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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 September 16, 2019

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                  We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                  The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                  Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                  1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                  Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                  For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                  • (1) Research
                  • (2) Deciding the topic
                  • (3) Creating the outline
                  • (4) Drafting the content
                  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                  • (6) Revision
                  • (7) etc.

                  Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                  2. Change Your Environment

                  Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                  One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                  3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                  Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                  Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                  My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                  Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                  4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                  If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                  Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                  I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                  5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                  Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                  As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                  6. Get a Buddy

                  Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                  I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                  7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                  This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                  For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                  8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                  What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                  9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                  If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                  Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                  10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                  Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                  Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                  11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                  At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                  Reality check:

                  I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                  More About Procrastination

                  Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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