Ah, French Macarons- Instagram's favorite dessert. And it's easy to see why, they are pretty stinking cute which their array of colors, little boxes tied up with a bow, and hipster font that try to justify their high price tags. Now if you're anything like me, you become determined to make such a seemingly simple and adorable cookie. I'm mean it's just essentially a cookie, right? Yeah no, wrong!
I have wasted pounds of almond flour and dozens of eggs for their whites trying to make these freaking things. To ensure that you do not take the long, tricky path riddled with mistakes that I took while trying to learn to make French Macarons: here are a few tips to follow.
1. Beat your egg whites longer than you think you need to. Screw soft peaks, hold out for a harder peak- it'll result in a more stable cookie in the end.
2. Mix your color and flavoring in while you are beating your egg whites. If you wait until you are mixing in your dry ingredients, then you will flatten out your egg whites.
3. Do NOT over mix when combining your wet and dry ingredients. Mix until they are just combined: if your final mixture is runny, you've mixed it too much and you may as well start over.
4. Use a good silicone pad or parchment paper to line your baking sheets.
5. After you pipe out your macarons, let them sit for at least an hour. Don't try to cheat this step, or else you will be very sad trying to scrape the cookies off of the pan when they run all over the place. (Hint: if you don't know whether or not they're ready to put in the oven, poke the top of your future macaron. If it's still runny, wait another 10 minutes until they don't leave any residue on your finger.)
6. Place your macarons in the middle of your oven to bake, so they will bake evenly.
7. If your oven tends to get too hot, go ahead and set your oven to 15 degrees lower than the recipe calls for. This will avoid unwanted browning on the top of your precious little macarons.
8. When you take your cookies out of the oven, let them sit in the pad on the silicone mat until they are completely cooled. This will prevent any of the cookies from sticking or falling apart when trying to remove them from the sheet.
9. Be gentle when assembling your fancy cookie sandwiches, they are delicate and will crack, crumble, and fall apart. You did not make it this far into the process to ruin them by frosting them too aggressively. Remember they are more fragile than a baby: a baby can bounce back but your macarons cannot.
10. Do not try to stack them when packing them- they will get smooshed, and stick together, and you will be sad. (Trust me, learn from my mistakes.)
Those are all of the tips I have for those of you who are embarking on your French Macaron journeys. Best of luck to you all!