Vanilla Bean French Macarons

Vanilla French macarons, those elegant, shatteringly-crisp meringue cookies sandwiching delectable fillings, are a little finicky. My first attempt at making French macarons was so abysmal that I didn’t even bother making a buttercream or ganache to fill the misshapen, overbrowned things. I’m sure my persistence had something to do with my infatuation with them, a serious affliction since January of 2010, when I ate my first pistachio macaron in Paris and fell desperately in love with the ethereal pastry.

The first time I attempted them, the shells went straight into the trash. See my failure here, if you’re so inclined. Pretty awful, right? I’m surprised I didn’t give up right then and there and decide macaron (pronounced mac-a-RON, and don’t you forget it) making was just not in the cards for me.

So I tried it again, the very same day. This time, I corrected a few things. I used the exact same recipe, but mixed the macaronage (the French word for the step in which you incorporate the meringue into the almond flour) much more delicately. I found out, through reading some other macaron blogs (Stella Parks‘ BraveTart, especially) that the reason mine were so runny was because I was a bit too overzealous in the mixing. I also probably didn’t have a stiff enough meringue to start. The third time is, apparently, the charm. I’m not going to lie. I squealed when I saw that the shells had feet (the ruffly things on the bottom of each cookie). I babysat them, peering through my oven door, while they baked, refusing to allow them to brown even infinitesimally.

This was four years ago, and I’ve made hundreds of macarons since. (Shhhh…don’t tell the others, but pistachio is one of my favorites). But these Vanilla French macarons are pretty fabulous, too.

pistachio macaron


That isn’t to say I don’t still mess them up. This past week, I made a successful batch of Vanilla French macarons the day after a failed (cracked shells) batch of grapefruit-pistachio. The one thing I will say for failed macarons is that they still taste delicious. Although I have a soft spot for plain-Jane vanilla bean, I kicked this batch up a notch with a tea-infused buttercream. I used the adorable tin of Royal Scottish Balmoral Blend tea we got as a gift from our sumptuous afternoon tea there in the Palm Court. There really isn’t anything better than afternoon tea.

Balmoral Blend tea from afternoon tea at the Palm Court


I hope you’re now inspired to make your own french macarons. Trust me, they’re not that hard, and the sense of accomplishment is immense. Stay tuned for some more spring macaron posts in the coming weeks!

Vanilla Bean French Macaron
3.25 from 8 votes
Print

Vanilla French Macarons

I have opted to give you a master recipe here for vanilla french macarons instead of my flavor variations. See the notes for instructions on how to infuse the cream with tea leaves to flavor the buttercream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword how to make french macarons
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Servings 24 macarons
Author Amanda

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup egg whites in a glass measuring cup
  • pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Buttercream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick of butter softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean optional

Instructions

  1. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 300 degrees (275 if you have a hot oven). Sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal into a large bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add sugar and beat until stiff and glossy (stiff peaks). Add the extract and mix until fully incorporated.

  3. Pour almond mixture in the bowl, and using a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients together. It should take no more than 20 strokes. Deflate the egg whites but be gentle.
  4. Stop once it oozes like lava but is nowhere near runny.
  5. Using a spatula, transfer mixture to a gallon Ziplock bag.
  6. Squeeze all the air and twist it closed. Snip the corner with scissors so that you have about a 1/4 inch opening.
  7. Pipe dollops of batter slightly bigger than a Hershey's kiss onto the parchment.
  8. Lightly rap each sheet on the counter to get rid of air bubbles.
  9. Let them sit (after all have been piped) for at least 20 minutes.
  10. They should be slightly dry to the touch and not sticky. If it's humid, turn on the air conditioner in your kitchen or blow a fan.
  11. Bake in the oven (watching carefully) one batch at a time for 10-12 minutes.
  12. You know they're done when they are hard and stiff to the touch.
  13. Let them cool completely on the parchment while you prepare your buttercream.
  14. Beat the butter in the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. When it's light and fluffy, add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until it's proper consistency. Add the cream. Add more sugar if it's too runny, more cream if it's too thick. Be sure to scrape the bottom,
  15. To fill them, match each cookie to another of the same size. Pipe the filling, (in a Ziplock bag with the tip snipped) starting from the outer edge in a circle and ending in the middle. Sandwich the two halves.
  16. No filling should be on the edges.
  17. Refrigerate for 24 hours and up to 3-4 days.
  18. Take some out an hour before you want to eat them and let them come to room temp. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To infuse the cream for a tea-infused buttercream, heat the cream over low heat in a small saucepan with one tea bag or a tablespoon of tea leaves (strain the cream before adding it to the buttercream). You may need to add more powdered sugar to bring it back to the right consistency after adding the cream.

49 thoughts on “Vanilla French Macarons with Earl Grey Buttercream”

  1. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  2. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do
    you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks

  3. I am usually to blog writing and also i actually appreciate your content. The write-up has truly peaks my interest. I am mosting likely to bookmark your website as well as maintain looking for brand-new info.

  4. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we
    have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap techniques with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  5. I was very delighted to discover this web-site. I wished to many thanks for your time for this terrific read!! I most definitely appreciating every little bit of it and also I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  6. I was really pleased to locate this web-site. I wanted to many thanks for your time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciating every little bit of it and also I have you bookmarked to have a look at brand-new stuff you post.

  7. I am usually to blogging and also i actually value your content. The post has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and also keep checking for new information.

  8. naturally like your web site however you need to take
    a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of
    them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it
    very bothersome to tell the reality however I will surely come back again.

  9. I truly love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own personal site and want to find out where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thanks!

  10. Spot on with this article, I really assume this website requires a lot more consideration. I?ll possibly be once more to review much more, thanks for that details.

  11. This is the appropriate blog site for anyone that wants to learn about this subject. You realize so much its practically tough to argue with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You certainly put a brand-new spin on a subject thats been discussed for years. Great things, just excellent!

  12. A formidable share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of evaluation on this. And he in truth bought me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If attainable, as you develop into experience, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It’s extremely helpful for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog put up!

  13. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  14. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  15. Wonderful blog post. I learn something more tough on different blogs everyday. It will certainly constantly be promoting to read content from various other authors as well as practice a little something from their store. I?d favor to use some with the web content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll provide you a link on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Thanks for every other excellent post. The place else may just anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

  17. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?

    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it
    is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  18. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for
    such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a long time.

    Thank you and best of luck.

  19. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83
    views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!

  20. These came out looking so good! I can only imagine how they taste–yum….I want to try making these for Mother’s Day with my daughters!

  21. I will be in France in June and not only plan to sample every macaron I can from the best places but I hope to score some Sicilian pistachio paste as well. Maybe even some Canale molds too!

Comments are closed.