Madison College chef gives tips for making macarons

Culinary Program Director Chef Paul Short shares the do’s and don’ts of this decadent dessert.
Published: Dec. 19, 2020 at 7:50 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Macarons are a popular treat year-round but taking on a trend during the pandemic.

Madison College Chef Paul Short says while the recipe looks daunting, it’s all a matter of timing. Macarons are also a gluten-free recipe.

“The cool thing is for this time of year, the people who want Christmas cookies but can’t really eat them because they have gluten, these are gluten-free,” said Chef Short.

There are ways to make several different types of macarons.

“You can actually take that french buttercream and add flavors to it,” said Short. “You could take other jams or jellies and put it in the center before you put the two cookies together.”

Chef Short says the biggest tip is to pay attention to the oven temperature.

“When the cookie goes in initially, that temperature is at 470 degrees, but as you put it in there it drops down and it actually has an impact on how the cookie comes out,” he said.


Yield: 14 macarons


  • 212 grams almond flour
  • 212 grams powder sugar
  • Egg whites 82 grams
  • Egg whites 90 grams
  • Granulated sugar 236 grams
  • Water 158 grams
  • French buttercream 250 grams
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 510 grams granulated sugar
  • 112.5 grams of water
  • 680 grams of butter cut into small chips and softened to room temperature


1. Using a piece of parchment paper draw circles of the same size on the parchment paper. Turn the parchment paper upside down with the drawing circles on the bottom; spray a sheet pan with some pan spray and place the parchment paper with the drawing circles down onto the sheet pan. Do this again with another sheet pan and parchment paper. You should have 7 circles on each parchment paper.

2. Pre-heat standard oven to 400 degrees f. If you are using a convection oven, pre-heat it to 350 degrees.

3. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together in a bowl. Whisk together. Mound the almond flour mixture and form a 4 inch well in the center. Pour in the 82 grams of egg whites to the center of the mound. Combine the mixture and set aside.

4. Place 90 grams of egg whites into a mixer with a whip. Take approximately 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and set aside. Combine the remaining granulated sugar with the water in a small saucepot. Heat the sugar mixture to 203 f over medium heat. When the sugar water has reached 203 degrees f, start whipping the egg whites and add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the whipping egg whites. Whip the egg whites on medium speed. Continue cooking the granulated sugar and water to 248 degrees f. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, if the egg whites reach soft peaks before the sugar reaches 248 degrees, slow the whipping down to the lowest setting on the mixer.

5. When the sugar water is 248 degrees, turn the mixer speed to medium low. Slowly drizzle the sugar water down the side of the mixing bowl; trying to not allow the sugar water to hit the whisk. This needs to be done slowly, otherwise the meringue will deflate. Once all of the mixture has been added, turn the speed up on the mixer to medium high. Whisk the meringue until the bottom of the mixing bowl is not hot to the touch.

6. Fold one third of the meringue mixture into the almond mixture; continue adding meringue a little at a time until when you fold a portion of the batter over itself, the ribbon slowly moves. The mixture should not be stiff, that it holds its shape without moving at all, but it should not be so loose that it does not maintain a ribbon for a short period.

7. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag with a ½-inch straight tip. Pipe the meringue on to each circle, just enough to fill in the circles, leaving a small amount out, it should fill in as it sits. When all of the circles have been filled, lift the pan and lightly tap it on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Pipe the mixture on the other sheet pan with the circles and do the same tapping as the first pan.

8. Let the piped macarons sit at room for 10 to 30 minutes, long enough to form a slight skin on the outside. This will prevent cracks while baking the macaron.

9. Turn the pre-heated standard oven down to 325 f and the pre-heated convection oven down to 300 f. Bake the macarons until the tops are shiny and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

French Buttercream

1. Combine the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and water into a mixing bowl. Whisk over a hot water bath to a temperature of 145 degrees f.

2. Pour the heated mixture into a mixing bowl, of a mixer, with a whisk. Whisk on high, until stiff peaks have been reached. Turn the mixer down to a low speed.

3. Slowly add the butter a little at a time until it has been completely added. Whip on high speed to ensure the butter has been fully incorporated.


Pipe a small amount of butter cream in the center of one side of the macrons, not all the way to the edge. Place another finished macaron on top of the buttercream and serve or store.

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