Almost Foolproof Macarons

I’ve been toying with macaron recipes for some time now. In my recipes, there always seems like there is something that can go wrong. It could be the folding, it could be the unscientific drying time, or maybe it’s just my messed up oven, but something always goes wrong. Rarely do I get a sheet pan of perfectly formed macarons…until now.

This recipe just plain works. This recipe uses Italian meringue, don’t let it scare you. This one not so hard part is the reason why they work so well. You don’t have to mess around trying to get macaronage since the meringue is very stable. One of the nicest parts of this recipe is that you can double it, split it into two parts, color/flavor each separately, and get two flavors for the work of one recipe.

Here’s the recipe with details and photos:

For the Macarons:
120g egg whites, divided
35g sugar
150g finely ground almonds
150g powdered sugar

For the sugar syrup:
150g sugar and 50g water

Process the ground almonds and powdered sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Most recipes call for sifting, but I think this works better and gets everything combined.

In a stand mixer, whip 60g egg whites to soft peaks, add 35g sugar.

In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 F. on a candy thermometer.

Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10-15 minutes).

Mix the remaining 60g of egg whites and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.

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Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3 inches in diameter on silpat lined baking sheet.

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Bake at 320 for 15-25 minutes.

Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension.

macaron.jpg

That’s about all that is to it. I think I’m finally done with macarons for a while. I’m sure the next time I try to make them I will encounter problems again, but until then…

Reader Feedback

167 Responses to “Almost Foolproof Macarons”

  • Molly Coodle says:

    Hi Geek – Your recipe has saved me from insanity! Having had countless failures I was ready to throw in the towel but at last I have had success. Thank you so much. I would know like to play around with some flavours – can I just add dry ingredients to the basic recipe (like cocoa powder, instant expresso, Earl Grey Tea, freeze dried raspberries) or would I need to reduce the amount of almonds and/or sugar? Thanks

  • geek says:

    MissTat: It really depends on how big you want to pipe them. I generally get about 1/4 of a sheet pan on filled cookies. I’d guess 30-40 total but I don’t usually count them.

  • MissTat says:

    Hello 🙂
    How many cookies do you get with this recipe? (approximately…)

    Thanks ! 🙂

  • geek says:

    Nope. No need to wait but if you want to, it won’t hurt. I always double-pan this recipe so the tops dry out before the bottoms and the feet form nicely.

  • Taurian says:

    hi, does it need to let it sit for 1 hour prior to baking just like the french version? Please advise asap, thanks!

  • Mags says:

    @Catherine – it could be that the mixture is too liquidy and not properly sifted.

  • Jill says:

    Catherine- perhaps you didnt blend in a food processor enough to get rid of almond chunks. sifting is key, too. calibrate your oven temp…may be too low. overmixing may be another cause for no feet.

  • Catherine says:

    Please help. I just put in my first tray of macarons to bake. To my horror, it has rough skin and not shinny and no legs. Just don’ t know where or which step did I missed out. Please advise. Thank you.

  • Betty says:

    Thanks for this great recipe. I was successful making it! I wrote a blog post about it and provided a link back this page. 🙂

  • Amy says:

    OMG!!! I’ve died and gone to mac heaven!! I put macs in the oven 10 min ago and I see little feet!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I did when I found out I was prego with my first child!! Thank you Jesus! I’ve tried every recipe including the ones in my pastry class and all Fat Failures. Who knew I had to take a detour to Italy before going to Paris!!!!!!! The Italian meringue is genius. Thank you thank you! I have to work on my piping but they are cute as a button and close to pics ive seen. This a keeper.

  • Rochelle says:

    Great tips that led to my first successful batch of macaron shells. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jocelyn says:

    hi, just wondering if this recipe requires a resting time for macarons after piping but before putting them in the oven?

  • Mrsosborne says:

    Hi, i tried this recipe yesterday and for the first time they came out perfect!!!! Soooo pleased with the outcome, thank you for this recipe – I have tried so many times with other recipes and every time something went wrong.

  • Sara Kamil says:

    Hi, I haven’t tried the recipe yet but from the reviews I’m absolutely beside myself with excitement to give it a go. Unfortunately I only have a convection microwave. Can I bake my macaroons using it? so many sites have said they won’t turn out. Hope you can help, thank you in advance.

  • newbie says:

    plus, my oven is not fan forced. the heat is from the top and bottom. so should i lower the temperature? what should i do? please advice thanks!

  • newbie says:

    im going to try this once ive found a kitchen thermometer 😀 will update soon!!

  • M45t3r5 says:

    Amazing recipe!!! Thankyou so much for publishing in the net!!!
    Finally my macaron hell is over 😉

  • pastryprincess says:

    THANKS for the foolproof recipe, I have tried 7 other recipes, including Martha Stewart’s French and Parisian. Mine came out with ABSOLUTE perfection. I was dancing around the kitchen today with delight. I am so excited to make more… 😉

  • Sally says:

    Just made my first batch of these and they came out pretty good! Nice ‘foot’, light and crispy, came off tray easily, tasted good. I whacked the trays on the counter-top and also left them to stand for 30 mins before cooking, which I learnt from ‘Great British Bake Off’ on BBC and I think these steps helped. I am disastrous at piping though, will have to practice that 😀 I also cooked them for not enough time, I thought they were done after 8-10 mins when actually I think they did need 15 mins at least, should have followed your recipe properly! Yummy though, can’t wait to experiment with flavours and colours. Thank you very much!

  • Debbie says:

    I want to make Chocolate Macarons! How to make it???

  • Libby says:

    Pls HELP!!!! I followed every step exactly as u said but after my macarons were baked they were not shiny and smooth, the shape was perfect but the surface was a bit dull n rough… Help!! Please tell me what iv done wrong?

  • queencafe777 says:

    I suggest to Shannon to get digital weighing scale at Sur La Table or William Sonoma or online for about $20-$29 average. It is more accurate and fail proof rather using measuring spoons and cups for this recipe. Happy baking to all you sweet people!

  • queencafe777 says:

    I decided to give it a try. I combined other techniques from Gourmet Baking. She has beautiful colorful French Macaroons with different fillings to go with the flavor. Anyway, I aged the eggwhites in the fridge for 4 days. Did exactly what you instructed on this recipe. I let the meringue mixture sit on my counter for one hour to develop the thin film on top of it. Baked it at 325 for 13 mins. It was a sucess, I had feet, correct size and texture. I made it in pink and make chocolate espresso ganache. I teenage daughter is my taster and she says it is ” totally good” and gourment looking just like the magazines. My digital camera has run out of juice to take pictures. I will plan to make more in different colors and different fillings. Oh la la!! Thanks

  • Shannon says:

    I would love to try this full proof recipe but is there anyone that can convert the measurements for me?

  • B says:

    Thanks for the amazing recipe, I’ve tried making macarons who knows how many times, but never came out as great as this! I also found that the second batch i made with this recipe, i over mixed the batter at the end which made it runny, for anyone who is having trouble with this.

  • Brittany says:

    I too tried making french macarons and on the first try they were perfect and I was so happy and even a little bit cocky! “Ha! and people say this is hard…” Then i tried to make them again… WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO FOOT!? and again… what the hell… why won’t you dry?. and again… Martha Stewart, you lying bitch, these are terrible! Then I found you and each time i make these with your recipe they get better and better. Yesterday I took my french macarons on picnic and they were a big hit and I got all sorts of compliments on how perfect they looked, how lovely they tasted and how brilliant I was. Lol! Thanks so much!

  • only16 says:

    this recipe is the best! i have tried so many different ones and they have all failer and this by far was the best but it was a bit thick so they ended up having the little bumps ontop but other than that nice feet and no cracks 😀

  • Kitchen Sanity says:

    Mine tasted amazing, but they looked like mashed chocolate bars that were steped on. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I found that letting them cool on the pan rather than trying to transfer them right away helped a ton!

  • Melissa says:

    For me I followed the recipe except I had to buy almond flour/meal, my tops cracked and the middle rose like a cupcake, so I lowered the temp by 5. This didn’t help much, less cracking though. I’d also let my 2nd back rest/stand for 30min prior to popping in the oven. So my 3rd batch, ended up at 300F and worked perfectly, although I did adjust my time to 16min. I love them. But it’s a costly learning process and I am also a newbie. Last night was my first trial and what I was able to share with coworkers today, had wonderful reviews. Thanks!

  • Angela says:

    Made a batch tonight & they came out like a DREAM! Crunchy on the outside & chewy on the inside!

    YUM!

  • laguna says:

    For me, this recipe seems to be the best in consistency in sweetness and texture. However I struggle with lots of lopsided feet. I let my trays dry for 60 minutes minimum. I’m baking at 320 for 23 minutes with double stacked trays. The first tray turned out fine with mostly even feet. The second tray always has lopsided feet. Is the temperature too hot by that point or is the humidity of the oven too high from the previous batch? Should I be baking with the oven door cracked open? Lower the temperature?

  • PCoop says:

    I just tried this recipe and they turned out great for the most part! Some of them cracked, but the vast majority had a nice smooth top and foot. The only thing that I did differently from this recipe is I bought packaged almond flour. I sifted the flour and the sugar together instead of putting them in the food processor.

    My slight concern with the recipe is that it is incredibly sweet. I’m wondering if there is any way to cut back on the sugar? I’d also love to try this recipe with other flavors. Either way, thank you!

  • maryann says:

    I have been trying to make these macarons for months and about 1 batch out of 15 seem to work and I do the same thing every time with the exact amount of ingredients! I have never been so frustrated. My biggest problem is having completely hollow shells, and weird protruding feet , or totally lopsided feet. My oven may be the biggest problem since it’s temperature gauge seems to have a mind of it’s own. Just when I think I have made the perfect macaron , the next 10 batches fail….

  • Madge says:

    Hi Geek! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I tried it this morning on a whim (I happen to have egg whites aging in the fridge the last 2 or so days) so I thought I’d try Italian method. I’ve been making the French method and the most consistent result of this method is inconsistent. LOL! But I was scared of making the Italian method. Well, I discovered to my delight that it is not scary to do after all! Nothing to it but the sugar syrup, in which the candy thermometer is indispensible. And pouring the syrup on the side is the trick so you don’t get cotton candy effect on your beaters. Frankly, this is the reason why I was scared of trying the Italian method. So thanks for posting this recipe! But the proof is in the pudding. My macarons are drying at the moment waiting to be baked in the oven. I will let you know how they come out.

    BTW, I also piped them in heart shapes for Valentine theme, approx 1.5 inches. I also want to ask why you pipe 3″ dia? Isn’t it too big? The pic shows otherwise, so I thought I’d clarify. The ones I’ve made were nearly always 1.5 to 2 inches on the average. Thanks!

  • graciela. says:

    I’m going to try my hand at this recipe over the weekend. I’m just starting my school life as a biochem student so I’ve been trying to read about meringue and learn about how it really works. The Italian method you use sounds is so much more stable than the French so that’s gotta help these fickle cookies.

    I’ve also seen all over the web people that use old eggs, people that use fresh eggs, people that let piped cookies sit, others that go straight into the oven, some use cream of tartar (an acid), others don’t, all with different results. I’m starting to think that the excess moisture in the cookies is why some some crack (acid helps delay coagulation and keeps moisture in the meringue, fresher eggs have more acid). So using older eggs and letting the batter sit before going into the oven sounds like it works for those reason. Then again, there are so many variables in everyone’s kitchen so who really knows. Anyway, I’ll try it your way and then I’ll tinker if I fail.

    Thanks!

  • Keren says:

    My first batch tasted great but cracked terribly. However, I noticed the other pan that sat out longer did a little better. So next time I will let them sit out an hour instead of 20-30 minutes. Also, I used almond flour that was from almonds with the skins. Would I have more success if I used blanched or is this purely used for esthetics?

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