Almost Perfect Macarons



Have you noticed that macarons and delicately frosted cupcakes are more or less mainstays on a dessert tables nowadays??

My quest for making a perfect French macaron started 3 years ago, after a visit to Paris. I tried a few “home-style” versions at a local farmer’s market and fell in love! They were “cakey”, delicately flavored and more interestingly, came in infinite array of vivid colors. Piles and piles of them, arranged in conical pyramids, with various fillings! Ahh…

20141126_165520  20141126_170408

So, after we returned home, I started dreaming, researching and dreaming some more to the point of a macaron obsession! I tried countless recipes, ruined tons of batches, fretted over perfect “feet” and that characteristic texture – fragile and crispy outside leading to a chewy and cakey inside. And after numerous trial attempts, I can say I have a recipe that I will likely stick to – at least until I get a personal training by someone at Pierre Homme (what wishful thinking, I know!). 🙂 OK, you guys, look at my pictures, feel free to try them at home, and let me know if they are quite worth it! I debated whether to share this recipe, but decided it is worth sharing the love with the readers of this blog! After all, macarons can’t be perfected by following a recipe – they really need love, patience, passion and lots of and lots of practice!


1. Precise measurement is a MUST (if you don’t have a digital scale, I highly recommend getting one. I bought one just so I can make macarons)!
2. Oven-temperatures can uplift or totally ruin a perfect macaron!
3. Folding in the dry ingredients is an art and takes lots of practice! If you under/over mix, your batch is ruined, and you may not even know it till they start cracking while baking and push you into a meltdown!
5. You absolutely need parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Without it, you will have a sticky, gooey mess!
4. Lastly, make sure your mixer and bowl are grease free and you only use either gel or powder colors as macs don’t like grease or water!


To sum it all up, MACARONS ARE HIGH-MAINTENANCE! But, once you perfect your skill and see those beautiful things emerge out of the oven, I can guarantee you will be floating with pride! I did!

20141205_232801       20141205_232317

Fool-proof French Macarons

  • Servings: 15-20 sandwiches
  • Print

35g egg white
0.5g meringue powder
0.5g salt
20g granulated sugar
60g powdered sugar
45g almond meal/ground almonds
Fillings of your choice: Chocolate ganache, nutella, buttercream, salted caramel, jelly etc.
optional: gel or powder colors

1. Begin with carefully measuring out your ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
3. Grind together (in a spice/coffee grinder) the almond meal and powdered sugar for few seconds till the mixture is fine. Set aside.
4. In a large stainless bowl, whip together the egg white, meringue powder and salt till frothy.
5. Slowly add in granulated sugar till soft, shiny peaks form.
6. If using color, add at this point.
7. Carefully fold in the almond meal/powdered sugar mixture in two batches. A rubber spatula is immensely helpful with this process.
8. STOP mixing when the dry mixture is incorporated and the macaron mix falls in a ribbon and slowly disappears into the mix. This part is extremely critical to the perfect mac.
9. Pipe the mix in 1″ circles on parchment or baking mat, leaving about an inch between circles. Try to keep the size consistent so it is easy to sandwich them with fillings.
7. Tap the tray a few times to pop out any air bubbles. Again, air bubbles, if not removed, will pop in the oven and crack your macarons. Sad, but true!
8. Let the macarons rest for 10-15 minutes.
9. Place the tray in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 290F.
10. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate tray and bake another 5 minutes. The times given are general guidelines. Keep an eye on those babies – I have ruined a few batches just because they decided the same temperature setting used for the previous batch was too hot for the next one! Weird and I am still scratching my head for reasons, but for now, just keep an eye on them.
11. At the end of the baking time, remove the tray from the oven, let the macs sit on the tray for 5 minutes and move them to a cooling rack.
12. Pair the macs of similar size and sandwich them with fillings of your choice.
13. Sandwiched macs must be kept refrigerated for at least 24 hours to let the flavors and texture meld.

Warning: Once you make your first perfect batch, it becomes a near obsession to make more! 🙂

Orange-Almond Biscotti


I think few things go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea as biscotti. The delicate flavors, the crunchy texture that slowly melds to a soft crumble at the touch of your hot beverage…You get the point.

20140424_175535     20140424_180403

They are not the most diet-friendly item out there. So, when I do make some at home, I opt for recipes with less butter and sugar – you know, the light kinds which are really hard to come by, especially if you are looking for the typical biscotti texture. This recipe however is a regular ol’ version, softened just so with the use of half Splenda/half sugar and less butter (about 5 tablespoons for about 20 cookies).


Biscotti flavor possibilities are endless. This one is one of my favorite combinations – orange and almond! Combination of the citrus notes from the orange zest and the toasted crunchiness of almonds are pure delight. I am looking forward to repeating this recipe with anise flavor – something I have never tried before! 🙂

You can store these biscottis in a tightly closed container for a week or so. So, what are you waiting for? Bake a batch and make next week one to pause and enjoy!

(NOTE: This recipe is adapted from the original from Bon Appetit, Dec 1999)


  • Servings: 20
  • Print

2 1/4 cups flour (I used combination of white whole wheat and all purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup Splenda for baking
1/2 cup refined sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 egg white for brushing the top

Semi sweet or dark chocolate for dipping or drizzling on the baked cookies
Chopped nuts for sprinkling on chocolate.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
2. Sift flours with baking powder and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and sugar and whisk to incorporate well.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and orange zest.
5. Incorporate dry ingredients till a soft dough forms.
6. Fold in chopped almonds.
7. Transfer the dough to the parchment. Form into a roll about 18″ long. Gently press to flatten it to about 4-5″ wide. Brush the top with lightly beaten egg white.
8. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes. Using a sharp knife, slice the loaf about 3/4″ wide. This should result in at least 20 cookies.
9. Place the sliced cookies cut side down on the parchment and return to the oven for another 10 minutes till they crisp up.
10. Remove from oven, let cool completely and store in airtight container for up to a week.

If using optional touch-ups, melt chocolate over double boiler (or in microwave, taking care not to scorch the chocolate) and dip just the ends or entire one side of the cookie. Sprinkle nuts if desired.