everyone out there to enjoy. Keep in mind that you can substitute any filling or flavor you like. We just decided to go with red sandwiches and buttercream filling to make it easy. Other popular flavors include chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, lemon, strawberry, and almond.
You can even make several different fillings to give yourself some options or appeal to multiple palates. Whether you serve these with tea or as a light dessert, these macarons make the perfect treat. You can find this popular dessert in most bakeries today, but sometimes, it’s more fun to make it yourself. It requires a little bit of mixing and whisking, but we assure you it’s worth all the effort!
Final thoughts: make homemade French macarons (even if you’re a beginner)
You don’t have to go to a fancy baking school to make your own macarons. You need this simple recipe and a few baking items to create this beautiful, delicious treat! Macarons come in a wide variety of flavors, so feel free to make whatever you’d like.
If you have extras, they store nicely in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container. Macarons can keep up to a month in the freezer and two to four days in the fridge.