I’m not sure when or how my daughter and I got hooked on French Macarons, but it’s safe to say we’re officially obsessed. There’s just something special about the bite-sized confection, and anytime we see a bakery with the colorful treats on display we have to stop in. But as you may know, these meringue-based sweets can be painfully expensive. When we were in France, we paid nearly €3.00, approximately $3.25, per macaron — of course, when in France one must splurge! And the prices locally aren’t much less.
I never thought I would be able to make macarons at home until a friend passed along a recipe for homemade French Vanilla Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream Filling.
If you love the little French cookies as much as we do, you have to try a batch for yourself. Be aware, it may take a couple tries to get them just right as this recipe is not for beginners due to the delicate nature of the cookie— but your efforts will be worth it!
These Homemade French Vanilla Macarons would be the perfect treat for tea time, brunch, or a Paris-themed birthday party.
French Vanilla Macarons Recipe
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 large egg whites room temperature
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 3 TBSP granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 4 to 6 pieces
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor pulsing several times. Continue for about 30 seconds or pulse until the ingredients are fine and well combined.
- Using a flour sifter, sift the combined powdered sugar/almond flour/salt mixture into a large bowl. This may take awhile.
- Place 3 egg whites in a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until opaque and foamy, about 30 seconds.
- Now add a pinch of cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue to beat until the egg whites are white in color and hold the line of the whisk, about 1 minute.
- Continue to beat—slowly adding the granulated sugar and vanilla extract until the sugar is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute more. Do not over whip. Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.
- Take a rubber spatula, and now gently fold the dry mixture into the egg whites in four different scoops until the dry ingredients are just combined.
- Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm to touch in the center and dry and cracked on top, about 7 minutes .... pull the pan out and then rotate and bake for another 7 minutes.
IMPORTANT: Slide parchment with cookies onto work surface; cool cookies completely. Repeat with remaining batter, cooling sheets fully and lining with clean parchment for each batch.
- In a double boiler, brings 2 cups of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk sugar and egg whites occasionally for 4-6 minutes.
- Remove the top half of the double boiler from the heat, scraping the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer (use whisk attachment).
- Whip on medium-high speed until it is light, white, and cool to touch (4-6 minutes).
- Reduce speed to low while adding one chunk of butter at a time.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium, beating until the buttercream is smooth (4-5 minutes). Add salt and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Using a pastry bag with a #5 tip, add a small amount of buttercream on the flat side of the cookie.
- Place another cookie on top of the buttercream, flat sides facing flat sides. Gently press the top cookie to fit evenly with the bottom one.