I did it! Look at those beautiful macarons up there. Oh, and I figured out the secret, so check out the updated recipe below, wherein Buzzfeed’s version and Stella’s had a perfect, easy baby. The icing is all me, mostly because I way overshot the eggs and had to adapt. WHATEVER. It worked.
Macarons, as it turns out, are just as difficult to make as expected. Featured above is my second attempt, which, while it turned out vastly improved from attempt number one, was still not great. I don't even want to talk about attempt number three. Here's what I think: you should not make macarons when you are rushed. You need to find time to enjoy the process, double check your recipe, google a video to make sure you're doing it right, and take deep, calming breaths. Also, you cannot be afraid. They can sense fear. I use a recipe by one of the best known pastry chefs around, Stella Parks, aka BraveTart.
Time: 20 minutes active time, 2 hours total
115 grams of almond flour (about 1 cup)
230 grams of powdered sugar (just shy of 2 cups)
144 grams of egg whites (use 4 large eggs)
72 grams of sugar (about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp of cream of tartar
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 drops of gel food coloring (I used red)
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (AKA one stick)
2 cups of powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 300, and line two trays with parchment paper. Do yourself a favor and get a disposable pastry bag ready as well. Use a plain tip or just the end of the bag itself. Alright! Look at you! All prepared.
Sift the almond flour and the powdered sugar together into a bowl. Set aside.
Throw the egg whites, cream of tartar, and the non-powdered sugar into the bowl of the mixer.
When stiff peaks have formed (in other words, when you can lift up your mixer and take the meringue with you), add the vanilla and food coloring, then beat for another minute on high. This is a great time to grab that pre-prepped pastry bag.
Dump all of the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture. Using a spatula, fold them in gradually. Be gentle, but don’t be afraid to fold away and knock some of the air out. You want the batter to be flowy but still have body.
Pour the batter into the pastry bag, then pipe macarons onto the baking trays. I aim to have them about 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter. This is almost never the case for all of them. Life moves on.
Slam them on the counter to make sure your downstairs neighbors are awake. Flip the tray, then slam again. Now, leave ‘em be for an hour. You can use this time to make the icing! Yay!
Put your remaining two egg whites and remaining salt in the bowl of your stand mixer that you hopefully washed out before following that instruction, then turn it on high and beat until the eggs are foamy.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the regular sugar and water to a boil. When it’s been boiling for about a minute, take it over to the mixer and slowly drizzle it into the egg white mixture while continuing to beat on high.
Beat for three to five minutes, until stiff peaks have formed. The meringue should form a perfect upside down ‘J’ when you take the whisk attachment off and flip it upside down.
Add the vanilla, then turn mixer back on. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated.
Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until smooth and stiff enough to support itself. Put frosting into a disposable pastry bag and set aside.
Remember those macarons? Bake for between 15-17 minutes. When the macarons have cooled, put icing on half of them and make some proper macaron sandwiches.
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