Macarons are tricky item to make. Most people need three tries to perfect these glorious cookies. Just keep trying, and you will see the amazing macarons you have made. Have fun, but be attentive;one wrong move, and you've ruined your cookes.
Step 1: Mise En Place
To start, you should have all your ingredients out. These are French cookies, so precision is key. You can weigh out ingredients, but I really don't have time for that. Measure out 3 egg whites, at room temperature, 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar (optional), 1 cup of almond flour, or ground blanched almonds, 1 3/4 cups of confectioner's sugar, and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Sift together the cocoa, almond flour, and confectioner's sugar. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit . If you cannot find cream of tartar, use a small squeeze of lemon juice. This will help stabilize your meringue, as cream of tartar would.
Step 2: Making the Cookie
Put your egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer, or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, with the cream of tartar. Whip the egg whites until they get foamy. Start adding the sugar very gradually, about a tablespoon at a time. Keep whipping the egg whites for about 8 minutes. 8 minutes on my stand mixer could be different than yours. When you are done, the egg whites should be glossy, and hold a peak. To test, take off the whisk attachment, stir at the surface of the egg white mixture, and when you take the whisk out, the egg whites should be stiff. MAKE SURE NOT TO OVER MIX THE EGG WHITES!!! If you do, there is no going back, and your egg whites will turn into white liquid. Over-mixing or under-mixing will ruin your cookie by either making them crack on top or spread out. Once you are done, add the dry mixture in by thirds. Fold the dry mixture in, not stir. This is where most people ruin their macarons, you cannot over mix the batter, or the shells will spread and flatten. If you undermix, your cookies will rise too much and crack on top. The consistency NEEDS to be like molten lava!
Step 3: Piping the Cookies
Put about half your batter into a piping bag with a round tip. Pipe 2-3 inch little circles on parchment paper. You repeat with all your batter. Next, let these sit out to dry for 30 minutes in a dry area. Humidity will cause these fragile cookies to crack on top when they are baked. If you want your cookies to have the crisp, outer edge of a macaron while they rise in the ove, called feet, it is crucial they sit out. Bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until they come of the paper without breaking. Let them cool off. If you do not know what macaron feet are, search perfect macaron on the internet, and just below the cookie, you will see the ring around the smooth top. That is a foot.
Step 4: The Filling
Since macarons are sandwich cookies, they need a filling. You will need 3/4 cup of marshmallow fluff, 4 ounces of cream cheese, and 1- 2 cups of confectioners sugar, depending on how sweet you like your frosting. Fill in a piping bag and pipe in your macarons. Next, crush up some graham cracker and roll the frosting that oozes out of the macaron to catch the graham cracker crumbs.