I *heart* Macarons
You would have to live in a cave these days not to realize that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Those lovely sweet tarts! And the chocolate kisses! And the heart shaped cookies! And the cutest heart adorned cupcakes! Shades of pink and red… everywhere. Well, I guess I live in one because when a friend called and asked if I could make her some macarons for Valentine’s Day, I replied "oh yes sure, just remind me when it’s closer to that time". Silence. "Ugh, it’s soon, really. Like next week!" My turn to be silent.
I admit we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. For as long as I remember I was always stuck at work that evening and even now that we could, B. always seems to have a music gig that night. Nothing against V-Day, not even the countless years of having me hide rings and earrings in desserts at the restaurant! I love romance. I am a hopeless romantic. I love old, well – read books and often create a romantic, often sad story behind their earmarked pages. I love old black and white movies and spending a few hours with Jimmy Stewart, a couple of macarons and a glass of milk (don’t question the association, it just works)
Hard to believe when the first words that came out of my mouth when I met B. were "and now I am going to have to eat chicken!" instead of "Hi! You just bought the last ticket to the gala dinner! You are going to love the squab!". This was followed by "you’re hot" when I should have said "you’re sweet" when we got to talk later. He is hot, and he makes me lose my marbles, even today. Taking an extra day to celebrate that would send me straight to the mad house!!
I understand how a day devoted to celebrating love can give a timid suitor the necessary strength to propose or take the next step. Turns out my friend Linda could use all the help she can get as she will be proposing on V-Day and she thought that a batch of cute romantic macarons could sweeten the pot. I already know she does not need to worry and I accepted her request with a happy and giddy heart. I love it when there is a purpose behind, when you know there is something important shaping up and you have been part of it.
I guess I was deep in my thoughts and forgot to be stunned when B. said "So what would you like to do for Valentine’s Day?". Silence from me. Really trying to word this the right way so he won’t have any way out "I’d like to make macarons with you. I’d like if you could grind and shake, shift and fold with me. I’ll even let you build things with them when they are done". Interesting how much we got done within a couple of hours…even a makeshift macaron Eiffel Tower balancing on the counter top… What do you think I was going to say, eh?!!
We used a mix of almonds and pistachios for the macaron shells and kept one half uncolored and the other bright cherry pink. I purposely did not add white coloring to the other shells which I sometimes do and let them get a nice shade of antique pink while cooking. To draw the heart, I simply set aside a tablespoon of each batter and drew hearts on the shells with a toothpick dipped in the batters before baking them. We filled them with B.’s favorite spiced Swiss meringue buttercream with hints of cardamom and star anise.
Valentine’s Day Macarons Recipe:
For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr almonds
pink cherry powdered food coloring (the end color will depend on how much you use)
For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Divide the batter in half and mix some color to one half to the desired effect. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with one of the batters and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Use another bag for the second half of the batter.
Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon in the center of one shell and top with another one.
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon star anise
pinch of salt
Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. Add the spices and salt and whip for another 10 seconds to incorporate it. If not using right away, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 1 month.
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 6:40 am
Cakebrain February 9, 2009 um 7:05 am
Whenever you make macarons, I’m here drooling and pining! What a cute idea! I *heart* macarons too!
Rosa's Yummy Yums February 9, 2009 um 7:39 am
They are so pretty! A wonderful idea…
Antonella February 9, 2009 um 8:30 am
Christy February 9, 2009 um 8:44 am
Hehe…Can’t help laughing when i heard how you first met B. Well, I’m not a super romantic person myself, but even that should not be accountable for one of the first things I said to J on our first date. Well, let’s just say that we were in the car and it’s one of those days when I get really bad motion sickness.
I love the macarons, especially since it’s such a special one!! Love the mixture of almonds and pistachios, and the spiced Swiss buttercream filling sounds so delectable!
Fee ist mein Name February 9, 2009 um 9:09 am
Hot macarons ;-)!
[email protected] February 9, 2009 um 9:47 am
ooo yum, and super pretty!
My first line meeting my husbad proeprly was even worse, I was asking him if he was still going out with a girl I didn’t particularly like but due to vodka and red bull it was slighty more expletive ridden than I would haeev liked!! Classy!!
Hope you’ve a great valentines day!
sefa firdaus February 9, 2009 um 10:03 am
every time I see your macarons, I’m dying to make but not dare enough to try 🙁
K and S February 9, 2009 um 10:10 am
so cute! here in Japan they are making macarons heart shaped 🙂
CY Phang February 9, 2009 um 10:46 am
Lovely little darlings! I’m really bad with macaroons, tried to make them once and flung terribly! Will have to try your recipe next time!
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 10:47 am
Beautiful macarons. I love them. I just made some Valentine cake balls (well, balls and hearts and boxes and love letters… I would’nt be me if I make only balls) and it was quite fun. But these macaroons are so elegant…
And the spiced buttercream! I must try, thank you for the recipe and have a very happy and love full Velentine.
pigpigscorner February 9, 2009 um 11:33 am
aww they are so cute and so sweet…
Simone Izumi February 9, 2009 um 11:50 am
Ohhhhh…I loved your post!!
This macaron looks great!!!
Culinary Wannabe February 9, 2009 um 11:59 am
How cute! I’m sure your friend is going to be thrilled with them – an good luck to her!
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 12:23 pm
I’ve read everthing you’ve said about macarons… and am "almost" ready to try my hand on them… wish me luck… and have a have a great Valentine’s Day!
Babeth February 9, 2009 um 12:23 pm
And I *heart* Tartelette!
Philo aux fourneaux – Blog culinaire February 9, 2009 um 12:27 pm
Chouette le dessin du petit coeur sur tes macarons !
Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen February 9, 2009 um 12:42 pm
Those are gorgeous. They look like they should be in a French Patisserie shop.
LizNoVeggieGirl February 9, 2009 um 12:51 pm
Such a darling V-Day treat!!
montague February 9, 2009 um 12:54 pm
me too!! i heart macaroons and tartelette!
Cannelle Et Vanille February 9, 2009 um 12:57 pm
even though we don’t celebrate valentine’s either, i love the little gestures we end up doing for each other around this time. it’s hard to believe that like you guys, after being married for 10 years, we are still crazy about each other. and i am sooo glad!
what can i say about the macs, gorgeous!
Rena February 9, 2009 um 1:07 pm
They are precious!
sunita February 9, 2009 um 1:08 pm
Helen, those are some very pretty macarons 🙂
MyKitchenInHalfCups February 9, 2009 um 1:28 pm
Always a winner.
Lucky us with a valentine everyday.
Lael Meidal February 9, 2009 um 1:46 pm
oh! I have a ton of egg whites and I’ve been out for a good macaron recipe lately. This one sounds perfect. Thank you!
lynda February 9, 2009 um 2:15 pm
Fun story and over the top cute macarons! So clever!
[email protected] February 9, 2009 um 2:16 pm
A dream these "hearty of flavors" heart macarons. Just perfect!
Pistachios, meringue buttercream impossible to not turn out gorgeous!
A big stumbled at stumbleupon site.
Olga February 9, 2009 um 2:18 pm
Being a single girl, this is not one of my favorite days 🙁 But I usually treat myself to something fun anyway.
Your macaroons look absolutely precious. One day I’ll make them for sure!
Love the heart decoration at the top.
Melita February 9, 2009 um 3:28 pm
I *heart* everything you make! Everything looks so yummy, as you combine art with your pictures, and your wonderful recipes!
Chelsea February 9, 2009 um 3:34 pm
OK, I’m convinced! I’m definitely going to make these (or a variaition) for Valentine’s Day. I hate fabricated holidays, but it is a great excuse to do something special with food:)
I LOVE the photo of the books in the window.
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 3:37 pm
Cute! I’m sure it was unintentional on your part, but I live near a store called Piety Ridge Primitives and the decoration on your cookies is pretty much their logo! Funny coincidence since they specialize in rustic, Canadiana decor and your cookies are such a haute French delicacy.
tara February 9, 2009 um 3:40 pm
I’m sure you have a lineup of suitors, but goodness – seeing these I do believe I must ask you to be my Valentine! My husband will just have to deal with the fact that I am absolutely smitten with these. So precious.
Laura February 9, 2009 um 3:49 pm
I ADORE macarons. And thank god you posted this recipe so I wouldn’t have to buy that Pierre Herme book and translate it with my very tenuous grasp of french!
Mallory Elise February 9, 2009 um 4:06 pm
tee hee. trop mignon 🙂
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 4:16 pm
They are so sweet and beautiful!!!! Whoever receives them will melt away!
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 4:16 pm
I am usually not a big Valentine’s Day enthusiast, but these macaroons could melt this stubborn heart of mine and convince me…
Beautiful pictures as always.
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 4:21 pm
So adorable! I’m currently waiting on some almond meal to come in the mail so I can try my hand at making macarons. Now you’ve made me even more impatient! 🙂
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 4:25 pm
I just love these- so cute!
Leacayoungart February 9, 2009 um 4:37 pm
I need to try those. They looks so good and the little hearts are darling.
baked in alaska February 9, 2009 um 4:37 pm
Your macarons are adorable! I thought I knew what I was making for Valentine treats. Now I think I am going to change my plans. It is so fun to give macarons because not "everyone" will be giving these out.
Thank you for sharing.
Lori February 9, 2009 um 4:37 pm
I saw a pic of your husband and you are right he is very handsome. In a Richard Gere-ish kind of way. Soft features- probably a very sweet, easy going man. That’s my guess. Anywho.
Always love to see a macaron on your site. I love the little heart design.
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 4:46 pm
I really , really need to try star anise in buttercream. Your macarons are adorable!
Patricia Scarpin February 9, 2009 um 5:01 pm
This is certainly a sweet way of celebrating it, Helen!
These are so lovely.
Char February 9, 2009 um 5:03 pm
I’ve never been big on Valentine’s day either, even when I was with someone. It is all too contrived for me. I like romance all days of the year instead of the forced hub-bub. But…these are lovely.
Rita February 9, 2009 um 5:03 pm
I worked in restaurants for years and often had to carry rings in my pocket or bring them to the pastry chef to create something special. I loved it!
Oh, and me too *heart* your blog!
Sunshinemom February 9, 2009 um 5:37 pm
So cute!! I like this kind of I heart Mondays too:) Very pretty!! It does set the mood for a mushy Valentine’s Day:)
Hey thanks a bunch for those really sweet snaps of Bailey!
Deborah February 9, 2009 um 5:37 pm
I always love your macarons!!
cindy* February 9, 2009 um 5:41 pm
so cute! your story and the macarons that is.
Unknown February 9, 2009 um 6:41 pm
it’s definitely a good thing (a fabulous thing actually) that after so long together he makes you lose your marbles still. sigh. I love my husband so much. he drives me batty…in a good way:) macarons are my favorite. I love them so much. I’m a lucky girl bc my bday is four days after Valentine’s Day so I have a week packed of nice dinners, lots of love, gifts and A LOT of dessert. this recipe sounds delish…duh.
adeL February 9, 2009 um 7:04 pm
I am thoroughly impressed with your creations and pictures..
I am not a baking person but would attempt it soon enough..thanks to your page..I will base my baking on yours 🙂
paula February 9, 2009 um 7:39 pm
it is so sad to say that i have never had one! i really must, after the hiatus of course;)
Snooky doodle February 9, 2009 um 7:48 pm
wow amazing! these are so cute and romantic. these looks so nice for Valentine
That Girl February 9, 2009 um 8:08 pm
I heart Valentine’s Day, but I think I heart your macarons more!
May February 9, 2009 um 8:11 pm
Those are lovely! 🙂
I wish I could share such macarons with my beloved.
Clare February 9, 2009 um 8:53 pm
nice blog! My english nanna made macaroons. Ahhh memories
Jacqueline February 9, 2009 um 8:58 pm
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 10:24 pm
So very sweet and supercute :-)! Have a nice Valentine’s Day :-)! XOXO
Hayley February 9, 2009 um 10:45 pm
Don’t you just love how Valentine’s Day brings about the pink in the world? These are too cute. Thanks for sharing!
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 11:00 pm
I know these were your test batch and I can’t wait for the "real" one. I "do" need every little bit of help as I have never been that never in my life. Saturday will be here before I know it!
Thank you so much! You are the best!
Anonymous February 9, 2009 um 11:34 pm
Everywhere we look today, there’s cardamom. It’s so lovely!
Helene February 10, 2009 um 12:27 am
Anna: I don’t buy almond meal because it is hard to tell how long ago it has been produced or how long it has been on the shelves and it has a tendency to be too dry for the macarons. Almond meal is simply ground almonds, but that would make sense if you do not have a food processor.
Thank you everyone!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 1:46 am
Hi Helene! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and decided to make the snickers macarons today! It was my first experience making the little devils and it seemed to work out well thanks to your blog and instructions in Desserts Magazine! I did notice though that you have slightly altered the cooking temperature and times, is this specific to this recipe or have you found that formula best for all macarons? Thank you again for your lovely blog 🙂
Helene February 10, 2009 um 2:02 am
Danielle-Marie: the shorter cooking times and higher temperature (300F) work best in my oven which is convection but I know that most use regular ovens and the macarons loose less color at at lessert temperature thus must cook a bit longer.
Hope it helps!
I am glad that the macarons making was a success!
Thank you everyone!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 2:35 am
These are so cute! Love them!!
You will never cease to amaze me with your photos and macarons!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 2:54 am
ADORABLE!! They are perfect.
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 3:19 am
How adorable and perfect. These are so sweet.
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 4:25 am
Perfection. More amazing photos, treats and daydreams to distract me from the sawdust, concrete, old toilets and power tools that control my life right now. Thank you!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 5:33 am
Helen, thanks for visiting my site. I can see we’re going to have to work harder on our photos to compete with you lol.
Your site is just beautiful, and those Macarons are stunning with the little hearts on them. So cute!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 6:22 am
You and your macaron follies! I love those, adorable and charming. Seriously who could resist?!
I made your floating islands on sunday and it was a success with my family. Everything turned out perfect. Problem was we all wanted more! Thank you again for answering my email about these.
Kitchen M February 10, 2009 um 6:25 am
This is so adorable!!
I went to one of my favorite bakeries in the city today and when I saw a whole bunch of cute little macarons, I thought of your blog. Macarons = Tartlette in my mind. 🙂
Kitchen M February 10, 2009 um 6:27 am
Pardon my misspelling. I meant Macarons = Tartelette!
kimberly salem February 10, 2009 um 6:46 am
These are so cute, I can hardly stand it! 🙂 Gorgeous photos. I know what you mean about the flowers in food pics, unless they’re made of sugar 🙂
Mercotte February 10, 2009 um 7:19 am
J’adore l’idée du coeur sur le macaron et non le macaron en forme de coeur, je vais te la piquer pour la ST Valentin si j’ai le temps !! bravo ! jaime aussi le mélange des poudres !! super !
Sophie Sportende Foodie February 10, 2009 um 10:08 am
They look incredible delicious! can I have 1 or 2 please, with my morning coffee?!?
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 10:18 am
They are too beautiful to eat!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 10:30 am
those are about the sweetest little things i have ever seen
Jen Yu February 10, 2009 um 1:39 pm
Your macs are always perfection! My question is: has anyone ever lost a tooth biting into a diamond ring? Will you both be working this V-day? Either way, I know you two celebrate love each day. xxoo
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 1:46 pm
awwww, u and B. are so sweet! i’m envious. also, these macarons are stunning!! So pretty and perfect. IF you weren’t taken already i’d come over and force you to marry me then lock you up in a kitchen-prison so i can have macarons all day every day! 😉 jokes. happy valentine’s tartelette!! may you have a very sweet, sugar and lovely one. x
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 1:47 pm
Everything is gorgeous in your blog! I love all the recipes! I’ll link you at my blog.
Aimée February 10, 2009 um 3:37 pm
We don’t celebrate Valentine’s really either, but if we did it would involve baking together like you did.
Seriously, your friend is proposing? That’s so cool. Don’t leave us hanging, please tell us if they live happily ever after.
Finla February 10, 2009 um 3:49 pm
Wowo they are so beautiful.
carolina @ patagonia gifts February 10, 2009 um 4:09 pm
Those macarons are deliciously pretty! Too beautiful to eat!
Deeba PAB February 10, 2009 um 4:18 pm
I can just park myself here & gaze at these all day Helen. I *HEART* macarons too, yours, though am terrfied of making my own after one disastrous experience! Yours are GORGEOUS!!
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 4:47 pm
Looking at your macarons makes me realise I’m piping the mounds too high! Great photographs, and I can’t wait to try the spiced buttercream. Any suggestions on where to get star anise? I can’t find it in my grocery store or Whole Foods…. boo!
Helene February 10, 2009 um 7:34 pm
bigspoonbakery: I never see it already ground I get mine whole in the bulk spices section at WF and grind it at home.
Manggy February 10, 2009 um 9:31 pm
Wow! I can’t believe the heart behaved themselves– they look fantastic! I’ve no doubt your friend will get the answer she desires 😉 And I was all warm and fuzzy reading about your feelings for B 🙂
Anonymous February 10, 2009 um 10:28 pm
p.s. Your blog is amazing, everything you make is beautiful!
Maria February 10, 2009 um 11:00 pm
I heart them too!! And yours are the most magnificent! I can’t get over how cute these are!! You always amaze me!
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 2:33 am
They look so pretty. I always wanted to try to make them, so I think I will try these…thanks for the inspiration!
Arlette February 11, 2009 um 3:01 am
The Macaroon looks amazing, I wish I live close by , so I can join you when you bake, and learn from you.
Beachlover February 11, 2009 um 4:36 am
beautiful:) Happy V to you:)
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 4:47 am
So cute! Thanks for letting us know how to get those hearts on the macarons 🙂
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 3:10 pm
Tes macarons sont magnifiques ! Une pure gourmandise !
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 3:37 pm
Those are fantastic! I heart you Helen!! Happy V day!
Joyce February 11, 2009 um 3:45 pm
I so love macarons! These little ones with the hearts on them make my heart jump with joy! xoxo
Cookie baker Lynn February 11, 2009 um 4:03 pm
Oh, so sweet! Love the darling hearts. And I really like your cookbook and milk still life.
颜姨 February 11, 2009 um 4:22 pm
1st time come to you blog. Great photos and lovely macrons. My 1st attempt on making macron fail badly. Your tips on how to make a sucessfull macrons encourage me to try again.
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 5:14 pm
I never made macarons before and I would like to try one of these days. The only thing is that I am having a hard time finding powdered food coloring. What is the name of the product you buy? Maybe I can find it on line, so far the Whole Foods and the like don’t have anything.
The Short (dis)Order Cook February 11, 2009 um 7:05 pm
Well, I’ll at least say that I *heart* YOUR macarons. Always so pretty.
Nisa-mom February 11, 2009 um 10:09 pm
Helene, thank you so much for step by step to make macaron. Finally after 3 times failed, I prove my self that i can make it too.
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 10:52 pm
Wow! They lok fantastic and that spiced buttercream sounds lovely! Love the hearts too!
Helene February 11, 2009 um 10:54 pm
Claudia: I have found some at Sur La Table one time. I have ordered from different vendors online and I can’t recommend one over the other as I had good service each time. A quick google search for powdered food coloring will give you all you desire (I hope!)
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 11:08 pm
Looks fabulous and scrumptious as always!
Anonymous February 11, 2009 um 11:50 pm
Beautiful creations, as always.
And warming stories about you and your husband.
How would I measure the recipe in spoons and cups if i don’t have a scale at home.
Do you have a converted recipe?
My Sweet & Saucy February 12, 2009 um 1:07 am
Love these! They are sooo adorable!
Anonymous February 12, 2009 um 5:12 am
These are beautiful. Can egg whites that are sold in the diary case be used – after the aging? Will the work properly? My macarons keep cracking during baking and I’m drowning in egg yolks.
Vera February 12, 2009 um 5:14 am
Helen, these are adorable! I probably said it a thousand times, but they absolutely are! And everything you make is always so beautiful and unique!
Butikpartim February 12, 2009 um 11:59 am
They’re looks like very delicious!! Thank you for your recipe..
Tafari February 12, 2009 um 4:03 pm
Thx for the link to my cookies! They are heart shaped but I hate V day. LOL!
Anonymous February 13, 2009 um 1:47 am
i heart macaroons too … i just can’t seem to get them right. lovely photography as usual! xo.
Teddy Burr February 13, 2009 um 2:31 am
I have a quick question, I just tried your recipe and it turned out pretty well. However, I’m not sure how it’s suppose to taste because I never had one before. Mine has a pretty crisp hard shell but the inside is pretty much hollow. Is that the way it is suppose to be? Thanks
Teddy Burr February 13, 2009 um 2:33 am
also, the shell seem pretty brittle and fragile.
Helene February 13, 2009 um 2:42 am
Teddy Burr: they are different from what we think as a "cookie" so yes, they are more delicate in nature thanlet’s say a chocolate chip cookie. The shells should be hard but the interior should ne be hollow. It should have a flat surface on the back side and the inside should remain moist. Sounds like the batter was overfolded just a little too much or that the oven was a little too high.
Teddy Burr February 13, 2009 um 3:00 am
cool, I’ll try doing another batch tomorrow. I think it’ll be cool if you made a video :). You’re website has inspired me soooo much. I got my whole major at my school hooked on your website 🙂
FA February 13, 2009 um 1:59 pm
I was wondering if u have step by step tutorial pics of how to make macaroons. I have try to make macaroons for many times and it didnt turn out right. I dont know what im doing wrong.
Anonymous February 13, 2009 um 10:43 pm
Hi… I have a question. I am currently at my 4th batch of macarons in the past 4 days, and have the same problem happening every time. My foot is not "under" the macaron, but spreading out on the sides, with a hollow inside. I have mixed the batter more/less, I have lowered/increased the temperature of the oven and nothing works. Any ideas on how to solve that? Thanks for your help 🙂
Helene February 14, 2009 um 1:37 am
Anonymous: macarons are a finick beast for sure. It is normal for the feet to spread on the side sometimes. If it always happens, it could come from overmixing the batter just a tad too much. Also using liquid coloring instead of powder could add to the deflating effect. Mixing liquid food coloring to the powdered sugar and nut mixture then letting that dry out reduce the moisture effect and helps stabilize the feet issue. As far as hollow, my first instinct would be to say that it is connected to the feet spreading out too much, as in too much moisture. It could also be an altitude issue and baking them at ahigher temperature while reducing the baking time can help. Also, positioning your baking sheet right on top of another baking sheet in the middle part of the oven can help direct the heat and air right underneath the macarons.
Hope it helps.
Anonymous February 14, 2009 um 2:13 am
Thank you so much for getting back to me that fast! I use gel colorant, not as bad as liquid, but maybe still not as good as powder. Altitude is definitely my problem as I live in Denver.. I guess i’ll try even higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, and with a second baking sheet. Today I tried at 325.. I am a little worried higher, maybe I should open the oven door after 5 min or so of cooking. Again, thank you SO MUCH. Its for sure been a challenge 🙂
Helene February 14, 2009 um 3:02 am
Anon: DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!!!
Try at 325°F at 8500 feet for 12-15 minutes (10 minutes, then reduce heat to 315°F for the last 3-5 minutes).
Leave them to cool off completely on the baking sheet before lifting them.
Re-color: add the gel to the granulated sugar so that you run less risk of coagulating the powdered sugar.
Keep me updated!
Anonymous February 14, 2009 um 3:40 am
Darn, I already tried 325F for 10 min today, and the feet spread out just the same way. Maybe I should reduce the heat a little earlier: they cook great at the beginning then the feet spread toward the end.. I"ll keep you posted!
Katie February 14, 2009 um 7:38 am
So cute! Just gorgeous. Have a wonderful valentines day
Anonymous February 16, 2009 um 6:10 pm
Hi! I’m your fan eversince I came across your caramel cake… I tried to make your macarons and had some problems: The macarons on the trays without silpat (I used waxed paper) flattened out. The silpat ones turned out perfect. And also, they were difficult to pipe… Could I add a teaspoon of cornstarch or meringue powder to the powdered sugar? Would this be out of the question? And last, I tried to draw hearts on them but the crust had formed and I pierced them haha… um, I’m better at other things. Thanks so so much.
Helene February 16, 2009 um 6:43 pm
Melisa: meringue powder is only helpful in cases of humidity and not in the piping part. Were they difficult to pipe because the batter was too runny? In that case, there is unfortunately no solution but to start over. Yes, they are finicky little boogers. In any case, cornstarch is a not recommended.
It is better to bake them on parchment paper than waxd paper and I have noticed that brown parchment paper makes them stick a little more.
Last, it is better to draw the heart before the recommended resting period.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous February 17, 2009 um 5:03 pm
Hey, thanks! I tried them again today with a cheat sheet of your pointers, haha… they turned out great. Thanks a lot!
Anonymous February 19, 2009 um 2:14 pm
HeLLoo!!! I chanced upon your blog several days ago and i must say that IT IS DROP DEAD GORGEOUS:):):) I’m actually intending to try and bake some Macarons(since they look so lovely).This comment is initially dedicated to the "Nutella creams and chocolate Macarons" post… However i realised that it was a rather old post so you might not notice my comment, thats is why i’m posting it here again(hope you don’t mind xP) I read your other entries on other Macarons… and they all require you to leave the egg whites out at room temperature for 24 hrs… However, it is not stated in the directions here, so i was wondering if i have to do the same or can i use the egg whites immediately.. Oh, and i’m staying in Singapore so i was wondering do i still have to leave the egg whites out at room temperature or do i place them in the fridge since its much more hotter and humid here and i’m afriad that it would turn bad…
Anonymous February 20, 2009 um 6:58 pm
So many things: 1. Congratulations on the Times article! They forgot to mention the words are as stunning as the pictures. 2. I am a proud macaron baker now, thanks to you. You should have seen how much progress I made in a week. How many nuts I grinded. How much it was worth it. And 3. How long do macarons keep? What’s the best way to store them? Is it better to fill them last minute?
Thanks so much, Tartelette.
Helene February 20, 2009 um 11:08 pm
Glasswing: they keep well unfilled in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Once filled, you can keep them in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Take them out 15 minutes before serving as they are best at room temperature.
Be proud! You did it!!
Jaime February 21, 2009 um 5:48 am
i just returned from paris and had pierre herme’s macarons… i envy your skills and hope to one day try making them on my own!
Anonymous February 21, 2009 um 7:36 am
Heyz:) i was wondering if you saw my comment up above? I would be really glad if you could reply me! Thanks:):):)
Helene February 21, 2009 um 1:59 pm
Nisey: I get all comments through emails so I responded to you where you originally left it.
Anonymous February 22, 2009 um 8:56 pm
Baking with B was such a great and romantic idea. I love working with Dave in the kitchen and we don’t do it often enough.
The macarons are beautiful and you have such a steady hand to be able to draw consistent hearts!
Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 7:44 pm
Me too !
Van February 9, 2010 um 8:12 am
My macarons turn out to be flat like pancake, sticks like glue to the pan and very sticky-it sticks to your teeth after eating.
What did i wrong?
I used ready-made superfine grounded and blanched almonds. Icing sugar.
i noticed that the mixture was giving off water before piping.
Baked at 130 deg C..converted from 280F..
Vdae is coming..oh no! =(
Elaine Jeremy March 14, 2010 um 7:26 pm
I'm hoping you would be able to see this coz' this entry was quite some time ago. I hope Blogger updates you about new comments. (:
Your macarons are fabulous! Wanna try 'em out!! And I do have some doubts before try baking..
I see that your macarons involved powdered coloring. Issit possible to use the usual liquid food colors found in most bakery stores? Will it affect the texture?
And you said letting the egg whites age; do I crack the eggs, separate the whites and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours?
Lastly, if I don't use those macaron shells immediately, do I store them in the fridge will do? Will it turn soggy after a few days?
I'm really thankful that you've shared with us all your precious wonderful recipes. Would really appreciate if you could reply my questions. THANK YOU, really. (:
Emily J February 13, 2011 um 4:28 pm
This recipe was wonderful, thank you so much!
I tried a recipe found somewhere else earlier this morning, and was hugely let down.
These were a great success. I made them with vanilla and chocolate buttercream as I didn't have all of your ingredients. They are still delicious though.
Anonymous September 4, 2011 um 8:47 am
i was wondering why you keep the egg yolk out for a day? i saw your macaron recipe on bakerella's website and she had said that she forgot the reasoning. I wanted to know because someone said leaving it out might cause salmonella? will you be salmonella free if you bake it though? i really want to try this recipe! i love macarons!!
Alex October 29, 2011 um 4:26 pm
Just a question, do you draw the hearts after you banged the tray or before? I piped them on before 'banging' and they just stayed on there..the heart pattern did not fuse/combine in together with the skin. I would be grateful for any advice on this matter. Thanks in advance!
Helene October 30, 2011 um 2:12 pm
JamK December 29, 2011 um 12:49 am
I have tried to bake macarons at least 7 times in the past 2 weeks and have failed all 7 times. Come out to los angeles and teach a class soon please 🙂 until then, i will keep practicing. also, do you have a time estimate as to what power and speed you whip the egg whites and then the meringue for? please let me know. thanks!
Helene December 29, 2011 um 4:54 am
JamK: I don't teach macaron classes anymore, sorry.
I whip the egg whites at low speed for about a minute, medium for a minute and then high until they reach the right consistency.