Classic French Macarons

September 14, 2020
5 Ratings
Photo by edibletimes
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Makes 20-24 macarons
Author Notes

A craving for French macarons doesn't need to result in frustration or disappointment! I've developed this recipe after taking a pastry course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and it's my go-to when baking macarons for clients. They can be a little tricky, but macaron making should be mostly easy and fun! —edibletimes

What You'll Need
  • Macaron shells
  • 150 grams confectioner's sugar
  • 90 grams almond flour
  • 2-3 egg whites (about 75g)
  • 37 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar (or tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean or extract (or any others you can think up!)
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla beans (or vanilla bean paste or extract)
  1. FOR MACARONS: Line a couple baking pans with parchment or silicone baking mats. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. Grind almonds or almond flour with confectioner’s sugar in a food processor, just let it grind while you whip meringue. If using lemon or orange zest, add here.
  3. Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (hand mixer works, too), and whip on high speed with a whisk attachment to a stiff meringue (resembles shaving cream). Add the cream of tartar, and any color or extracts, and whip on high speed 30 seconds more to incorporate.
  4. Using a spatula and a sieve, fold in the dry ingredients in batches. Fold until it flows like lava, combined, but not over-mixed.
  5. Transfer to a piping bag (or large plastic bag) fitted with a quarter-inch tip, pinching the bottom closed so it doesn’t leak out on you. (I use a hair pin).
  6. Pipe onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Tap the sheet pan on the counter with moderate force a couple of times, rotating once.
  7. Optional: Let the piped macarons rest on the counter for 30 to 40 minutes. The shell will turn from shiny and sticky, to smooth and dull.
  8. Bake at 300° F for about 16 minutes, rotating the pan once the signature “feet” form. Cool a few minutes before removing from baking mat or parchment. Fill with buttercream and store chilled for 24 hours before serving.
  9. FOR BUTTERCREAM: In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, and cook until it reaches 234° F on a candy or meat thermometer. Sans thermometer, it usually on takes a minute or two of boiling to become hot enough).
  10. While syrup boils, beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl on medium speed. When syrup reaches temperature, slowly drizzle into eggs, avoiding beater or whisk attachment (if using stand mixer). Beat on high until room temperature. Add butter in several additions, and beat until smooth.
  11. The buttercream may appear broken (curdled), but keep beating and it will smooth out. Add extract or liqueur to taste. Store refrigerated, and bring to room temperature to use leftovers (it may need another beating to smooth out after being refrigerated).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • edibletimes
  • Food52recipessuck
  • Will

3 Reviews

Food52recipessuck April 14, 2023
These were the most crusty dusty musty frusty grusty nusty fugly little almond dessert I’ve had in my entire life. The almond overpowered it SO much and the recipe had the nerve to put GRAMS in the measurements instead of cups or spoons. Never ever make these. This also took like two hours to make, and it was disgusting. Now the buttercream is foaming on top and it’s all weird and looks like puke. And now I have to clean up the kitchen after the huge mess. Great. Thanks.
Will October 18, 2022
The recipe CLEARLY states that this DOESN'T use simple syrup, yet the 9th step in the recipe is for a simple syrup. Also the recipe states it makes 20-24 cookies, but doesn't specify if it's 20-24 with the cream or without. When I made this, I barely had enough for 10 full macarons, not 20. Also step 7 should not be optional, as without resting leads to a higher chance of cracking or breaking of the cookie when baking. And I only got 4 cookies out of this recipe. If anyone wants to make this recipe, make at least 2x or 3x what they call for the cookie, but keep the cream the same.
edibletimes October 18, 2022
I'm sorry you found this confusing. The simple syrup in Step 9 is not the method for the macaron batter, but for the French buttercream filling. The macaron batter does not require making an Italian (cooked) meringue with syrup. It is the French method of simply beating granulated sugar with raw egg whites.

I make this recipe several times a week for clients with a template and get 20, 1.5" filled macarons, if not more. If you are piping larger macarons, you will certainly get less. On the subject of resting macarons, it is beneficial to help correct inconsistencies in the meringue or batter and get the signature look of a macaron. But resting is not necessary for everyone in every kitchen.