Macaron Advice

I have been trying my hand at macarons for a week or so and have yet to achieve a perfect cookie. My two main problems have been cracks forming atop the macarons and poor "foot" development. I use the "Meyer Lemon Macaron" Recipe found here on Food52, but to no avail they almost always crack. I have also read "BraveTart's" 10 Commandments on Macaron making, but that has not improved the cracking situation. I suspect my issues are having to do with the "Macaronage" step: some recipes seem to really baby the dough, while others go at it like it owed them money. Any advice on how "you" achieve the perfect macaron is welcome.

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Mr_Vittles June 4, 2012
Success! I tried a couple different things different and I got Macarons to come out with perfect feet and NO cracks! I lowered my oven temperature to 190 F and beat the heck out of the batter. I watched Jianlin Tian's video on YouTube, and noticed that the batter should come off the spatula like ribbons.
foodiedan June 1, 2012
some great tips here! the macaronage is important - don't over/underwork the batter. Basically you want to fold it enough times so the tips flatten and no more. To beat the humidity issue try cream of tartar. The Macaron Master shows how to master this tough little cookie!
Mr_Vittles May 31, 2012
Thanks to all who answered. In reply to Maedl, no I live in the central valley of California, Sacramento. It never gets humid here. I still suspect it is my poor "macaronage" technique. Any advice on how you do this will be appreciated.
ChefJune May 31, 2012
Summer in many parts of the world is too humid for much success with egg white-y things like macarons and meringue. Unless you have an air conditioned kitchen, you may want to wait to complete your experiment until fall. Summer is a great time to play with fruit desserts!
Maedl May 31, 2012
Do you live in a humid area? Could be that no matter what you try, the humidity is too high for baking macaroons.
Rachel S. May 30, 2012
I let my macarons set for a while before baking them (at least 45 minutes, though I once forgot them and left them sitting on the counter for two hours with perfectly good results). In my experience, this really helps with both foot development and crack prevention as it allows some of the moisture in the macaron to evaporate before baking, where too much moisture can evaporate too quickly with heat and cause cracking (though you still want a little rise for the foot to form). Maybe others have other thoughts, but those are my two cents!
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