Vanilla Almond Macarons

I’ve always been fascinated by macarons. In fact, I’ve always been fascinated by most french desserts. More specifically though, I’ve always thought it would be really cool to make homemade macarons. One, it’s super impressive, which goes along with two, they’re really hard to make. And three, they’re so darn cute! This isn’t one of those recipes unfortunately that seems difficult but isn’t, I’d say these are pretty difficult.

Vanilla Almond Macarons

In fact, these were my second try, in one day. I’ve made macarons 4 times now. The first time they failed, the second time I succeeded but it took me all day long and they still didn’t even look very round, the third time was right before these and they stuck to the sheets and didn’t rise as much as they should have, and the fourth time I succeeded! Well, mostly…

Vanilla Almond Macarons

These were pretty, round, nicely domed, had their signature crinkly “feet”, and didn’t stick to the sheets! Actually, they did just a tad, but it wasn’t too bad. I stuck the parchment in the freezer (with the macaron shells) for about 10 minutes and for some reason that causes them to peel right off. The one reason I say I mostly succeeded and not totally succeeded is because the macaron shells were kind of hollowed out, which is apparently not what you want. I thought they still tasted fine but it causes the texture to be a bit off, which I can understand.

Vanilla Almond Macarons

It all has to do with the egg whites. There is a special sweet spot that you need to find in which the egg whites are perfectly beaten. I beat the egg whites without the sugar until they’re very foamy. Then, I gradually pour in the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is glossy and forms nearly stiff peaks. The beater should come out of the mixture without anything falling off of it, but if the mixture falls down a teeny bit then that is perfect. You don’t want too stiff peaks because that will cause the hollowed shells I explained. All in all this is a good recipe and you shouldn’t have much trouble if you at least get to stiff peaks.


Vanilla Almond Macarons

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: about 20 macarons

Vanilla Almond Macarons

Crispy, sweet almond macarons sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream in the middle.

Ingredients

    Macarons:
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar
    Filling:
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1+ Tbsp. milk
  • food coloring, optional

Instructions

    Make the macarons:
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the almond meal and confectioners sugar; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until very foamy and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar while the mixer is still on and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy and has grown in volume, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the mixture from the electric mixer and gently but efficiently fold in the almond meal and confectioners sugar mixture. The mixture should be thick and rather stiff, most likely with air bubbles throughout.
  4. Scrape the mixture into a large piping bag and cut off the tip to make about a ½-inch diameter circle. Pipe the batter into small circles, about 1-inch diameter, onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1½ inches apart. Let the piped macarons sit out for at least 1 hour, or until you can touch the tops of the shells and they're hard.
  5. Preheat the oven to 285 degrees F. Bake the macarons in the middle rack of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes, rotating the sheet at the halfway mark. Repeat with the other sheet. Transfer the silicone mat or parchment paper to a cool surface and then let the macarons cool completely before removing from the mat or paper.
    Make the filling:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, food coloring, and enough milk for your desired consistency. Place in a piping bag and pipe onto cookies for easiest assembly, or spread on to cookies using a small knife. Sandwich together with an unfrosted cookie and serve.
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Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

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