Remember when I mentioned that my New Year’s resolution this year is to try new recipes that push me out of my comfort zone? Well, I’m still sticking with that resolution! And this time, I faced one of my biggest baking fears to create today’s recipe. Macarons. Not to be mixed up with their commonly confused, and well…easier to make, cousin: macaroons.
Does anyone else feel my same fear for macarons? I’ve read so many blogs that say it really isn’t as hard as it sounds. But, honestly…Look at all those steps! And what’s this about aging egg whites? And not over beating the eggs whites? And waiting for the macarons to form a soft “shell” before putting them in the oven? How could a recipe that is so finicky actually be easy to make? Well my friends, those were my thoughts exactly before I attempted to make macarons of my own this week. And I’m here to tell you, they really aren’t as intimidating as they may seem! As long as you do exactly what the recipe says of course.
My first time ever attempting to make macarons was clear back in 2015, the same exact year that I got to try a macaron for the first time in Paris. Naturally, after coming home from that trip to Paris I decided I needed to recreate those delicate French cookies in my own kitchen. So, I purchased all of the ingredients, whipped up a bunch of macaron batter and popped those beauties into the oven.
Much to my dismay, they were a complete disaster. So I tried again…and again…and again. Nope. They still burned and melted everywhere… Those macaron “feet” were non-existent! Needless to say, after wasting a lot of time, energy, and ingredients, I decided to give it a break. (I promise this story actually ends well!)
Fast-forward to now, 2018. The year that I have decided to face my biggest cooking fears, with macarons being one of them. After doing several hours of research this past week, I decided to give the macarons another try. EEK! And guess what? The macarons turned out perfectly! And, with a bit of practice and patience you can make them too!
Now, you may notice some of the measurements in my recipe may seem weird (1 cup + 1 tablespoon?), but I have based my measurements off of recipes that originally required a kitchen scale. I took the time to convert the grams to cups/tablespoons/teaspoons measurements for those of us who don’t have kitchen scales (me included!). But, if you would like more accurate measurements, I have included the measurements in grams as well.
There are literally hundreds and hundreds of flavors of macarons out there. But, for the sake of today’s recipe, I’ve decided to just keep things simple with a lovely strawberry cheesecake macaron. The strawberry cheesecake flavor pairs perfect with the delicate texture of the macaron. I think this is one combination you will really enjoy!
One last thing before I share the recipe. Make sure you read over all of the directions before you start cooking. I promise looking over it first will make it feel a little less overwhelming. Keep in mind that this is a recipe that does take practice, and it will require patience. If the cookies don’t turn out just right the first time, that’s okay! Just try again! Make slight changes each time you make it. Maybe beat the eggs whites a little longer or a little less. Or let the macarons rest on the baking sheets for more time before putting them in the oven. Whatever the case, with a little bit of determination you’ll be able to master the art of the French macaron!
What flavor of macaron would you like to see next?
Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons combine the flavors of strawberry cheesecake with the melt in your mouth texture of macarons to create a truly delightful and unique dessert.
- 3-4 (120 grams) large egg whites, aged*
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp (40 grams) sugar
- red food coloring
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp (100 grams) almond flour
- 1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries, ground*
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- red sugar sprinkles
Beat the egg whites and salt together on medium speed for 1 minute. Switch to high speed and continue beating the egg whites until stiff peaks just start to form (the egg whites don't collapse anymore when the beater is held upside down), about 2 1/2-3 minutes. Taking care not to over beat at this point. Gently fold in the sugar and a couple drops of red food coloring with a rubber spatula.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour over the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry mixture until combined. Taking care not to over mix while doing so.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe 2 inch circles onto the baking sheets, leaving an inch or so between each circle. Give each sheet a good tap on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Sift the freeze dried strawberries over the macarons (see notes).
Let the cookies rest for at least 1 hour or until they are no longer sticky to the touch. They should form a dry shell before you put them in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Bake the macarons for 10 minutes or until they have risen to form "feet". Let rest on the baking sheets until they have cooled completely.
While cookies are baking, prepare the filling by mixing together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. After cookies have cooled, pipe a circle of the filling onto one cookie and sandwich with another cookie. If desired, sprinkle colored sprinkles on the filling sandwiched between the cookies.
Cookies can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction and Tasty.
- I measured out 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of the egg whites in a liquid measuring cup. This was approximately 4 large eggs, but could vary depend on egg size.
- Egg whites must be aged. Separate the egg whites first, then leave them on the kitchen counter for several hours or overnight.
- Grind the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor. A fine powder works best for the macarons.
- Note that sifting the freeze dried strawberries on the macarons before baking does can cause them to brown a bit. You could also try mixing in the strawberries with the filling instead.
- Macarons will turn out best if they are made on a dry day.
Try my Apricot Thumbprint Cookies next!