The macaron (or “Macs” as I call them) can be a tricky dessert to make. I mean even the name itself can be tricky to say, so they get a bad rap if you know what I mean. Most people steer clear of making these little devils, and I have seen more times that I can count that people are SCARED to make them (WHAT?!) Have no fear, you are not alone! I’ve been through hell and back with these cookies, and I can confidently say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
The best tip I can give for anyone making macarons (not just beginners) is to have fun! Don’t worry about the rise of the feet, the flatness of the top, etc. as long as they taste good that’s really all that matters. With that being said, I know there are some perfectionists (like me) thinking “yeah yeah, but I want them to look perfect and professional”. And to that I say, the least you strive for perfection and the more you strive to just “practice” you will get better and better in no time. For the longest time, I would beat myself that the macarons weren’t as “perfect” or didn’t look like other pictures etc. and I finally let that pressure go. Instead, I used each attempt as a learning lesson. After time, I realized that I was putting less pressure on myself to be “perfect'“ that I was enjoying the learning process and how I could push myself to improve and be better! Life is already tough, no need to stress over a delicious cookie! Cut yourself a break :)
With that said, I get SO many questions on hollows, macaronage process, etc. so I tried to highlight a few of my top tips below:
Tip 1: If the tops of your macarons are cracking, it is probably because the batter is overmixed and there are too many air bubbles. Try to whip the egg whites until just stiff peaks. A trick I learned is if you tip the bowl slightly to the side and see the batter sliding, it is not stiff enough. The batter should not move at all once tipped to side. Also, make sure you oven is not too hot. It can make the macarons rise too fast causing cracks.
Tip 2: Prevent hollows by removing as much air bubbles as possible. You can check out my earlier blog post (search “no hollows”) for visuals, but it is best to press the batter against sides of bowl until very little air bubbles remain. BEWARE to not press too hard though as it will make the batter runny
Tip 3: I prefer to cook at a lower temp for longer preferably around 285-290F. This helps the Macs stabilize and not break as they puff up and grow feet
Tip 4: Sticky bottoms/sticking to mat is because the macarons have not cooked long enough. Try leaving them in for an additional 2-3 mins so that they will easily pull off.
Tip 5: Cool macarons upside down. I know this sounds weird, but after taking out of oven, let them cool for about a 30 secs-1 minute before flipping them upside. Gravity can help close that little gap at the top!
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments below :)
~Stay Sweet Xo