This simple recipe for macarons is the perfect addition to your recipe box! These special cookies are wonderful for an event, holiday, special occasion, or just because. I assure you, they are easier to make than you think!
An Easy Recipe For Macarons
French blue, french braids, french fries, french macarons... These are a few of my favorite things! I was pretty intimidated the first time I tried my hand at homemade macarons, but I am so glad that I gave it a shot because it is so simple. Honestly, every time I make them I am still shocked at how simple they are to make. They are such a precious and delicate cookie that I love making when I want someone to feel extra special.
Today's Cherry Vanilla Macaron recipe consists of a vanilla french macaron shell filled with the most decadent cherry vanilla buttercream. This recipe was inspired by the Pink Cherry & Vanilla candle from Yankee Candle's new Signature Collection. When I say this candle inspires, I mean it. From the sophisticated design to the delicious scent, the Yankee Candle team has truly outdone themselves with this collection.
Let's make some macarons!
But first, I know what you're wondering...
Are macarons really that hard to make?
I promise you they are not as hard as you think or hear! They do take a level of patience and precision, but if you can just enjoy the process you'll be golden.
What's the difference between macaroons and macarons?
Basically, the main ingredient in macarons is almond flour while the main ingredient in macaroons is shredded coconut. Macarons are very delicate sandwich cookies and macaroons are little mounds of coconut usually dipped in chocolate. Very different cookies!
Should macarons be chewy?
A macaron should have an outer crust, but a soft and light chew on the inside of the shells. They shouldn't be overly chewy on the inside, unless that's your thing.
What You Need For This Cherry Vanilla Recipe For Macarons
To make these macarons, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions!
- Confectioner's sugar - You will want to sift it really well for those perfect macaron shells.
- Almond flour - The finer the flour the better!
- Egg whites - These help give our cookies their pretty height. Most definitely use fresh eggs and not the bottle egg whites.
- Cream of tartar - The acidity in cream of tartar helps the egg whites hold onto air which ensures a pretty lifted macaron!
- Salt - Just a pinch.
- Sugar - Granulated sugar for this bit.
- Vanilla extract - Makes for the most delicious shells!
- Pink food coloring - Definitely use the gel food coloring if at all possible.
- Butter - Unsalted is the way to go today.
- Cherries - You will only need about ¼ cup of cherries here. Fresh is my favorite, but frozen or maraschino work if you don't have fresh.
How To Make This Cherry Vanilla Recipe For Macarons
To make these macarons, simply:
Prep. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets. You can draw even 2 inch circles on the back of your parchment paper if you need a guide to make the cookies even when piping.
Make macaron shell batter. Sift almond flour and confectioners' sugar together in a medium sized bowl until there are no longer any lumps. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on a high speed until the mixture is foaming. This doesn't take very long. When foaming and with the mixer still going add the granulated sugar in very slowly. When the mixture reaches soft peaks add the vanilla extract and food coloring (start with less than you think you need). Continue whipping the mixture until stiff peaks form. Very gently spoon the flour mixture over the egg white mixture. Be very careful here so that the egg whites do not deflate. Gently fold the flour mixture and egg white mixture together until the batter is thick enough to form a circle without being runny, but runny enough for the batter to fall on its own making a smooth cookie. A good point of reference is to watch the batter as it falls from the spatula into the bowl and when it takes around 10 seconds to fully blend into the rest of the batter you are ready!
Pipe macaron shells. Transfer your batter to a piping bag. Pipe about 1 to 1.5 inch rounds of the mixture onto the parchment paper spaced a few inches apart.
Let shells form their crust. Once the batter is piped onto the cookie sheets let sit at room temperature for 20-25 minutes until the unbaked cookies have formed that perfect macaron crust! Trust me, you don't want to skip this step.
Bake. Once the crust has formed, bake the macaron shells for 18 minutes on a center rack. Let cool completely before removing from the baking sheet and filling.
- Make the buttercream. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium to high speed for about 45 seconds. Add half of the confectioner's sugar, water, and vanilla extract beating until combined. Add remaining confectioner's sugar and beat until combined. Add in chopped cherries and beat a few more seconds to incorporate. Add an additional teaspoon or two of water if the consistency needs to be thinned out.
- Assemble. Pipe about a penny size bit of the buttercream filling into the center of the macaron shell. Top with another shell and gently press down so the buttercream holds your pretty macaron shells together.
Other Macaron Variations:
- All vanilla - Just leave out the cherries for a straight vanilla macaron.
- Cherry Almond - Switch the vanilla extract for almond extract.
- Lemon - Split the extract half vanilla and half lemon for a citrus macaron!
- You can easily switch the cherries in this recipe with any type of fruit you have on hand!
How To Make The Best Macarons
- Patience, patience, patience. Whether it's measuring your ingredients, folding your batter, or allowing the shells to form their crust patience is key when making macarons. Just enjoy the process!
- Make sure your measurements are spot on. The measurements to a macaron can be finicky. I've never needed to use a scale to get a perfect macaron, but I do make sure I am spot on when I measure my ingredients out.
- Best to bake them on a dry day as opposed to a rainy day. So strange, but if their is any moisture in the air the gorgeous macaron crust has a much harder time forming.
A special thank you to Yankee Candle for making this post possible! I could not be more thrilled to be considered a Yankee Candle Ambassador for 2021! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make by Lauren Cermak possible!
More Sweet Recipes You'll Love!
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