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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 November 19, 2019

                  20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                  20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                  Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                  If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                  1. Create a Daily Plan

                  Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                  2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                  Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                  3. Use a Calendar

                  Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                  I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                  Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                  4. Use an Organizer

                  An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                  These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                  5. Know Your Deadlines

                  When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                  But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                  6. Learn to Say “No”

                  Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                  Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                  7. Target to Be Early

                  When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                  For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                  Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                  8. Time Box Your Activities

                  This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                  You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                  9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                  Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                  10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                  Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                  You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                  11. Focus

                  Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                  Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                  Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                  12. Block out Distractions

                  What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                  I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                  When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                  Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                  13. Track Your Time Spent

                  When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                  You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                  14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                  You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                  Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                  15. Prioritize

                  Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                  Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                  16. Delegate

                  If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                  When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                  17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                  For related work, batch them together.

                  For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                  2. coaching
                  3. workshop development
                  4. business development
                  5. administrative

                  I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                  18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                  What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                  One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                  While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                  19. Cut off When You Need To

                  The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                  Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                  20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                  Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                  More Time Management Techniques

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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