Who doesn’t love a good macaron? These classic French cookies use chewy and light almond meringues to sandwich rich buttercream or jam for a treat like no other. For our version, we fill pink (naturally gluten-free) cookies with a rose buttercream and Champagne jelly for a floral dessert sure to impress.
For the perfect macaron, we recommend investing in a silicone baking mat. It’s our secret weapon for a flawless shell every time. If that’s out of the question, use parchment paper. Just be sure to pipe a tiny bit of batter in the corners of each baking sheet to glue down the paper, so it doesn’t slide around when you slam the tray.
This recipe is a great base for any macaron flavor. Simply omit the rose water from the batter and switch up the food coloring. When it comes to the filling, you can use anything from berry jam to chocolate ganache.
To learn more, read "Culinary Institute: Macarons."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 2 dozen macarons
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus drying, cooling and chilling time
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes, plus drying, cooling and chilling time
For the Macaron Shells:
2⅓ cups almond flour
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon rose water
8 drops red food coloring
6 egg whites, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
For the Champagne Jelly:
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ cup Champagne
1 teaspoon powdered fruit pectin
For the Rose Buttercream:
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon rose water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 drops red food coloring
1. Make the macaron shells: Preheat the oven to 285º and line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, rose water, red food coloring and 3 egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, mix until a smooth paste is formed.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 3 egg whites until foamy. In a small saucepan, heat the granulated sugar and water over medium-high heat until it reaches 234º according to an instant-read thermometer, 2 minutes. With the stand mixer motor running, slowly stream in the syrup. Then increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg mixture until stiff peaks have formed and the meringue is cool to the touch.
3. Fold a third of the meringue into the almond flour mixture until smooth, then continue folding in the remaining meringue, one third at a time. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a ⅝-inch round pastry tip.
4. Pipe 2-inch shells (about 2 tablespoons per shell) 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets. You should end up with 48 shells. Slam the trays on a sturdy work surface to spread the batter and smooth the shells. Let the shells dry at room temperature until a skin has formed and they are no longer tacky to the touch, 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Bake the macarons, rotating the trays halfway through, until they have risen and the shells are matte in appearance, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely before releasing the shells from the trays.
6. Meanwhile, make the Champagne jelly: In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and Champagne over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the pectin and once hydrated (no longer white in appearance), whisk to incorporate. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
7. Make the rose buttercream: In the bowl of the stand mixer, cream the confectioners’ sugar and the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a ⅜-inch round pastry tip.
8. Pipe a circle of buttercream around the outer edges of half of the macaron shells. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jelly in the center of the buttercream and top each with another shell. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm the buttercream, then serve.
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