Chocolate Malt French Macarons were the first macaron flavor I ever created. The very first time I made them, I made them perfectly (I kid you not). And then, I couldn’t make them for weeks after, haha!
French Macarons are tricky little cookies! They are the most spectacular texture explosion you’ve ever tasted, but if you make them wrong then they can be the worst cookie you’ve ever eaten. Before Covid we were baking French Macarons daily at the bake shop, and people would sometimes say they don’t like French Macarons. The girls are trained to give someone one of ours when they say that, as most all people love French Macarons! They just don’t like the ones that were baked wrong or that sat too long and lost their luster. That’s the thing with these adorable little cookies – they don’t last long at all. And I’m not joking when I say that, their shelf life is about 8 hours. Anything more than that and they go one of two ways – either completely hard or completely soft (depending on climate or how you store them) and neither of those ways is good!
It’s one of the most difficult things to swallow about these cute little cookies that are so insanely difficult to make – you have to eat them all immediately! There’s no storing them, no putting them in the fridge, or the freezer – I know people do it, and I am not on board with any of it. I’ve tried it all – trust me! And I just cannot endorse anything besides eating these cookies within 8 hours of baking them. That’s when they taste how they are supposed to taste, it’s that simple. We get asked constantly if we ship our French Macarons because people love them. And I know other bakeries do it, I’ve seen it, and I’ve tried them. And they aren’t good. So, I will not ship them just because other people do it. The reason people love our macs so much – it’s because they are fresh! Sure, our recipe is good, but the main thing is we are not selling these babies after their expiration date like others might do. They are meant to be baked and eaten in the same day.
So, today I am sharing our first French Macaron recipe on the blog, my all time favorite Chocolate Malt French Macarons. And if you have my book, Cookies for Everyone, you may already be baking French Macarons at home. And that chapter is chock full of tips, tricks, and step by step photos of how to make perfect French Macarons. So you might want to grab a copy. But, I will tell you the same thing we tell all of our customers – make sure you eat your French Macarons the day you bake them! If you can’t eat them all, share them with friends and family as that’s the best and people will be so stoked. I even have a video class walking you through this recipe step by step! Find it here.
Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Malt French Macarons
• Use a scale! I say this with every single recipe, but if you are anti scale – get on board right here and right now! French Macarons are temperamental (to say the least) you don’t want to make a mistake measuring. Everyone measures differently, even if you know the right way to measure by cups – let’s be real, it’s not as accurate as a scale. It will never be as accurate as a scale. And you can get away with this with simple cookies, but with something like this, it’s not a good idea. Get a scale, I’ve even linked a really inexpensive one here. This one is small enough to store in a drawer in your kitchen, and if you only bring it out for French Macarons then at least I’ve gotten through to you.
• When separating your egg whites, do not get any part of the yolk in the egg whites. If you do, set them aside and start over. Yolks are fat, and we don’t want any fat in our egg whites so it will whip up into perfect meringue.
• Make sure to whip your egg whites until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should not droop, should not fall off the whisk, or should not really even move. It will thick, shiny, and bright white.
• Do not overstir your batter. It should be thick and barely fall off your spatula. If your batter is too runny, your macarons will spread out too much and you will probably not have the iconic feet form correctly, they will most likely be flat and on the sides of the macarons as opposed to underneath, how they should be.
• Pipe your macarons evenly, I know this can be challenging. But, they all need to be the same size so they bake properly and you don’t have ones that are burned or not done. I like to count to 2 while piping, that’s all it should take to pipe the size of macaron you need.
• Make sure you bang your cookie sheets. This is super important to remove air bubbles and smooth out the tops. It also helps create the iconic feet.
• Resting time is super important – as important as weighing ingredients. Because if you don’t let the macarons rest for the right amount of time (even if you made them perfectly) they will not com out. So it’s important to find the resting time that is right for you and your climate. This can vary. I say to start with 45 minutes because it should take at least that long. It can definitely take longer, so do not be afraid to let them sit longer if need be. You need to make sure the shell (or skin) has formed on top. What does that mean? It means the top is perfectly smooth, and I mean perfectly smooth. There shouldn’t be any moisture or any wetness to the feel of the macaron. Your finger should be able to glide right over the top. Let them sit for as long as they need. If you live in a dry climate (like here in Mammoth Lakes) it should be right around 45 minutes or maybe 1 hour. If you live in a more humid climate, it will definitely take longer. If it’s raining or snowing outside, that creates humidity in the air – it will take longer on these days. These are also very bad days to bake French Macarons as it is much more difficult for them, so try not to bake them on these days.
• Bake them for the time it says, but if they are not done then don’t be afraid to bake just a little longer. These cookies are so small so they shouldn’t take much longer. But if yours are bigger, they will take longer. If you did not get the exact number of macarons and got less, then they are bigger so they will take longer. Everyone’s oven is also a little different, so make sure to check they are done. They will look lightly golden brown on the tops and the feet will look dry when they are done.
• When filling them, be sure to pick up each macaron and sandwich them together very carefully. Don’t smash them on top of one another like you might a typical sandwich cookies. These are so fragile and can break so easily.
• Eat them all the same day you bake them! I have no storage tips for you as they should not be stored 🙂
Chocolate Malt French Macarons
Makes 30 sandwiches
3 large (102 grams) organic egg whites
71 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
198 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar
113 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic almond flour
1/4 cup (57 grams) organic salted butter, softened
155 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) organic powdered sugar, sifted
7 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
3 to 4 teaspoons water
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites, cane sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk, starting on low to avoid splattering, and slowly in creasing the speed to high, until stiff peaks form.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together into the bowl of meringue. Turn the mixer on low for 10 to 15 rotations until the dry ingredients start to blend into the meringue. Pulse the mixer on medium/high 4 to 5 times to incorporate the batter.
Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer, and gently stir the batter with a spatula just until there are no pockets of egg whites or dry bits of almond flour. Don’t overstir. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with Ateco tip #804.
Pipe the macaron batter onto the prepared cookie sheets (30 should fit on each cookie sheet). Holding a cookie sheet firmly in both hands, and making sure the parchment paper doesn’t slide around, bang the cookie sheet on the counter a few times. Rotate the cookie sheet and bang it a few more times. Repeat with the other cookie sheet. This will smooth out the batter and will help form the macarons’ famous “feet.”
Let rest for 45 minutes, or until the rounds of batter have formed shells.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the macs look dry and the shells look shiny. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets.
To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, Dutch cocoa powder, and water. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag with no tip.
Turn over every other macaron and pair them together. Pipe a dollop of filling onto each turned over macaron and sandwich together.
Serve or eat immediately!
High Altitude – Bake for 8 minutes or until the macs look dry and the shells look shiny.