These Macaron Tips are great for beginners who want to learn to make macarons like a pro. After lots of trial and error, I’ve come up with a list of what you actually need to do (and what’s not really necessary) for perfect macarons every time!
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Make Sure All Tools Are Grease Free
Make sure your tools are completely grease free, especially if you use the same bowls to make buttercream. Any trace of grease can affect the meringue.
Weigh Ingredients in Grams
Weighing your ingredients is important because you need exact measurements when making macarons. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale because measuring cups and spoons don’t always give you exact amounts.
Sift Dry Ingredients Together
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together because almond flour has a lot of moisture and will not sift well on its own. If you try to sift almond flour alone, it may end up getting stuck in the mesh.
Egg Whites Should Be at Room Temperature
Egg whites at room temperature will whisk up a bit quicker and easier than very cold egg whites. Placing your eggs in a small bowl filled with hot water for a few minutes is all you need to get them to room temperature quickly.
No Need to Age Egg Whites
I never age my egg whites because it has never made a difference when I’ve tried it. The result I got when I tested my recipe with aged egg whites was the same, so I just use fresh egg whites.
Make a Strong Meringue
The perfect meringue consistency will have a marshmallow look to it. If you find that your meringue doesn’t whisk up properly, adding egg white powder will help because it adds a bit more protein without the moisture.
When the egg whites start looking frothy like in the picture below, this is when I add the first spoonful of sugar. I’ve found that adding the sugar before the meringue starts getting volume leads to a stronger meringue.
Soft Peaks vs Stiff Peaks
Below you can see the difference between soft and stiff peaks. You want the meringue to be stiff enough that when you hold the whisk up, the peak stands straight up. This is how you know when the meringue is ready.
Folding the Batter
When folding the batter, you want to make sure you’re folding and not mixing or stirring. You want to get rid of some of the air bubbles, while still maintaining the fluffiness so you don’t completely deflate the batter.
In the pictures below, you can see all the air that’s in the batter when you start folding, and after a few folds, the batter looks a lot smoother without so many air bubbles.
Macaron Batter Consistency
Macaron batter should flow down the spatula in thick ribbons slowly and without breaking in clumps. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the meringue, check the batter every few folds because it can go from thick to over mixed very quickly. You’ll know it’s ready when the batter sinks into itself within 30 seconds.
Below you can see the difference between over mixed batter in the first picture and the correct consistency in the second.
Silicone Mat vs. Parchment Paper
I only use silicone mats when baking macarons because I find the macarons don’t brown as easily and they keep their shape better.
You can see in the pictures below, even with the same over mixed batter, the macarons piped on the silicone mat kept their shape much better than the macarons piped on parchment paper.
Use a Template
Using a silicone mat with a template is key to getting your macarons to be the same size. If you choose to use parchment paper, you should print a template and place it underneath the paper before piping.
Use a Round Piping Tip
I use and recommend the following piping tip sizes:
- Wilton 6 – Small (for piping smaller sections for macaron shapes)
- Ateco 10 – Medium size (my most used piping tip for regular size macarons)
- Wilton 12 – Medium/large (a bit larger than the Ateco 10. I use this to make larger macarons)
Tap the Baking Sheet to Get Rid of Air Bubbles
Once you’ve piped the macarons, tap the tray a few times on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles so you don’t have any little dents in your shells. You can also pop them with a scribe.
Let Macarons Rest Before Baking
Resting the macarons is important so that the shells don’t crack in the oven. In the pictures below, you can see what the wet batter looks like compared to when the batter has dried and is ready for baking. The batter will have lost it’s shine and the shells will no longer be sticky if you touch them.
Many factors can affect the drying time, such as humidity and how much food coloring was used.
Use an Oven Thermometer
An oven thermometer is essential when making macarons. Oven displays are not always accurate and you may be baking at the wrong temperature and not even know it.
Below you can see how just a few degrees difference in temperature can affect macaron shells. The shells on the left were baked at 310F for 15 minutes. The shells on the right were baked at 320F for 15 minutes and browned a bit.
Allow Macaron Shells to Cool Before Removing from Mat
Always let macaron shells cool at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing from mat. If you try to remove them when they’re hot, even though they’re properly baked, they may stick to the surface.
Let Macarons Mature Before Enjoying
Once you fill the macarons, refrigerate them for at least 24 hours so they can mature. This is how they get that chewy texture on the inside.