attempting at-home macarons.

I may not be the world's greatest cook, but I do love to bake. For years, I've wanted to try my hand at macarons, so when a class on the subject popped up, I registered immediately! In the three hours I spent in the lab kitchen at Johnson & Wales, I quickly learned I wouldn't master these treats in my first attempt. I did pick up a thing or two which might spare you some frustration if you attempt them at home!

It isn't any surprise, but baking requires a great deal of precision. Making macarons is no different. Nailing the temperatures will determine whether your macarons rise or fall. Our instructor gave a simple formula for success, which you can see on the whiteboard below. Different types of macarons may require slightly different temperature readings, but as a whole, sticking to these numbers will ensure your success on the quest for great macarons.

With an enormous amount of devices and bowls, space is absolutely key when making macarons at home. Being a good juggler might also help you have success with macarons. {I'm only slightly kidding!} You'll be moving at a mile a minute and having everything in close reach is so important!

Don't have a big kitchen? Don't fret! You can make due, but you will need to think through your process first. Regardless of your counter space, I wouldn't recommend making macarons without first measuring out your ingredients and having all your tools at the ready.

Above all, patience is an absolute must. You may have to throw out batches {I did!}, but with each "failed" batch, you'll learn more about how to nail them with your next attempt. Speaking of patience: making macarons requires aged egg yolks, so plan accordingly. If you want to make these sweet treats, doing them last-minute isn't really an option.

Though I admired the cake decorating projects at my local 4-H fair, I never participated in the art, so when it came to actually piping out the macarons, my nerves were high. The chef made it seem so easy {as evidenced below}, but it took me piping out nearly 80 of them before I really felt like I had the swing of it. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. Your first few of macarons may not look like they were made at Ladurée, but that's ok. They'll still taste great ;)

Remember how I said patience was an absolute must? I repeat: patience is an absolute must. Before you can put them in the oven, you need to let them rest for sixty minutes or so. After that, you'll pop them in the oven. I promise that you'll want to eat these little guys without the filling when you see their cute tops rise in the oven. Hang tight though--letting the macaron shells rest for at least 20 minutes before putting on any filling is a non-negotiable. 

While my first set of macarons may not look like those you buy in stores, I was pretty darn proud of how they tasted. See those circles? When piping out the macarons, it helps to have a guide for how large to make your sweet circles. You can do this by simply tracing a small circular item with a pencil and then flipping your parchment paper before piping your macarons. Easy peasy! It helps with the uniformity of size and shape.

Download a copy of the vanilla bean macaron and salted caramel filling recipes here!

Making macarons may be tedious, but the end result is entirely worth it. If you take the time to have all your ingredients and utensils ready, you'll save a boatload of frustration later. While I haven't attempted them at home just yet, I have big plans for future bridal and baby showers ;)

If you've made macarons at home, what other advice would you give? 
Have a fantastic Monday--and treat yourself to something today! You deserve it! xoxo {av}



  1. Good job girl! That's so hard! I've never tried but my friend has made them at home before and they are absolutely delicious! Good for you!!

  2. Good job! I love macarons and my friend Anna makes the best ones.

  3. OKay can we have a macaron making date?? It's on my life-list to learn how to make them -- teach me your ways!

  4. wow! macaroons are something I have never tried...nor will I anytime soon, not sure I have the time or the patients and then all that work and my kids will throw them down like oreos and not savor and appreciate all my hard work. i think i'll save macaroon making for retirement! ; ) I commend you, I think yours look awesome!

  5. I love macarons but everyone says they are SO hard to make! I don't even know where to find the ingredients or utensils to make them. I think a class would be a great idea though since that would solve the problem!

  6. Alright, you've convinced me that MAYBE I can do this too! I've always wanted to make macarons myself. All I need is a candy thermometer and I'll be on my way :)

  7. I attempted macarons last week and failed :( I followed the recipe exactly (or so I thought... or maybe I didn't have a great recipe...) but they came out of the oven flat. After reading your post, I realize that I didn't use aged egg whites... maybe that was the problem! Anyways, you're right about the patience part & not getting it right the first time. I'm going to try again soon :)

  8. i haven't attempted macarons. they are just so scary to me (plus i love to cook but am horrible at baking most of the time.) but if you make some from home, feel free to send some pistache and framboise my way - they are my fave!

  9. Oh my gosh, I love macarons. They are so very tasty. I know how difficult they are to make, and that is why I have been contemplating ordering some online because there aren't any local bakeries around that sell them. Good for you for learning to make such a difficult treat!
    If you haven't already, I recommend checking out Project Denneler-
    This woman is crazy talented and amazing, and when she set her mind to mastering macarons, she nailed it.
    I think it's a great site just because of all her creativity!