Baking is a precision art, and some delicacies require a little more than that. For instance, the macaron.
Those delectable little sandwich cookies with the beautiful colors are notoriously tricky to get right. But with a little knowledge and a little patience, even a home baker can deliver a perfect product.
In this article, we will impart some of the most helpful tips and tricks to ensure you create beautiful macarons that taste as good as they look.
French Macaron Tips & Tricks
The macaron originated in Italy and came from a word meaning fine dough. The iteration of the cookie that is now associated with French cuisine may have been brought to France when Henry II married Catherine di Medici in the mid-1500s.
No matter how and why it found its way to France, this cookie is delicious and just a bit temperamental. Here are some tips that you can use to end up with the perfect macaron:
Blend the Dry Ingredients
Before using your blender to mix the ingredients perfectly, you will want to measure the dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar). You can dump them into a food processor or blender and then make them more fine and send them through the pulse cycle a couple of times.
Doing this ensures that your macaron cookies will be smooth and lump-free. For more ideas on tools, you should consider using them to make those delicious macarons head over and check out this article.
Add Sugar Slowly
Macarons have a meringue base, and this may be why the cookies are so delicate and easy to mess up. When executing this step, you will want to whip the eggs slowly and add the sugar in slowly as well.
You will want to do this to ensure that all the sugar dissolves. Add the sugar in small batches and whip before adding in the next portion. If you don’t, the meringue can end up deflating and not get as stiff as is required for good macarons.
Gel Food Coloring > Liquid Food Coloring
If you want super bright colors and don’t want to affect your batter texture, then using gel food coloring is the way to go. Liquid colors add extra moisture, and that could loosen up your batter just a bit too much.
Secure Your Parchment Paper
When the batter is done, and you are getting ready to pipe your macarons onto the baking sheet, you will want to prep it with parchment paper, so your macarons don’t stick. This can be frustrating, however, because often as you lay the cookies out, the paper shifts.
In order to keep this from happening, simply pipe a dot of the batter in each corner and then place the parchment paper on the baking sheet. This will hold it in place and allow you to get the perfect shape for your cookie.
Tap and Rest
Now you have your cookies all piped out. Another great tip is to tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times. By doing this, you are flattening them out and removing excess air that can cause bubbles when baking.
You will also want to allow the baking sheet to sit out at room temperature for about an hour. This forms a hardened shell on the top of the cookie, which in turn makes the air escape from the bottom as they are baking, creating those little wrinkles on the bottom of the cookie.
In order to make sure they are ready after the hour, gently run your finger along the top. If no batter sticks on it, then it is time to pop them in the oven.
Don’t Open the Oven
These cookies are delicate, and any fluctuation in temperature or humidity can cause deflation, so be patient and don’t open that oven to check on them.
Macarons are delicious and expensive to buy. So why not make them yourself? It is not as hard as you think as long as you use the tips and tricks we discussed above.
With those and a little patience, you will be enjoying a brightly colored and delicious macaron into time. If you want a good recipe check out this one right here.