Sunday, February 22, 2009

(An attempt at) French Macarons

Over this President's Day weekend, I decided that it was time for me to attempt making the ominous French Macaron. I've been scourging food blogs left and right for a recipe that was in cups/ tablespoons/ etc. rather than grams, since I don't have a scale. Finally, after much detective work, I found myself comparing three recipes: one from Martha Stewart, one from David Lebovits, and one from Gale Gand (of the Food Network). I finally decided on Martha's since hers did not involve chocolate (like David's) and also due to the fact that I love her so dearly!
So after getting a result like this from the recipe, you wouldn't think I would have been happy with my results at all:

Though I was quite disappointed with my complete utter failure at French Macarons, I continued to heave ho and popped the flat, ugly, misshapen thing in my mouth. To my surprise, it was very delicious! They were slightly sweet, crispy on the edges, and chewy in the center. When I look back, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised at what my results were since I overlooked a couple of steps and maybe even skipped some crucial ones too but I really love these! I am nixing the title of "French Macarons" and hereby naming them "Crispy Almond Wafers." More fitting indeed. 

In case you are wondering, this is what French Macarons really look like:

Via chotda: 

Here is the recipe if you would like to attempt them yourself:
P.S. I added my notes in red if you would like to try my "Crispy Almond Thins"

French Almond Macarons

Original recipe can be found here

3/4 + 1/8 cup of confectioners sugar

1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup of slivered almonds, ground finely (I think I ground them for too long, turning it into a paste)

2 small eggs (I used two large and they also weren't at room temperature, which is vital)

pinch of salt

1/8 cup granulated sugar

food coloring, if desired

Preheat oven to 300 F. Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds, and sift again, set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat (I just used foil). Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the salt and then slowly add the granulated sugar one spoonful at a time. Continue beating until medium peaks form (I might have overbeaten them, since I wasn't sure what "medium peaks" meant). Add the half of the almond mixture into the egg whites, fold gently. Add the vanilla and the rest of the almond mixture, incorporating well (I got impatient folding the mixture, and just mixed).

My "medium" peaks:

Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip. Pipe the mixture onto the baking sheets, making them 1 1/2 inches in width. Bake until they are slightly firm to the touch, about 18 - 25* minutes, making sure to rotate the pan halfway. Let them cool completely before spreading the insides with filling.

I noticed when I piped the mixture onto the sheet that it was very liquidy and that it started to spread out as soon as I put it on the sheet. 

* I only cooked mine for 10 minutes since they were so thin.

Going into the oven:


  1. almond wafers sound good! haha. I've been wanting to make macarons for a while now, but since I've never even had one, I would have no idea if I did it right! haha. One day...

  2. You get mad props for even attempting macarons! So, woot to you. And pass the wafers.

  3. You should try to get your hands on them, they are amazing!! Crispy and light on the outside but chewy and gooey on the inside

  4. They look good nonetheless! Haha hope your next try is more successful :)