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8 Easy Macaron Recipes For Beginners (With NEVER FAIL Tips)

8 Easy Macaron Recipes For Beginners (With NEVER FAIL Tips)

You’ve seen them everywhere, with their vibrant colors, lightly crunchy shells, and creamy fillings. They line the bakery shelves of grocery stores and have even inspired their own gourmet shops. That’s right, macarons. First brought from Italy to France in 1547, the macaron was perfected in France, and lately these bite-sized treats have taken the world by storm.

Macarons contain just a few simple ingredients, usually some combination of almond flour, sugar, egg whites, and water. Despite this simple ingredient list, macarons are known for being difficult to bake. To achieve the picture-perfect, uncracked shell with the right glossy sheen takes exact measuring, mixing, baking, and drying. If you’re just getting started with macarons, though, don’t lose heart! With these six helpful tips, even a beginner can make gourmet macarons like a pro.

No-Fail Tips for Making Beautiful Macarons

1. Have a helper.

If possible, recruit a helping hand to assist you in the kitchen. Baking with a friend or family member not only helps you mix the ingredients smoothly and at the correct pace, but it also makes the process more fun. If you’re going it alone, use a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer so that you keep one free hand. Marie from Food Nouveau also recommends making sure that your stand mixer’s bowl and utensils are cold, which keeps ingredients from sticking.

2. Invest in a kitchen scale.

Though many recipes give cup and teaspoon measurements, Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction swears by her kitchen scale for delectable macarons. Scales are a much more accurate way to measure ingredients and will make your life much easier when making these difficult treats.

3. Watch out for humidity.

Humidity in the kitchen, particularly within the oven, makes it difficult for the macaron shells to dry properly. Do yourself a favor, and only make these cookies on a dry day. If you have a dehumidifier laying around, put it in the kitchen while you prepare, and leave the oven door slightly ajar to avoid trapping humidity inside. You’ll be impressed the difference that proper drying has on the shells’ texture and shine.

4. Make the macaron recipes ahead of time.

Prepare the macaron shells and their filling a day or two ahead of time. Put them in the fridge, or better yet, freeze them. Just remember to remove them about three hours before you plan to serve them. Making them ahead of time not only saves stress on the day of your party, but it also gives you some wiggle room in case the shells burn or the dough gets dropped.

5. Do what works for you.

There are many different beliefs about the proper way to make macarons, even among the French. The best advice is to do what works for you in your kitchen and with the amount of time you have. Even the baking pros like Audra the Baker Chick adjust macaron recipes to fit their needs. While traditional recipes call for aging of the eggs before mixing them into the dough, Audra skips this step altogether. If you don’t have time to make a homemade filling, just fill the shells with anything you’d like! The most traditional fillings are light ganaches and preserved fruit, but you can also add frosting, Nutella, peanut butter, or caramel.

6. Start simple, and have fun practicing.

Like anything worthwhile, making the perfect macarons requires a lot of practice. The first few batches may not turn out exactly like the pictures, but you’ll learn new tricks every time. Plus, even if the shell is cracked or the color is a little off, your macarons will taste delicious. Start simple before moving on to the fancier recipes, and remember that even the best chefs need time to master the macaron.

Eight Easy Macaroon Recipes

Now that you have these helpful tips in mind, start practicing your French baking skills with these eight easy and enticing macaron recipes. These recipes are simple enough for beginners to try but delicious enough for pros to make again and again.

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1. Easy Macarons

Colored macarons

    Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, salt; For the filling: unsalted butter, powdered sugar

    Make these basic macarons in about 30 minutes. While the oven preheats, pour the powdered sugar and ground almonds through a sieve and into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until the mixture peaks, add sugar slowly until the mixture thickens, and add the sugar and almond mix from the other bowl. Using a piping bag, pipe this mixture on to a baking sheet, let them dry until shiny, and then bake for about 16 minutes.

    While baking, beat the butter and sugar together to create the filling. After the shells have completely cooled, fill them with the butter and sugar mixture. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate before serving.

    Tip: Be sure that your mixing bowls are very clean before using. Add gel food coloring if you’d like a brighter pop of color.

    2. Chocolate Macarons

    Chocolate macarons

      Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, salt, chocolate; For the meringue: egg whites, lemon juice, sugar; For the ganache: cream, chocolate

      To make this chocolate macaron variety with ganache, follow the same instructions for the basic macaron shells. Once the egg white and sugar has peaked, mix in melted chocolate. Make a meringue by whisking together egg whites, lemon juice, and sugar syrup with a hand blender. Carefully mix the meringue into the chocolate shell dough mixture. Pipe the dough, and bake as directed.

      For the ganache filling, boil the cream and chocolate together, and pipe into the baked and dried macaron shells. Serve, and enjoy!

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      Tip: Use this chocolate mixture as a cake base for a fun, oversized take on a macaron.

      3. Raspberry Macarons

      Pink macaron

        Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, salt, rose water, pink gel food coloring; For the filling: raspberry jam

        For these beautifully delicate pink macarons, follow the same basic shell-making steps, adding the rose water and food coloring right after the egg whites and sugar have come into peaks. Once baked and dried, fill the macaron shells with raspberry jam or marmalade for a fresh and sweet taste.

        Tip: Let the egg whites come to room temperature before mixing them.

        4. Salted Caramel Macarons

        Salted caramel macarons

          Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, salt; For the filling: heavy cream, fine sugar, fleur de sel, butter

          These macarons are a breeze! Just make the macaron shells following basic recipe. For the salted caramel filling, boil the cream and sugar separately and then mix together. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then fold in the butter and fleur de sel. Let it cool again, beat it until smooth, and fill the macaron shells to your delight!

          Tip: Fleur de sel is a gourmet sea salt from France.

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          5. Macarons Without Almond Flour

          Macaron no almond flour

            Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, pumpkin seeds, egg whites, salt, malt powder, cocoa powder, vanilla bean; For the filling: vanilla buttercream, barley malt syrup

            This macaron recipe is perfect for those who suffer from nut allergies, and they taste just as delicious as traditional macarons. To make the almond flour substitute, blend the pumpkin seeds, sugar, malt powder, and cocoa powder in a food processor. Then use this mixture to complete the basic macaron shell-making steps, including beating, piping, and drying. Use a mixer to beat the buttercream and barley malt syrup together, and then pipe the filling into the baked and dried cookies.

            Tip: Add food coloring or other flavors to give a little zest to these nut-free macarons.

            6. Chocolate Nutella Macarons

            Chocolate nutella macarons

              Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, cocoa powder; For the filling: Nutella, heavy cream, bittersweet chocolate

              These amazing macarons are sure to please the whole family with the familiar and delectable taste of Nutella. Make the macaron shells normally, adding the cocoa powder into the almond flour and sugar mixture before beating it with the egg whites. For the Nutella ganache, lightly heat the heavy cream, and add in the Nutella and bittersweet chocolate. Let the filling thicken and cool in the fridge, and then pipe it into the macaron shells.

              Tip: If you’re in a hurry, just use plain Nutella as the filling. The texture won’t be as light and fluffy, but the taste will more than make up for it.

              7. Pina Colada Macarons

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              Pina colada macarons

                Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, shredded coconut; For the filling: egg yolks, pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch butter

                These pina colada-inspired macarons have a traditional cookie shell with shredded coconut and a pineapple curd filling for a tropical taste. Make the macaron shell according to the basic recipe, adding the shredded coconut on top just before baking. To make the pineapple filling, mix all the ingredients together on the stove top, and let cool before filling the macarons.

                Tip: Be sure to let your filling cook long enough so it is not too runny.

                8. Red Velvet Macarons

                Red velvet macarons

                  Required ingredients: For the shells: powdered and fine sugar, ground almond, egg whites, salt, red food coloring; For the filling: cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, vanilla extract

                  These red velvet macarons are a delicate twist on the classic dessert. Make the macaron shells as normal, adding in just a touch of red food coloring after the egg white, sugar, and flour mixture has attained glossy peaks. To make the traditional cream cheese filling, blend all the ingredients together in a stand mixer, and fill the baked and dried macaron shells.

                  Tip: Don’t add too much food coloring, or the peaks will weaken and lead to a crumbly, cracked shell.

                  Do you know what pairs well with macarons? Coffee! Check out these surprising health benefits of coffee that will make you feel good about having your coffee and dessert.

                  Featured photo credit: Lelivingandco via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                  Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                  Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                  Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                  Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                  The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                  There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                  How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                  According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                  Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                  Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                  The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                  Listen carefully:

                  We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                  The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                  Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                  8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                  There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                  Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                  1. Pray Daily

                  You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                  When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                  Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                  Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                  2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                  A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                  By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                  Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                  If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                  This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                  How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                  3. Smile Often

                  Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                  Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                  Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                  The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                  4. Organize Your Working Desk

                  A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                  When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                  Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                  Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                  5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                  I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                  Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                  What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                  6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                  God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                  I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                  I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                  7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                  You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                  How do you do that? This is my formula:

                  First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                  If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                  If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                  If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                  Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                  8. Go Exercise

                  Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                  The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                  You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                  12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                  The Bottom Line

                  It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                  It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                  Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                  More Resources About Mindfulness

                  Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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