How to make delicate and delicious French macarons with Tara O'Brady
These sweet, mini meringue cookies are a unique, special treat
The passion for these delightful bite-sized confections will never fade. The perfect macaron has a light shine, with a crisp edge, and a thick, sweet filling. This recipe is the first in our “Oven Atelier” series with Tara O’Brady of classic baking delights. She’ll show you how to create the most gorgeous little cookies to satisfy that sweet craving. Perfect morning, noon, and night — with tea, espresso, or on their own.
- ⅔ cup ground almonds
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 large egg whites, aged for 24hrs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) butter, softened
- 5 cups (1.25 l) sifted icing sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
- ½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in lower third. Place almonds in a food processor and grind until it’s a fine flour. Add confectioners' sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute.
Pass the almond flour through a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spoon to press the almond flour down through the sieve. Repeat 2 more times — the flour should be as fine as possible.
We’re going to make our meringue — one neat trick is to age your egg whites. We recommend letting your egg whites sit at room temperature for 24 hours. You can even pass them through a sieve as well to make your cookies as shiny as possible. Pour them into your mixer with a wire whisk attached. Beat the eggs while adding the sugar slowly, until it forms firm peaks. Add any flavouring or food colouring (we’re using pink dye), and beat again until mixed.
Add your almond/sugar mixture to the egg whites all at once. Fold the whites in — it’ll take some time for it to mix fully, up to 30 or 40 turns.
Once the batter is smooth, transfer it to your piping bag with a 1cm round tip attached. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets and line with parchment — the batter will keep the parchment in place.
Pipe your macarons onto the parchment in a swirling motion, starting from the inside outwards. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
For vanilla buttercream icing: in large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 2 additions of sugar. Beat in vanilla. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Beat slightly before using.)
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once it’s cooled, swirl your filling onto your cookie — we’re using a vanilla buttercream. Whatever you use, you want it to be dense and flavourful. Place another macaron cookie on top to complete!
Tiny, but irresistible! If you liked this recipe and are looking to try it yourself, let us and @taraobrady know by sharing your creations using #CBCLife! Enjoy!