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A Guide To Macaron Making + Troubleshooting Tips

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After over a decade of making macarons, I’m here to share my complete guide to making French Macarons + Troubleshooting Tips! There’s something about Macarons, a fussy little French cookie, that just drives people nuts. Macarons are my Everest, I needed to climb them, and I wasn’t going to rest until I did. I assume since you’re here, you want to climb that macaron mountain and reach the peak of perfect macarons!

Macaron Troubleshooting - wonky macarons on a baking tray

This cookie has brought me to my knees, there have been literal tears and tantrums. But over a decade of making them and a trip to France where I took a class on how to make them properly has taught me a lot about how to get them right. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the occasional flop, but it’s because I made an obvious mistake or because I was distracted. In this blog post I’m going to take you through all of my tips to getting perfect macarons, I’ll include a question and answer section and I’ll include a section on all the mistakes I’ve made and how I’ve fixed them.

Macaron Troubleshooting - wide shot of macaron

Getting perfect macarons is easy once you have a good recipe from a reliable source + you know what you’re doing, meaning you’ve read the recipe properly and you understand why each step is important.

The truth about macarons.

Macarons are little French cookies that when made right, are chewy in the center and crispy on the outside. They’re smooth and domed on the top and have little feet where the air escapes as they rise and are often filled with different flavored fillings. Flavor wise, they’re quite sweet (that’s why they’re so small), but that can be offset by getting creative with the flavoring of your fillings. Frankly my favorite filling is my silky smooth Chocolate Ganache recipe. I’ll include a longer list of my favorite fillings at the bottom of those post.

Macaron Troubleshooting - thumbnail

One thing to keep in mind when making these cookies is that 99% of the time, even if they don’t rise, or they crack or sink, they may not look like the ones you find in a pretty French bakery, but they’ll taste just as good! Yes. The truth is, people will remember you as the person who served them ugly macarons that tasted good, but that’s life baby.

Which macaron recipe yields the best results?

Macaron Troubleshooting - 3 different types of macarons side by side

There are three main macaron recipes and they all differ mostly in the way the meringue is made.

  1. French Meringue method BEST FOR BEGINGERS – this is made using an easy fuss free meringue. You make the meringue using sugar that is slowly added to egg whites. Super simple. It yields ok results.
  2. Swiss Meringue methodEASY – The recipe is made by dissolving the sugar in the egg whites over a double boiler. It’s an easy way to make the meringue and yields fantastic results. This is my favorite method.
  3. Italian Meringue methodEXTRA STEPS – The meringue is made using a syrup that is slowly poured into the egg whites while you mix on high speed. This is the fussiest of the recipe but yields the best and most consistent results.

Macaronage: The most important step of making macarons!

The most important part of making macarons is how you mix the meringue and the dry ingredients together. This mixing stage is called the ‘macaronage’. Mix too little and your macarons may be lumpy, might not rise properly and will not be mixed evenly. Mix too much and you risk deflating all the air that was whipped in the meringue. That leads to cookies that don’t rise and spread out into odd shapes.

Macaron Troubleshooting - mixing macarons side by side

How to mix – No matter the type of macaron recipe, I mix my batter the exact same way. I use a spatula to scrape around the inside of the bowl and then through the middle of the macaron batter. This helps deflate the batter to the perfect consistency which I call the ‘ribbon stage’.

Macaron Troubleshooting - ribbon stage

The ribbon stage is when the batter falls off the spatula and back into the bowl in a ribbon, then disappears into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds. Once you get to the ribbon stage, you STOP MIXING. Mixing beyond this stage will cause your batter to become too runny and you will need to start again. There’s no saving the batter.

Why you have to dry your macarons before baking.

To me, it’s not a question of if you should do this. You should. Once your macarons have been piped, you need to let them dry. I know some people will say you don’t need to do this. In my experience making macarons for a decade, you absolutely DO need to let them dry. What this does is it helps the top develop a dry skin so that when they cookies are baked, the steam in them escapes from the bottom and helps them rise giving them their iconic feet. Without developing this skin the steam will escape through the top causing your macarons to crack.

Macaron Troubleshooting - drying macarons

How long they need to rest – depends on your environment. If it’s a warm, dry day, they need about 15 minutes to develop a skin, if it’s a wet or cold day, they need longer. You’ll know they’re ready when you lightly touch the macaron, and it doesn’t stick to your finger. They will still feel soft but shouldn’t be sticky.

Hot Goss – to this day, there’s a big youtuber who’s really sour with me because I messaged them one day and told them off for telling their audience to not dry their macaron shells before baking.

Let’s talk about your oven.

Macaron Troubleshooting - oven themometer

There are two things you need to know about your oven when baking macarons.

  1. Make sure it’s the right temperature. You basically need to know this for any recipe but especially for baking. Some ovens run hotter than the dial says on the oven and can cause your macarons to burn or sink. I use an oven thermometer that I place in thew oven and it tells me the exact temperature inside the oven.
  2. Some ovens use a fan (convectional), others don’t use a fan (conventional). A fan oven is great for circulating air around the oven really quickly, giving you a nice even bake on most recipes. For this recipe however, the air can cause issues when your macarons are rising. The most common issue is lop-sided macarons. So if you have a fan-forced oven, make sure you have switched it off or use the setting that doesn’t have a fan. That way your macarons don’t have to battle with hot air.

Almond Flour vs Almond Meal. Is there a difference?

Yes. Does it matter which one you use for macarons? Also, yes.

Almond meal is ground up almonds that have the skin left on them. They will work for this recipe but not as good as Almond flour which is a finely ground almond, much finer than almond meal, and has the skin taken off beforehand so it’s much paler in appearance. That means you’ll get much vibrant colors and smoother looking macarons.

Macaron Troubleshooting - almond flour

Shopping for it – Something I’ve noticed in Australia is that almond meal and almond flour can often be called one thing: ‘almond meal’. So, look for good quality brands and for almonds that look like they’ve been finely ground. Almond flour can be found in most supermarkets and delis.

How to make your own almond flour

  1. To blanch your almonds – Place your almonds with skin on in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 60 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool them down. Squeeze each almond and it will slip out of the skin. Discard the skin, keep the almonds! Lay out on a baking tray and allow to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. If you’re using almonds that are already blanched, skip this step and do the next step!
  2. To blitz the almonds – place the blanched almonds into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz on high speed for 10 – 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Repeat this process until a fine powdery substance forms. IMPORTANT: Do not over mix. This can cause the mixture to become a paste. If this happens, start again. Overmixing can also cause the almonds to heat in the food processor which releases their natural oils. This can cause problems down the line when making your macarons.

Aging your egg whites.

Macaron Troubleshooting - egg whites

Do you have to age your egg whites? Ideally, yes. Ageing your egg whites simply means separating them from the egg yolks a day in advance and keeping them in the fridge before using them. This helps break down the proteins in the egg whites helping them whip up better. It’s just another step that will help you achieve successful macarons.

What to do before you begin making macarons

Take a breath, then do the following:

  1. Read the recipe carefully – It was the first thing I learned on the first day of high school. Read the recipe, know what you’re in for before you begin.
  2. Measure all ingredients out by weight – you’ll need kitchen scales to do this. I have an entire guide on how to measure ingredients using kitchen scales. In fact, I’ve started
  3. Prepare your baking trays – if you’re using baking paper, cut the baking paper to size. You don’t want overhang. If using silicone baking mats. Make sure they’re clean and dry.
  4. Clean your mixing bowl – clean the mixing bowl you’ll be using to whip the meringue using white vinegar or fresh lemon juice and a paper towel. This will ensure there is no fat residue in your bowl which can stop your meringues from whipping properly.

All my tips and tricks for making macarons!

And let me tell you, I’ve made macarons for a decade, I’ve learned a thing or two!

  • Read the recipe carefully – make sure you prepare ahead of time and know what you’re getting yourself into.
  • Prepare the baking trays ahead of time – lay the silicone baking mats on top if using or cut the baking paper to size.
  • Clean your meringue mixing bowl – with white vinegar or with lemon juice and a paper towel to make sure there’s no fat residue.
  • Measure your ingredients using kitchen scales and make sure you measure them to the gram! This recipe needs accurate measurements to work and for that reason cup measurements will not work. In fact, in baking all recipes should be measured using kitchen scales for best results.
  • If you don’t own a food processor, you can sift the dry ingredients together three times.
  • Use good quality almond flour – it’s usually finer.
  • If using a food processor, don’t over pulse the ingredients as it can release the oil in the almonds and cause your macarons to crack.
  • Take care not to get any egg yolks in the egg whites when separating the eggs.
  • To color your macarons – use food gel coloring and not liquid food coloring.
  • Use a toothpick to get rid of air bubbles in macarons after they’ve been piped.
  • To bake macarons – Bake macarons in the middle rack of your oven, one tray at a time with the fan off.

What’s wrong with my macarons? Common mistakes that can happen and how to fix or prevent them!

Ok, so we’re getting to the good stuff. The reason why you’re about to pull your hair out. You’ve looked in the oven and yep, cracks. I’ll explain why and how macaron ‘oopsies’ happen and how to prevent them next time. You don’t need to read all of this but if you have an oopsie, come to this list and find the issue you’re having.

Macaron Troubleshooting - cracked macaron

Why did my macarons crack in the oven?

Why it happened
  • Macarons where not left to dry long enough. This is one of the most common issues with macarons. If they don’t dry on top and develop a skin, the steam escapes out the top and cracks the shells.
  • Too much moisture in the macaron or in the air and the steam rapidly escaped them in the oven causing them to crack on top.
  • Not mixing your batter long enough, or it not being mixed evenly can cause uneven distribution of ingredients meaning some parts will rise, others will be too heavy to rise and will cause the cracks.
  • Not beating your meringue long enough can cause your mixture to not be aerated enough and the macarons don’t have enough air to rise in the oven. This will cause the air to just escape the top even if they developed a skin.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you let your macarons rest long enough so that when you lightly touch the tops, they’re not sticky. How long they need to rest depends on the weather and how much moisture is in the air. Dry or hot days – 15 minutes. Wet or cold days – longer.
  • Macarons shouldn’t be baked on high humid days. Too much moisture in the air can cause a lot of issues, mainly cracking.
  • Make sure when mixing your batter you mix until you reach the ribbon stage. Refer to my videos and step by step photos for reference on how this is done and what it looks like.
  • Make sure meringue is whipped until you reach stiff peaks. The meringue will have a birds beak at the end of your whisk and will be thick and glossy.
Macaron Troubleshooting - lumpy macarons

Why are my macarons so grainy looking?

Why it happened
  • Almond meal or almond flour was too course. This is why we blitz it in the food processor before using and then run it through a fine mesh sieve.
How to fix it
  • Opt in for good quality almond flour. I’ve found that this does make a difference to the end results of your macarons. Make sure when blitzing your almond flour in the food processor, you stop and scrape down the bottom of the bowl and then continue. Make sure you don’t overdo it otherwise you risk releasing the oil from the almond flour which will lead to issues with your macarons. Once blitzed, run through a fine mesh sieve. Fine ones will catch any large pieces of almond flour or almond skin that wasn’t finely ground in the food processor and will give you nice smooth, shiny macarons.
Macaron Troubleshooting - macaron peak

Why do my macarons have peaks/nipples on top?

Why it happened
  • Batter wasn’t mixed enough. If the macaron batter doesn’t reach the ribbon stage it won’t settle down after being piped. Meaning those little peaks won’t go away.
How to fix it
  • Undermixed macaron batter can lead to macarons that rise and then slightly deflate. This is why the mixing stage is the most important part of making macarons. Make sure you mix long enough and using the correct technique. If you’ve piped your macarons and the peak at the top won’t go down, use a toothpick to gently try to swirl it back into the macaron.
Macaron Troubleshooting - dry macarons

My macarons are really crispy!

Why it happened
  • Overbaking or baking on too high a temperature will cause your macarons to dry out. There’s a simple fix!
How to fix it
  • This is one of the rare cases you can reverse a mistake after baking! Fill your macarons with your desired filling, sandwich them together and then let them rest for 24-48 hours. The moisture from the filling will re-hydrate the cookies and make them soft and chewy again.

Why did my macarons turn brown?

Why it happened
  • Baking on too high a temperature can cause your macarons to turn brown.
  • Incorrect measurement of sugar. If there is an excess of sugar in your macarons this can cause the sugar to caramelize, causing the shells to discolor. They’ll taste great, but won’t look as pretty.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you bake on the correct temperature. Using an oven thermometer that you place inside the oven can help you make sure your oven is running at the exact right temperature.
  • Make sure you measure using kitchen scales. There’s no risk of measuring incorrectly if you use kitchen scales. This is why I stopped offering my measurements in cups. If you’re new to kitchen scales, I have a complete guide on how to use Kitchen Scales.
Macaron Troubleshooting - wrinkly macaron

Why did my macarons sink or crinkle on top? Wrinkly macarons.

Why it happened
  • Temperature in the oven was too low. This can cause your macarons to appear under-baked and sink or crinkle on top when they cool.
  • Batter was left too long in the bag before piping. I’ve seen some recipes say you can make macaron batter a day in advance. It’s ridiculous. The moisture in the macaron batter soaks into the almond flour and creates this exact problem.
  • Too much moisture in the macaron or in the air and the steam rapidly escaped them in the oven causing them to sink or crinkle on top.
  • Not mixing your batter long enough, or it not being mixed evenly can cause uneven distribution of ingredients meaning some parts will rise, others will be too heavy to rise and will cause them to sink or crinkle.
  • Not beating your meringue long enough can cause your mixture to not be aerated enough and the macarons don’t have enough air to rise in the oven. This can cause the macarons to collapse or crinkle in the oven or as they cool.
  • Oily almond flour. If you over mix your almond flour or you buy one that is already too oily, it can cause the macaron shells to become too heavy to rise properly.
How to fix it
  • Make sure your oven temperature is accurate. Do this by using an oven thermometer which you can place in the oven to give you an accurate reading.
  • Once you add the batter to the bag, start piping. You have a couple hours to pipe your macarons once it’s been transferred to the piping bag, not an entire day.
  • Don’t make macarons on humid days. The humidity causes so many problems it’s not worth your time and effort making them on a humid day.
  • Make sure you mix the batter to the correct consistency. I use the ribbon stage as my indicator of when the batter is ready.
  • When beating your meringue, make sure you reach stiff glossy peaks. I can usually tell my meringue is ready when it’s doubled in size and falls off the end of the whisk in a bent birds beak.
  • Make sure you don’t overmix your almond and sugar mixture in the food processor. Instead, pulse to combine everything and get the almond as fine as you can. A little large flecks are ok. They get discarded after you sieve the mixture anyway.
Macaron Troubleshooting - macaron with small feet

Why didn’t my macarons rise and get feet?

Why it happened
  • Oven temperature too low. If your oven temperature is too low, your macarons don’t get enough heat to lift and rise. They may rise a little but it will be minimal.
  • Batter not mixed enough. If the batter isn’t mixed long enough or too much, the macarons won’t rise properly.
  • Macarons where not left to dry long enough. This is one of the most common issues with macarons. If they don’t dry on top and develop a skin, the steam escapes out the top and cracks the shells. You want the steam inside the macarons to escape from the bottom.
  • Not beating your meringue long enough can cause your mixture to not be aerated enough and the macarons don’t have enough air to rise in the oven. This can cause the macarons to collapse or crinkle in the oven or as they cool.
How to fix it
  • Get an external oven thermometer and place it in your oven to ensure the inside of your oven matches what the dial says on the outside.
  • Make sure you mix to the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is when your batter falls off your spatula and then disappears back into the batter after about 10 seconds.
  • Make sure you let your macarons rest long enough so that when you lightly touch the tops, they’re not sticky. How long they need to rest depends on the weather and how much moisture is in the air. Dry or hot days – 15 minutes. Wet or cold days – longer.
  • When beating your meringue, make sure you reach stiff glossy peaks. I can usually tell if my meringue is ready when it’s doubled in size and falls off the end of the whisk in a bent birds beak.
Macaron Troubleshooting - lopsided macaron

Why did my macarons rise lopsided?

Why it happened
  • Oven had fan on during baking. When your macarons rise and develop feet, those feet are really soft to begin with. The fan can physically cause the macarons to move in their soft state causing them to rise lopsided. Or it can unevenly distribute heat and cause only one side of the macarons to get hit with a higher amount of heat.
  • Baking tray had high sides or is warped. The baking tray you use matters. If it has high sides, it can cause uneven air distribution. If the baking tray warps when it enters the oven it can deflate your macarons or cause them to deflate on one side when they bake.
  • Macarons were piped incorrectly. If you pipe your macarons with the piping bag held on an angle, that can cause your macarons to rise lopsided.
  • Shells rested for too long. If your shells rested for too long, they will have stuck to the baking paper or baking mat which means they won’t rise at all or properly.
  • Used baking paper instead of silicone baking mat. Some people swear by baking paper when baking macarons. I’m the opposite. The problem I’ve found with baking paper is that the moisture from the macaron batter causes it to shrivel very slightly and that’s enough for some of the macaron to not have enough room to rise upward causing one side to rise and the other side to remain stuck to the baking paper.
  • Uneven heat distribution in your oven. If one side of your oven is hotter than the other, this can cause your macaron shells to rise unevenly.
How to fix it
  • Bake with the fan completely switched off. This will mean the macarons bake with only heat and no air to push them around.
  • Bake using warp free baking trays. I use Nordic Ware Half Sheet Baking Trays. They’re expensive but really good quality and can be used for pretty much anything.
  • Pipe holding the piping bag nice and straight. When you’ve finished piping do a small swirl at the top. That small swirl will disappear if your batter was mixed properly.
  • Rest macarons only until they’re not sticky when lightly touched. Sometimes this can take 15 minutes, other times it can take 30 minutes.
  • Use silicone baking mats if you have them. There’s no risk of them warping or crinkling from the moisture in the macarons as they’re left to dry which can cause the shells to stick and not rise properly.
  • Turn your trays around halfway through baking. Generally, I would advise against this because you risk accidently deflating your macaron feet, but if you must, do it as gently as possible!

Why did my macaron feet rise and then sink and spread out?

Why it happened
  • Baking temperature too high. Too high a temperature can cause your macarons to rise rapidly and then collapse once they come out of the oven. The nice high feet will just spread outward.
  • Batter was overmixed. If you overmix your batter, it will become really runny and all the air from the meringue will be deflated.
How to fix it
  • Grab yourself an oven thermometer if you’re unsure if the temperature inside your oven is accurate. It will give you an accurate reading.
  • Make sure you mix your batter using the correct technique and to the right consistency. I like to call the right consistency, the ‘ribbon stage’. When the batter falls off your spatula and then disappears back into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds, you stop mixing.

Why are my macaron feet so tall?

Why it happened
  • Oven temperature too high. If your oven temperature is too high or especially if the fan is on while your macarons bake, you will get overly tall macarons.
  • Meringue was overwhipped. Yes, believe it or not there is such thing as whipping your meringue for too long. When you whip it more than the recipe says, the meringue has way too much air in it. This can cause your macarons to rise too high, or the opposite can happen where they rise to the sky then collapse.
  • Didn’t mix the batter enough. The mixing stage is when you slightly deflate the batter to the right consistency. If you don’t deflate it enough your macarons will be really tall. Is anyone going to complain? No. But it won’t look like the pretty French ones in France.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you’re using the right temperature. An oven thermometer will help you do that. Also, make sure you’re not using the fan in your oven.
  • Whip to stiff peaks. Anything beyond this and your meringue will look like it could support a skyscraper because it will be so stiff. Stiff peak meringue looks thick and glossy and has a long birds beak at the end of your whisk when lifted out of the meringue.
  • Make sure you mix to the ‘ribbon stage’. The ribbon stage is when you lift the spatula out of the batter and it falls off the batter in a ribbon and disappears back into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds.
Macaron Troubleshooting - hollow macaron

Why are my macarons Hollow?

Why it happened
  • Meringue was overwhipped. If the meringue is over whipped it can create large hollow air pockets in the macaron as it bakes.
  • Macarons developed a thick skin during drying stage. There is such thing as drying your macarons for too long. You may `get feet on your macarons but the thick skin that developed may separate from the rest of the macaron as they bake causing them to develop a hollow inside.
  • Batter was undermixed. If the batter is too thick the macarons can bake too high causing them to bake with a large air bubble inside.
How to fix it
  • Make sure your meringue is whipped on medium high speed and not to overly stiff peaks. You want it thick and glossy and stiff enough that it forms a bent peak at the top of your whisk.
  • Make sure you let them rest long enough that they’re not sticky when lightly touched. They will be slightly soft still but shouldn’t be sticky.
  • Make sure you mix to the ribbon stage. When the batter falls off the spatula as a ribbon and then disappears into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds, it’s ready.
Macaron Troubleshooting - concave macarons

Why are the bottom of my macarons sunken?

Why it happened
  • Batter was overmixed. When the batter is overmixed, you completely deflate the mixture which means that the macarons don’t have air to rise. They may rise a little but then they collapse. This is why the mixing stage is so important!
  • Oven temperature was too low. If the temperature is too low the macarons don’t rise, they don’t bake enough on the bottom.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you mix to the ribbon stage. That’s when the batter falls off the spatula in a ribbon and disappears back into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds.
  • Make sure your oven temperature is set right. If you’re unsure if your oven has an accurate temperature reading you can use an oven thermometer that you place inside the oven.
Macaron Troubleshooting - sticky macarons

Why did my macaron shells stick to the baking paper/silicone baking mat?

Why it happened
  • The shells were underbaked. If the shells are underbaked, they remain sticky. Once the macarons are fully baked and cooled, they should come off really easily.
  • Oven temperature was too low. If your oven temperature is too low the macarons won’t bake enough. Part of what happens in the oven is that you
  • There was too much humidity in your kitchen. Humidity is a macaron worst enemy. It can cause lot’s of different types of issues but the most common is sticky macarons that don’t want to bake properly.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you bake your macarons long enough. Most of my recipes call for 15 minutes. Anything less than this and your macarons won’t dry out enough and will remain sticky.
  • Make sure your oven is set to the right temperature. You can use an oven thermometer to help you get an accurate reading.
  • Humidity is a macarons worst nightmare. I would advise against making macarons on hot and humid days. Rainy days can cause problems.
Macaron Troubleshooting - stuck together macarons

Why did my macarons all stick together?

Why it happened
  • You piped them too close together. When you pipe your macarons, if the batter was mixed properly, they will still spread out a little.
  • Batter was overmixed. This can cause your macaron batter to deflate causing them to spread out too much.
How to fix it
  • Pipe them about 1-inch apart from each other. They also spread a little more when they bake.­
  • Make sure you use the ribbon stage mixing technique when mixing your macarons.

Why is my macaron batter so runny?

Why it happened
  • Batter was overmixed. As you mix your meringue and dry ingredients together (in the case of the Italian meringue macaron method it’s an almond and sugar egg paste) you slightly deflate your batter. This is normal and this is what you want to happen. If you overmix your batter you will deflate the air whipped into the meringue too much causing the batter to go from the lovely ribbon stage to a batter that is overly runny. This can cause your macarons to spread out too much and not rise.
How to fix it
  • Make sure you mix to the ribbon stage. It’s when the batter falls off the spatula back into the bowl in a ribbon and then disappears into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I flavor the cookies?

There are a number of ways to flavor macarons, but I would advise flavoring your filling instead. One way you can flavor your filling is using flavorings in the form of extracts or flavorings. Use only a very small amount of those so that you don’t risk adding too much liquid/moisture to your shells. You can also use crushed freeze dried fruits like raspberry or strawberry to get a strong flavor without adding too much moisture. Again though, you’re better off flavoring your filling instead of the shell to avoid mucking around too much with the delicate balance of ingredients in the macaron shells.

Macaron Troubleshooting - food gel

How do I color the cookies?

Simple! Use food gel coloring. I like using chefmaster, but any of the major brands will work. Use a small amount. And then if you need more, add more. Just avoid overmixing your macaron batter. Also, don’t use liquid food coloring which will add an excess of moisture in your shells. It is normal for your macaron color to go a little dull in the oven as they bake.

Macaron Troubleshooting - sprinkles on macarons

Can I sprinkle things on top of my macarons?

Yes! Things like sprinkles and finely crushed cookies are a great way to dress up your macarons! Just don’t overdo it.

Macaron Troubleshooting - baking paper vs baking mat

Should I use baking paper or silicone baking mats?

This one comes down to personal preference but also what you have available. I can tell you from my own experience, silicone mats are better to us. I’ve found that baking paper can buckle and warp a litt around the cookies themselves. The moisture from the cookies causes this as they are left on the baking paper to form a skin. This can sometimes cause lopsided macarons. Others swear by baking paper over silicon because they get a better rise and the macarons come away easier. My preference is silicone baking mats. At the end of the day both will work.

Can I make this without a stand mixer?

Yes! You can use a $12 hand mixer to whip up the meringue! You absolutely do not need to have a fancy stand mixer to make successful macarons.

Can I still make these on humid days?

My answer is avoid making macarons on humid days. Days with high humidity or rainy days can cause a whole bunch of issues with your macarons when they bake. For example I once made macarons on a rainy day and the macarons would not form a skin the entire day. It was a disaster.

Can I add less sugar to macarons?

No. The thing you need to understand about macarons is that the ingredients, including the water, are all measured by weight for thorough accuracy. Every ingredient, every step and technique all come together to help make this recipe work. The recipe doesn’t work with substitutions or alterations.

Can I use something instead of almond flour, like regular flour?

The key flavor and a characteristic of macarons is the almond flour. Recipes exist online that use ground pistachios, but from what I’ve read, they’re super temperamental and not something I’ve been tempted to try or will offer on the site anytime soon.

Can I freeze Macarons?

Yes! Macarons freeze great with or without the filling. Lay them out flat on a baking tray lined with baking paper and freeze for up to a month! Just be mindful that macarons are porous and will soak up fridge and freezer smells.

Do I have to age the egg whites before making the macarons?

This is a really good question. Ideally, yes. Ageing your egg whites simply means separating them from the egg yolks a day in advance and keeping them in the fridge before using them. This helps break down the proteins in the egg whites helping them whip up better.

How do I make macarons vegan?

You don’t. Unless you’re using a vegan macaron recipe. Currently I don’t have one on site, but there are loads out there.

I’m making the Italian meringue macarons, and my meringue has turned into a soup!

When adding the syrup to the egg whites, make sure the mixer us on medium high speed and make sure you add the syrup in a slow and stead stream. If you’ve added the syrup and the meringue has turned to a soup like consistency, the syrup has cooked the egg whites. It was either added too quickly or the mixer wasn’t on a high enough speed. If this has happened, there’s no saving the meringue no matter how long you mix it. The recipe won’t work, start again.

Tools and Equipment to use.

There are a few pieces of equipment that will make macaron making easier and give you higher chances of success, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get perfect macarons without them. Here’s what I use and love when making macarons.

  • Stand mixer – A simple $12 hand mixer will work. You just need to aim for the right meringue consistency. If you are using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment.
  • Mixing bowls – I prefer using glass mixing bowls, but metal bowls will work as well. Make sure they’re super clean and dry and wipe them down with some white vinegar or lemon juice and paper towel to remove any fat residue. Plastic bowls are a no-no.
  • Baking trays – this one is really important. If you’re going to purchase one thing for this recipe, splurge on good quality, warp resistant baking trays. Make sure you use warp resistant baking trays. My favorite baking trays to use are the Nordic Ware Half Sheet baking trays. They’re expensive, but they’ve never warped.
  • Sieve – Use a fine mesh sieve. Most regular ones will work but if you can get one from a proper kitchenware store, those will give you an ultra-fine almond flour.
  • Piping bags – The ones I use are 40cm in length. The large ones will fit all of your batter at once meaning you won’t need to fill the bag up again and risk deflating your batter.
  • Piping tips – I use a medium sized round metal piping tip measuring about 1.5cm / 3/4-inches in width.
  • Silicone baking mat – My preference is to use silicon baking mats, specifically the Silpat brand ones. If you don’t have silicone baking mats, use baking paper (not wax paper) and cut it to the exact size of your baking tray.

Filling options

Macaron Troubleshooting - frostings

The filling you choose for your macarons will help give them their unique flavor. Some of my favorites include:

  1. Chocolate Ganache
  2. White Chocolate Ganache
  3. American Buttercream Frosting
  4. Cream Cheese Frosting
  5. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  6. Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
  7. Cream Cheese Frosting

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