French Macarons 101 (and Oreos)!

oreos

For the Oreo French Macarons:  follow the standard macaron recipe on this blog and then sprinkle some crushed Oreos (I use a food processor) over the macs after you pipe them.  For Oreo buttercream, add the crushed Oreos to a standard vanilla buttercream recipe (the recipe for this is on this blog as well under “Cakes”).

Now for some macaron tips… I am by no means an expert, but I have been making them for about a year with many failed attempts and many successful attempts as well.  With that said, I’m just going to share what I have noted and what works for me:

1. I don’t use fresh eggs; I use aged eggs as suggested.  But not that old.  Even a day or two after buying them works fine for me.  The important thing I found is to leave them out so they reach room temperature.  This makes a huge difference.  I usually leave them out for a full day.  If you’re in a hurry or didn’t have time, you can put the whites in the microwave in a bowl for a few seconds.  I have tried this before and it worked.  Just be careful about leaving them in too long and only use this if you need to. Room temp whites is a must for me.

2. Make sure to tap the macaron tray against the table after you have piped your circles.  This will remove air bubbles.

3.  Let the macs stand/sit for at least 15 minutes and I usually do so for 30 minutes because I noticed that works best for me.  Things like humidity and heat can affect them so I feel more comfortable letting them sit longer.  This will help feet develop.

4. If you want to add color, use gel coloring because liquid is too runny and will affect your macarons negatively.  Add the color after your egg white and sugar mix have formed fairly stiff peaks.  Add extract at this time as well. Then finish mixing on high speed to get stiff peaks.

5.  I find that folding the macs to the right consistency (lava like consistency) takes about 50-80 strokes

6. I watch my macs as they bake.  I don’t trust them alone. 😉  They are tricky little things.  Now, if the batch is going to be a fail, I’m sure staring them down won’t help, but it’s just a habit :p  Plus, I can change the oven temp if need be.

7. Oven temperature is the hardest variable for me so any suggestions would be great, but I find that 300F works best for me.  Sometimes I even go to 290F.  I bake them for about 15 minutes.  I have read that baking at 325F for less time works great and best for no hollow macs. Many recipes call for that.  I guess just testing it out for yourself is the best bet.  Make sure to also get an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is properly calibrated.

8. Before removing your macs from the parchment paper (which I use) or silicone mat, make sure they are cool enough so they don’t stick.

9. Be patient and realize everyone, even skilled mac makers, get hollows and botched batches at times.  It’s not easy.  But try not to get discouraged.  They may not look they way they should, but they are tasty and you can always eat the fails! Plus, when you actually get them right, you feel like you have overcome such an amazing feat!

I hope this helps you! xo

-Christina

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