I want to share a recipe that will transform the often intimidating process of making macarons into an achievable, joyous experience. This simple Swiss macaron recipe, with its basic vanilla shell, is a canvas for your creativity, allowing you to pair it with any filling of your choice.

Originating from France, macarons are more than just cookies; they are a culinary art form. Each bite-sized treat encapsulates the essence of precision and refinement in baking. The Swiss method of making them, which we will dive into, provides a particularly reliable approach for those seeking consistent results. The taste is just so good as well. Who would have thought there’s a way to easily create amazing macarons in your own kitchen? Get ready, it’s easier than you might think.

Freshly whipped meringue

The Chemistry of Macarons

Understanding the chemistry behind macarons is key to perfecting them, The stable meringue base, created by whisking egg whites and sugar, provides the foundational structure. The role of tartar here is crucial – it strengthens the protein matrix in the egg whites, allowing for a more stable and voluminous meringue. As you fold in the almond flour and powdered sugar, you’re gently incorporating dry ingredients to maintain the airiness. The science behind the resting period is equally fascinating – it allows the outer layer to dry, ensuring that perfect, smooth top and the iconic ‘feet’ upon baking.

Why do my macarons crack?

These cookies may crack due to several reasons, including too much air in the batter, an oven temperature that’s too high, or insufficient drying time before baking. Ensuring proper folding technique, and resting the piped macarons for at least an hour, are key steps to prevent this issue.

Just mixed macaron batter

How do I achieve the perfect ‘feet’ on my macarons?

The ‘feet’ of the macaron develop during the baking process. The key is in the meringue’s stability and the drying period before baking, which allows the top to set while the base expands and rises in the oven, forming the ruffled ‘feet’.

Can I make macarons on a humid day?

Humidity is a known nemesis of macarons. However, you can still succeed by using a dehumidifier in your kitchen or waiting for a less humid day. The key is to ensure the shells dry properly before baking. The top of each cookie should be dry to the touch. Very gentle touch that is, the cookies are very delicate.

How long do macarons last?

They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours. They can last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Simple swiss macarons on a tray

What is in macarons?

Egg whites

Provides the structure and airiness

Granulated sugar

Stabilizes the egg whites and adds sweetness

Tartar

Strengthens the meringue

Vanilla extract

Adds flavor

Almond flour

The core ingredient for the cookie’s texture

Powdered sugar

Adds sweetness and aids in texture

Simple Swiss Macarons on a tray

Storing macarons

Store your macarons in an airtight container to maintain their texture and flavor. In the fridge, they can last up to a week, making them a great make-ahead treat.

Freezing macarons

These freeze exceptionally well. Place them in a single layer in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Can you make macarons ahead of time?

You can prepare them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. This makes them an excellent choice for parties or gifts.

Recommended Equipment

  • Metal standing mixer – essential for achieving the perfect meringue
  • Piping bags and tips – for consistent and beautiful macaron shells
  • Non-slip mat with macaron pattern – aids in piping evenly sized macarons
  • Candy Thermometer – crucial for monitoring the sugar mixture temperature

Recipes You May Love

Simple Swiss Macarons

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Servings: 30 sandwiches
If followed correctly, this recipe yields perfect, frustration free, macarons every time! Try this basic vanilla shell with any filling.

Ingredients 

  • 120 grams egg whites
  • 120 grams granulates sugar
  • 1/2 tsp tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 grams fine almond flour
  • 150 grams powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Place a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water on a stove top over medium heat
  • With a kitchen scale, measure out egg whites and sugar in a metal kitchen aid bowl.
  • Whisk egg whites, sugar & tartar in a metal standing mixer bowl (kitchen aid bowls work best)
  • Once water is simmering, place mixer bowl on sauce pan (like a double broiler)
  • Constantly whisk sugar mixture over the heat while a candy thermometer is reading. Once mixture reaches 120 degrees, remove from heat. This only takes a few minutes.
  • Place bowl in a standing mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on medium high speed until stiff peak. This takes about 5 minutes to achieve.
  • With a kitchen scale measure out flour & powdered sugar
  • While meringue is mixing, place almond flour & powdered sugar in a food processor & pulse a few times
  • After processed, sift flour and sugar. Discard large chunks that stick in the sifter(should only be 1 tsp or less discarded, if more, you will need to re-measure and add more almond flour)
  • Once mixture is at stiff peak, you have made a meringue! With a rubber spatula, fold in vanilla extract and then fold in flour mixture into the meringue
  • Continue folding the mixture over and over again until it comes together fully, you know you are done when the batter ribbons off of the spatula when in a continuous ribbon without immediately breaking. To test this, I hold my spatula and make a figure 8, if the ribbon doesn’t break, then you are done
  • Put batter into a piping bag with Wilton 2A piping tip attached (or similar size hole cut)
  • Pipe batter onto nonslip mat with macaron pattern on a light metal cookie sheet
  • Let cookies sit at room temperature for 1 hour. This step cannot be skipped, you will know your cookie is ready to bake when it has a touchable skin on top.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Bake cookies for 15 minutes, check to make sure cookies don’t move when slightly budged by your finger tip. If cookies move, rotate cookie sheets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Take cookies out of oven. Let cookies cool completely before removing off of nonslip mat. If your cookies aren’t coming off clean, place tray into the freezer for a couple minutes. After, the cookies should come off clean
  • Fill with your favorite frosting. I like a cinnamon buttercream or a chocolate buttercream

Nutrition

Calories: 37kcal Carbohydrates: 9g Protein: 0.4g Fat: 0.04g Saturated Fat: 0.003g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g Cholesterol: 0.01mg Sodium: 7mg Potassium: 7mg Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 9g Vitamin A: 1IU Vitamin C: 0.01mg Calcium: 2mg Iron: 0.02mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.