Today I’m sharing the cutest and most delicious French Macarons! I think if I had to choose the prettiest and most delicious macs – these Strawberry French Macarons would take the cake. They are even adorable on top of cakes!
These Strawberry French Macarons are naturally colored with a natural food dye made from beets. I made the shells and the filling both pink because they just look so cute and full of spring vibes. Even if you don’t color your macarons at all, they will still be delicious. The color is totally optional and is just for looks.
Make sure you are baking macarons on a day when you plan to eat a lot of them. If you know me, then you know my firm beliefs on French Macarons – they should not be kept for more than one day. They should be eaten or given to friends and family – so they can eat them. These Strawberry French Macarons in addition to some wild flowers would make such a cute little gift for neighbors that maybe you haven’t seen in a while now due to Covid. So gift whatever you can’t eat yourself! Get the recipe below for my Strawberry French Macarons.
Tips for Making the Best Strawberry 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 whisk 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 come 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 dry and set on the tops and the feet will look dry when they are done.
• Make sure to find a strawberry extract that you like the flavor of. There are so many brands out there that make flavors and extracts, and not all of them are good even if they are made with organic ingredients! Flavors and extracts are so controversial because different people have different definitions of what flavors should taste like. The coconut extract I like, may not be the one that you like because we have different nostalgic ideas of what coconut should taste like. So, whenever recipes call for flavors and extracts make sure you’re using one you like. My favorite strawberry extract can be found here.
• 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 🙂
Strawberry 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
1/2 teaspoon ColorKitchen Foods Pink Dye
6 tablespoons (85 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 to 2 teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon organic strawberry extract
pinch of ColorKitchen Foods Pink Dye
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 and add the pink dye. 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, water, strawberry extract, and pink dye. 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.