Vanilla Bean Macarons

by Kiran on April 2, 2015 · 24 comments

in Baking, Desserts

It was the Husband’s birthday last week. His wish for his birthday this year was low-key and no cake. Yep, that’s my birthday boy. In all seriousness and sarcasm push aside, I had to plan something.

So what do you make for a birthday, where the request was low-key and no cake?

Vanilla Bean Macarons | @KiranTarun http://kirantarun.com/food
I settled on macarons even though I’ve had previous 3 failed attempts at baking it. All, no thanks to my eagerness, impatience and humidity.

There’s very few ingredients to bake french macarons but the technique has to be precise. From whipping to stirring, drying to pipping, every step needs to be perfected in hopes that the “feet” will eventually appear amidst of all the humidity.

Prayers were chanted while macarons were off to dry before sending it off into the oven. And voila, the “feet” emerges 😀

Vanilla Bean Macarons | @KiranTarun http://kirantarun.com/food

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Yields about 30 to 36 servings — Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients:

Macaron shells

  • 1 + 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla bean buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
  2. Add confectioner sugar and almond flour into a food processor. Process for a minute. Remove and sift into a large bowl using a fine-mesh sieve. Discard any coarse almond flour that didn’t pass through the sieve. You’d want to end up with fine powdered sugar-almond flour.
  3. In a very clean stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium high and gradually add the superfine sugar. Beat until stiff and shiny, between 4 to 5 minutes. Fold in vanilla bean seeds or extract.
  4. Transfer meringue into the bowl with sugar-almond flour mixture. Fold, turn and scrap down the bowl, until the batter is completely incorporated, smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon. It took me between 35 to 40 folds, a good 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer macaron batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to baking sheet, pipe 1+1/4 inch circles with enough space to allow batter spreading.
  6. For each baking sheet, firmly tap the sheets twice against a flat surface or counter to release any air bubbles.
  7. Preheat oven to 300F.
  8. Allow the piped macaron batter to sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to touch, between 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. It took me an hour, living in Florida, with the AC turned down to the coolest setting. Bbrrr…
  9. Slip an extra baking sheet under the first batch of piped macarons. Bake until cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot”, between 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet with cookies to a rack to cool completely.Repeat the whole baking process for using double baking sheet for each batch.
  10. While macarons bake, make vanilla bean buttercream by adding all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl, fitted with a paddle.
  11. With the mixer on low, and gradually increasing it to medium, beat until you get a smooth buttercream. Remove into a pipping bag fitted with a smaller round tip. Set into the refrigerator to cool while macarons bakes and cool completely.
  12. Peel macaron cookies off the parchments and sandwich with a thin layer of vanilla bean buttercream filling. Pipe a large dollop of buttercream on one side and sandwich with another cookie. Apply a gentle pressure while sandwiching.
  13. Refrigerate sandwiched macarons for a few hours, preferably overnight. Leave out of refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before devouring 😀

 

Vanilla Bean Macarons | @KiranTarun http://kirantarun.com/food
Macarons can be intimidating. But don’t give up. If you really want to successfully bake macarons, you’ve got to strap on a lot of patience and leave the eagerness somewhere else. Preferably, out of the kitchen!

And if humidity threatens, crank up the AC. It truly helped me this time.

Have you tried baking macarons? What are your favorite sandwich cookie recipes?

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa April 2, 2015 at 11:57 AM

I have made macarons, but not since a while… Your look wonderful!

Cheers,

Rosa
Rosa recently posted..GENEVA WINTER BLUES

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2 Kiran April 21, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Rosa — thanks friend. this was a first success for me, and I’m glad it turned out so good 🙂

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3 Shibi@FlavzCorner April 2, 2015 at 12:11 PM

I never baked macarons before, but I would like to do it someday as it is one of the thing in my to do list for a long time. But I am intimidated by its stories to try it. Hopefully soon I can have a grip on this beautiful dessert.

Your macarons look perfect. I loved the second picture so much. It conveys the weather in FL 🙂
Shibi@FlavzCorner recently posted..White Sandwich Bread

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4 Kiran April 21, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Shibi — I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to ace it. It requires a lot of patience, but definitely doable 🙂

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5 Angie@Angie's Recipes April 2, 2015 at 10:57 PM

It has been YEARS since I last baked a batch macarons. These look really super!
Have a great weekend!
Angie
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Baked Cod with Mushrooms and Kale

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6 Kiran April 21, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Angie — make it soon!!!

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7 Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ April 3, 2015 at 12:36 PM

I baked them once… well, I cannot technically say I baked macarons since the outcome looked like a smelly collection of stones (I managed to burn them). YAY for these beautiful macarons and your husband’s birthday!
Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ recently posted..Classic Spanish Omelette: The Tortilla

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8 Kiran April 21, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Daniela — with practice and patience, comes success 🙂

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9 Tania @My Kitchen Stories April 6, 2015 at 1:28 AM

You did such a fantastic job. They look perfect
Tania @My Kitchen Stories recently posted..Chilli, Lemon and Ginger Chicken with Fountain Good Choice Sauces

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10 Ash-foodfashionparty April 6, 2015 at 2:49 PM

What a nice way to celebrate a birthday. They are perfect and beautiful. Love baking them, last summer was a crazy macaroon spree.

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11 Raymund April 6, 2015 at 3:46 PM

Wow those 3 attempts made this really perfect, nice one! And belated Happy Birthday to the husband
Raymund recently posted..Lemon and Rosemary Roast Chicken

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12 Juliana April 7, 2015 at 12:16 AM

Oh Kiran, your macarons look perfect…so pretty and elegant…I yet have to try to make macarons…to intimidated my it!
Have a great week 🙂

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13 Laura (Tutti Dolci) April 7, 2015 at 1:28 AM

Such pretty macarons, I love those flecks of vanilla bean!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..strawberry basil pie

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14 Ursula @ LilVienna.com April 8, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Hmmm. They look yummy!
Ursula @ LilVienna.com recently posted..Creamy Potato Goulash (Erdäpfelgulasch)

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15 Kitchen Belleicious April 14, 2015 at 2:04 PM

happy late birthday to your husband and wow what a birthday treat. Those macaroons look absolutely amazing. I love the vanilla bean flavor being so pronounced.
Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Pulled Mexican Lime Chicken

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16 Coco in the Kitchen April 14, 2015 at 3:55 PM

Many years ago, I tried (and failed) at making macarons.
Your instructions are so clear that I want to try again.
Coco in the Kitchen recently posted..Luscious Greek Phyllo Custard Pie (Galaktoboureko)

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17 Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog April 14, 2015 at 11:19 PM

WOW! These are gorgeous! My hubby’s the same way, super simple requests when I want to make like a 5 layer cake or something lol. These macarons sound amazing, totally need to try them!
Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog recently posted..Steak Fajita Tacos for Two

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18 cquek April 16, 2015 at 7:52 AM

I need to make it!

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19 Carol at Wild Goose Mama April 16, 2015 at 9:42 PM

I should NOT be eating this before dinner. I have a sweet tooth. So I could flat out pour a glass of milk and have a stack of these and call it dinner. I would be one happy—albeit fat—woman.

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20 Carol at Wild Goose Mama April 16, 2015 at 9:44 PM

Forgot to mention
I don’t normally talk about ME, but please take note of the slight name change from Wild Goose Tea. New web design too—whoopee. Adding some new features along the way.

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21 Kelly - Life Made Sweeter April 18, 2015 at 5:10 AM

Yay, your macarons look absolutely perfect and gorgeous, Kiran! Happy happy birthday to your husband, hope he loved these!

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22 Daniela April 18, 2015 at 8:26 PM

Your husband is a very lucky guy – what a birthday treat.
Love the picture with the birthday candles spread around the macaroons,very stylish.
Daniela recently posted..Seared Scallops With Passionfruit Sauce

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23 Kankana April 21, 2015 at 2:27 AM

Your hubby is lucky. No easy cake but challenging macarons. That was risky girl but you rocked at it 🙂
Kankana recently posted..Date Palm Jaggery Rice Pudding (Khejur Gurer Payesh )

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24 Kelsey September 6, 2015 at 9:00 PM

Hi there ! .. Does anyone know if you can substitute vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla pod or vanilla extract ?

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