Matcha macarons. Or, as I like to call them… MATCHARONS!!
Update: I am updating this post on August 14th 2018 with new pictures.
This Matcha Macarons recipe started gaining some traction lately, and for the past week, it’s been my most viewed recipe almost everyday. So that did two things for me: one, made me miss these little treats. And two: made me realize I needed to update my post with some new pictures.
So the answer was pretty obvious to me: MAKE SOME MORE MATCHA MACARONS! I’m such a problem solver.
And, another reason why I love this post so much and wanted to make it prettier, is that here I also bring some of my Best Tips on how to make French Macarons!
I am going to teach you how to make the perfect French macarons!
Are macarons really that hard to make? Macarons are some tricky little cookies! I’m sure you’ve heard about how hard it is to make these infamous beautiful, delicious pieces of heaven, that melt in your mouth as you bite into them.
They are hard. They are complicated and fussy.
You will probably fail at this. At least a couple of times!
But don’t worry! Don’t get intimidated. You will get there! Just practice!
And don’t forget that making French Macarons is going to work differently for everybody.
The first time I made them, they came out fantastic. I chose pistachio, which is still to this day my favorite macaron flavor (even though, this matcha macarons might be a strong contender for first place).
I thought to myself: wow, I really am a wonderful baker, aren’t I. The trickiest of all cookies, and here I am, first time making them, BAM nailed it!
Then, I made them a second time.
And it was awful. There was crying involved.
That Saturday morning, I made them once. Then I made them twice. And I made them three times. Without any luck. All three times.
It was a sad day.
But then, I made them again. Then, once more. And many times after that. I failed and succeeded.
So now, please take my advice, because I’ve learned through practicing a lot! I have some important tips on how to bake macarons. Pile them together with all the other tips you will read from other websites, and you will find out what works for you.
Tips for Baking Macarons
1. First and foremost, have all of your ingredients measured out, sifted and ready to go.
You will need:
- 2 baking sheets.
- 2 parchment papers or silicon mats
- layout of drawn out 1 1/2″ circles so you can pipe perfectly
- large piping bag
- large round piping tip
- stand mixer and whisk attachment
- small pot with about 2 inches of water*
- Sift your almond flour and powdered sugar together and set aside.
- Measure out the egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl (or KitchenAid bowl).
- Line baking sheets with circle layout and parchment paper over layout.
- Line piping bag with tip.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer
*Note: The pot with water needs to be small enough so you can place your KitchenAid bowl, or stand mixer bowl on top of the pan, and the bottom of the bowl won’t be touching the water in the pan.
2. About the whites
There are three approaches you can use when making macarons. French, Italian or Swiss methods.
- French method
This used to be my favorite method, but it isn’t anymore. The meringue is way too unstable and chances everything is going to go wrong are higher.
The French method requires you to whip whites until they reach stiff peaks, while slowly adding granulated sugar in. You’ll find many recipes that require cream of tartar in this method which is a way of trying to make the meringue a bit more stable.
This method might be the easiest one because doesn’t involve making a syrup before, but it’s the one where things are most likely to go wrong.
Another disadvantage of the French method is that it requires you to whip the egg whites for longer, therefore adding a lot of air to the batter, which could also contribute to cracks.
- Italian Method
When making the Italian method, you will usually be required to make a syrup of water and sugar, and bring it up to a certain temperature. Then, you must add the syrup to the whites, while whipping, which should cook the whites while the meringue forms. This method provides you with a more stable meringue.
- Swiss Method
The Swiss method is currently my favorite.
You heat up the whites and granulated sugar over a double boiler until the sugar has melted. Then, you whip this syrup until stiff peaks are formed and fold the meringue with the sifted dry ingredients.
3. About folding
Folding is what we call macaronage. And this right here is the most important step of all.
This is where everything usually goes wrong.
You are looking for the exact perfect consistency here.
Your batter is supposed to look like what they usually refer to as “molten lava”. This expression doesn’t do it for me. I could never really grasp what that meant, because there is a big range where your batter is going to look like molten lava.
I fold my batter slowly, forming a letter J with my spatula. When batter start to seem like “molten lava”, I start testing it.
First, grab a spatula full of batter and pull it up at a 90 degree angle on top of the bowl, then you start drawing a figure 8 in the air with the dripping batter. And if you can draw a few number 8s with the flowing batter, without having it break apart, that means your batter is probably ready.
If your batter is breaking up before forming a figure 8, fold a couple more times.
I usually fold 3 times and test. 3 times and test. As needed.
To test, I grab a teaspooonful of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper. If the batter spreads out and seems glossy, you are probably good to go.
If the batter is still forming a peak and isn’t spreading out much, it’s most likely not ready.
Fold a few more times. Test again.
You also don’t want your batter to be too runny. So make sure to test before you go folding away.
Once you feel like your batter is spreading out a bit once scooped onto the baking sheet, and gets a glossy look in a minute or so after piping, it’s ready to go.
4. About the oven and baking time
Second most important aspect of making macarons is baking time and your oven.
I find that with my oven, I have to bake each tray one at a time, and the middle of the oven works best.
I bake them at 325F. Bake for 4 minutes, rotate, bake for 4 more minutes and then rotate the pan again or just let them bake a few more minutes until done. It usually takes me 12-15 minutes in my oven.
Do make sure you take a peak or two at your macarons while they’re baking. If they are rising too much on one side, means you have to rotate your pan in order to bake evenly.
5. Other important steps
- Slamming your trays
This is a very important step in order to eliminate air bubbles from your macarons. Just slam your baking sheets against the counter right after piping the macarons.
I usually leave my macarons drying before baking them. Usually 20-40 minutes does it for me, depending on how humid the day is. If you live in a really humid environment, you might want to let our macarons dry for about 1 hour. This really helps achieve the beautiful feet French macarons are supposed to have.
Wait for your macarons to cool down before removing them from the parchment and filling them.
After filling your macarons, it’s best to let them mature for a day or so in the fridge. The taste and texture develop and your macaron will taste amazing.
Store your macarons in an air tight closed container in the fridge for 4 days-1 week. Let them sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.
I am used to freezing macarons, also. They freeze beautifully in my experience. I just make sure I place them in an air tight container and freeze them for no longer than 1 month or so. Defrost them in the fridge for an hour or so or at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Some other tips:
A lot of people claim that you should use aged egg whites in your macarons. And I find that for me that makes no difference at all.
I’ve seen recipes state to leave egg whites on the counter for a couple days before starting, to age and dry the egg whites, which also, makes no difference for me.
Or, I’ve seen recipes tell me to sift my almond flour and powdered sugar 5 times before starting. Again, I sift it only one time, and that’s it, that’s how it works for me and the brands of flour I use, which are King Arthur Almond Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour. The almond flour brand you use will also play a very important roll in your final results. Read about my favorite brand of Almond Flour to make French Macarons here.
By the way, all of the pictures in the post were taken today August 14th, over 5 months after the first time I uploaded this recipe. Here is one picture from the previous post, so you can check out my photography skills evolution in these past few months. Slow and steady.
More Macaron Recipes click here.
Other Matcha Recipes: Matcha Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
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- 3 egg whites (90-120 grams, depends on the size of your egg)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 cup almond flour (96 grams)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (90 grams)
- 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of matcha powder or more, it’s up to how strong you’d like your buttercream to be
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready.
Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
Under my parchment, I put a layout with circles that measure about 1 1/2 inches each. That’s how big I like to pipe my macarons.
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Now you can finally start.
Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes.
Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. (I use my kitchenAid bowl when doing this, because it makes it easier)
With the whisk attachment, whisk mixture on high speed for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed.
Sift powdered sugar, almond flour and matcha together.
Pour into stiff whites.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this, and you might have to have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
First, grab a spatula full of batter and pull it up at a 90 degree angle on top of the bowl, then you start drawing a figure 8 in the air with the dripping batter. And if you can draw a few number 8s with the flowing batter, without having it break apart, that means your batter is probably ready, or close to being ready.
Then, I grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture to the piping bag.
You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion.
Once you’ve piped as many 1 1/2” circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
Bake one tray at a time.
Bake for 4 minutes, rotate tray.
Bake for 4 more minutes, check if it needs to be rotated again. You will know if it needs to be rotated again depending on how the macarons are baking. Take a look at them, if one side seems taller then the other, maybe you have to rotate the tray again.
Bake for around 2-4 more minutes. Really keep an eye out, not to overbake.
When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
While macarons cool down, you can make the filling.
Sift powdered sugar and matcha powder together. Set aside.
Cream butter on medium speed, until creamy, for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and matcha and beat until mixture is fluffy and incorporated, another minute. If mixture seems too stiff, add one or two teaspoons of milk. If it seems too runny, add one or two teaspoons of powdered sugar.
Add vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds to combine.
Put filling in prepared piping bag. Pipe a dollop in each macaron and close the sandwich. You are looking for the proportions of 2:1 cookie:filling.