Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

Vanilla Macarons

I’m going to be that girl. You know, the one who claims to have loved something before it was trendy and instagramable. My love for macarons dates bake to days with my dessert loving Grandma who instilled a love of all things carb-based and sugary in me.
Yes, people complain and are infuriated at the popularity of the macaron, but honestly, I don’t begrudge them their fame in the slightest. The more places that sell macarons, the more likely I will have the chance to eat them!
As you can see below my macarons didn’t set up properly. They didn’t grow their feet and they don’t have the typical macaron glossiness. It was my own fault for impatiently rushing them. However, it didn’t impact the taste and I know that this recipe will work for you as long as you don’t take a leaf out of my book!
Vanilla Macarons
vanilla macarons
My pointer finger isn’t usually that swollen and strangely mottled. I was distracted when getting a tray out of the oven and ended up using my bare hand. The tips of my finger took the brunt of the burning.

(For macaron)
1 cup of ground almond flour
3 egg whites
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(For vanilla buttercream)
1 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of milk

(For step by step pictures on making and setting up macarons see  Gingerbread Macaron Recipe.)

Prepare 2 large baking sheets. On 2 large pieces of paper the size of your baking sheets, trace 1-1 1/2 inch diameter circles (I used the bottom of a candle….) evenly spaced, leaving about 1 inch between each circle. This will be your template to help you pipe even circles of batter onto the parchment paper. Place one paper on each baking sheet then cover with parchment paper. Set aside. Prepare a pastry bag with a plain tip.

Sift the powdered sugar, the ground almonds together into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

With a hand mixer, whip the egg whites for 30 seconds on low speed then increase speed to high and whip until the whites are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar as you continue to whip the whites until you obtain a glossy meringue and all of the sugar has been beaten in. The meringue will be very stiff (turn the bowl upside down over your head stiff) and be dense.

Gently but firmly fold the whipped whites into the powdered sugar/ground almonds and then add in the vanilla, using a silicon spatula or the equivalent, turning the bowl as you lift and fold, making sure you fold in all the dry ingredients completely. 

Fill your pastry bag with the batter. Pipe circles onto the parchment paper, using the traced circles on the template sheets to guide you, holding your pastry bag above each circle and piping into the center. Don’t forget to remove your paper template from underneath the baking parchment. 

Allow the macarons to sit out for about an hour or even longer if the shells are not ready to bake. The top of each shell should form a β€œskin” (it will feel like it hardened a bit when gently touched and not stick to your skin). Preheat your oven to 340Β°F (170Β°C). Bake the shells for 12-14 minutes, depending on their size. Mine baked for 12 minutes and my oven bakes fairly slowly.

Remove the tray from the oven and immediately slide the parchment paper with the shells off of the hot baking sheet and onto the counter. Allow to cool completely before sliding the shells very gently off of the parchment paper. Be extra careful with the center of each macaron- that’s where the worst sticking occurs!

Now make your  buttercream. Cream your butter and confectioner’s sugar together. Mix in the vanilla and milk. When the macaron shells are cool, pair the shells up evenly, each with a matching partner. Smear a half teaspoon or more of the buttercream onto the bottom shell of each pair.  Carefully sandwich the shells together.

 You’ll see that the feet didn’t set up properly. Wah, wah. They still tasted great!

What are you that girl about?

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  • As a kid I burnt my head really bad taking something out of the oven, and now always make Fredrik take stuff out if he is home and we own like 50 oven mitts!

    • I was SUCH a moron. I was distracted by my frustration at having effed them up and i just grabbed the tray with my bare hand. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I legitimately cried while running my hand under the cold tap. But I am pretty mindless about burning myself in the kitchen. (I have what looks like a c-section scar on my stomach from leaning over an oven door whilst wearing a crop top in middle school.) I need to take a page out of your book! x

  • haha I am one of the complainers – but you’re right, they ARE delicious! it honestly never occurred to me (pre-trend) that you could make your own. sounds dangerous πŸ™‚

    • It’s a serious exercise in patience (which is why I have the tendency to fail.) Wah, wah. Oh well πŸ™‚ xx

  • I don’t know what I would be that girl about but I have such great memories making tasty treats in the kitchen with my great grandma! And kudos for making macarons, I don’t think my attempts would be as successful.

    • Former macaron baking efforts were much more successful than these. But I know exactly what I did wrong, and I kind of knew it at the time as well. My grandma is probably the reason why I am a carb addict. She always made her own bread too, and I can still remember how amazing it made the kitchen smell. x

  • I’m sure you’d be great at it! I’m still hit or miss. Sometimes I make batches that turn out well, and sometimes not (like this one.) x

  • Claudz

    well done! I’m still trying to gather the courage to make these

  • Confession: I haven’t ever had macarons. Apparently, they haven’t made it to Charleston yet with any fervor (??!)–I’ve seen a few places that sold them, but I’ve never taken the plunge and gotten them. I guess I’ll have to make some myself! πŸ™‚

    • Only if you have a lot of free time on your hands. Otherwise I’d advise just buying them from a reliable source πŸ˜‰ x

  • I too am a Macaron virgin. Que the dun dun dun music here.

    • Hahahaha when you visit me in England, I’ll present you with a macaron of every flavour. (Within reason) πŸ˜€ xx

  • Raquel

    I am hoping to make these sometime soon. I love macarons and just bought a special pan. Yours look good!

    • Thanks! To be honest, it was my ugliest batch so far, but oh well. I regressed somehow! What does your special pan look like? I just use a cookie sheet and draw circles onto baking paper! Maybe I need this special pan… x

  • I worked in a French school last year as the English teacher and one of the teachers would always make macarons. They were always a little wonky, but so delicious. These look great!

  • Coffee Beans High Heels

    yep, i will be fat. I love macarons so much that i will cry if mine will look half as good as yours!

  • It does take a lot of patience. There’s a lot of waiting involved in macaron baking! x

  • Macarons are one of those things which I have never attempted! It seems like they can go wrong so easily, although whatever you say I think yours look great!

  • Oh they look delicious! I have never tasted gingerbread macarons before!
    I have to admit I tasted a macaron once and hated it. Then I tasted some in Paris at Laduree and it was a revelation! When they are well made they are heavenly!

    • I know Laduree is the stereotype/instagram fodder, but man are they tasty! (And expensive). I think if you have a bad macaron it can make you unnecessarily wary of them in the future. x

  • I LOVE gingerbread flavoured things! And ha! The number of times I have burnt my fingers in my impatience to get something out of the oven. Glad I’m not the only who does it πŸ™‚

  • Tee

    Even if your macarons didn’t set up properly, I would still have gladly eaten them. Send all your “rejects” to Berlin! πŸ˜‰

    • Hehe next time. Express delivery! πŸ˜‰ Haha, they were all still eaten. They tasted like delicious vanilla macarons, they just looked wonky. But they were definitely enjoyed… x

  • I have never thought of attempting macarons at home, they just always seem so exotic to me with the crispy shell and all the pretty colors. Yes, the use of the oven mitt is a pretty important step when baking…hope you are ok…yikes!!

    • I’m such a doofus sometimes. Don’t have pity for me at all. (I did get some pretty gross blisters though. Maybe it will finally teach me a lesson! Dear Amanda, pay more attention!) I bet you’d rock at making macarons! x

  • I don’t care what you say, these look super great. I’ve been on the verge of making these for like 3 months and I seriously need to get on it. And I’m with you, the more places that sell them, the bigger opportunity I have to try them!

    • Exactly!!! I am also not one of the people to complain about cupcakes being trendy either though. They are tiny cakes just for me. What’s not to love? πŸ˜‰ x