vanilla bean macarons with raspberry curd

Fear – a four letter word that can hold you back or drive you forward. Though fear often holds me back, macarons have been on my baking “bucket list” for months. After a few days of research, I felt ready to tackle them. The first French macaron I’ve ever tasted came out of my oven (and if you’ve never tried one, that’s reason enough to make your own!). These macarons melt in your mouth, an ethereal blend of vanilla bean and silky raspberry curd.

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd | Tutti Dolci

A food scale is a must for macarons. I recommend weighing out all the ingredients before beginning; I also found it helpful to use my iPhone as a timer while beating the meringue. Last but not least, if you’ve never made macarons, start by reading Macaron Mythbusters and The Ten Commandments.

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd | Tutti Dolci

I’ve included two photos I snapped on my iPhone – on the left, you see the stiff, dry meringue after 9 minutes of beating; on the right, my baked macarons (with feet!) cooling on the pan. For step-by-step photos, go here.

Macarons: The Process

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd
Adapted from BraveTart
115g almond flour
230g powdered sugar
144g egg whites, at room temperature
72g sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
2g (1/2 tsp) salt
Raspberry curd filling (click here for recipe)

Preheat oven to 300°F and fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a third sheet of parchment paper, trace out 24 1.5-inch circles (use a round cookie cutter or stencil as a guide), spaced 1 inch apart. Set aside as a master guide.

Use a fine mesh sieve or sifter to sift almond flour and powdered sugar together twice; use a firm spatula to push any large particles through (If you are making your own almond flour, process the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground; sift mixture as mentioned above). Set aside.

Combine egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt in a large mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Whip for 3 minutes on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid), until egg whites begin to foam. Increase speed to medium-high (7 on a KitchenAid) and whip for 3 minutes, until meringue forms soft peaks. Increase speed to 8 and whip for a final 3 minutes, until meringue is stiff and dry (see photo above). The meringue should clump in the center of the wire whip attachment; knock against mixer bowl to release.

Add dry ingredients to meringue all at once. Use a rubber spatula to fold dry mixture into meringue, smearing the mixture against the side of the bowl to knock the air out (you want to deflate the whites, so don’t worry about folding them gently). After 25 folds, your mixture may still look lumpy. Continue to fold about 10 more times, checking texture after each fold. The batter is ready when it holds its shape when spooned onto itself and slowly flattens out after 15 to 20 seconds. If the batter is stiff and doesn’t flatten out, it’s undermixed. If the batter is runny and fluid, it’s overmixed and won’t hold a shape.

Transfer half the batter to pastry bag. Slide master guide of circles between baking sheet and parchment paper. Hold piping bag vertically and pipe batter to within 1/8″ from the edge of the circle. Carefully remove master guide from underneath piped circles and transfer to second baking sheet, repeating with remaining batter. Remove guide and save for future use. Tap pans sharply on counter; rotate 90 degrees and tap two more times (to deflate air bubbles and prevent cracked shells).

Bake for 17 minutes, until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from the macaron. Place pans on wire racks and cool completely before removing shells. When ready to assemble, fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip and fill with raspberry curd. Pipe about a tablespoon of raspberry curd onto the bottom of half the shells, then sandwich with remaining shells. Because of the moisture content of the curd, these macarons are best eaten the day of assembly; fill with curd no more than an hour before serving. If you don’t want to fill all the shells at once, store in an airtight container between layers of parchment.

Yield – 60 shells, 30 macarons
Calories – 100 (per macaron)
Carbs – 17

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  1. BRAVO to you Laura! I haven’t gotten over the fear (and the time element) but you are an inspiration to me. Your vanilla bean raspberry combination is to me, perfectly matched in heaven. I’m sure they will be serving something like this there! Hey, maybe it will be you and me, if I ever get up the courage 🙂

  2. I’m here at my computer yelling congratulations to you, Laura!!! Like Chris, I haven’t been able to plunge in yet, still have “fear”! They are absolutely lovely…and thanks for the photos, especially for the egg whites!

  3. These are still on my bucket list, I haven’t been able to conquer the fear. I guess from the other comments, I’m not alone. Looking at these I might have to take the plunge. And I love the raspberry riff you’ve been on, I’m in the middle of a love affair with apricots and it’s good to know other bloggers get fixated too every once in a while 🙂

  4. Wow – not only have you conquered the macaron, they look absolutely gorgeous. The combination of distinct vanilla and raspberry sounds heavenly.

  5. You managed the ever-elusive “feet” on your first attempt – that’s fabulously amazing!! These macarons are a perfect combination of sweet and tart (love that raspberry curd!).

  6. I have so many darn macaron recipes pinned (yours included!) and I’ve never made a single one because of fear. But you’ve given me courage to finally take the plunge (also, I can’t bear going another day without trying these because they look so good!).

  7. Perfectly done! I did the same thing…my first taste of a macaron was from my own oven. I need to make them again…and I love your raspberry filling!

  8. Congrats, Laura! Your macarons look absolutely perfect!

    I’ve been so afraid of trying them myself. Got tons of books and all the tools–courage is all I’m missing. I’ve been waiting for a class to pop up at my local Sur La Table to give me that extra push but you’ve just encouraged me to give it a go.

    These macarons are beautiful and I love the combination of flavors. 🙂

  9. i saw that you had a bunch of macaron pins recently so i was waiting for your recipe! 🙂 they look gorgeous! congrats! i had my first in paris and they were incredible, these look just as good!

  10. Wohooo!! Congratulations Laura! Your macarons look stunning!! Macarons are still on my bucket list too, I never had the courage to try them…

  11. That raspberry curd again – LOVE! What a gorgeous colour. And I managed to make macarons without a kitchen scale but I imagine they would be much more predictable with one 🙂 Yours are perfect!

  12. Congrats on the first macaron making! I don’t know when I have enough courage to make these but I want to do it one day. There are plenty of baked goods that I have to make first to get used to baking. But oh boy these macarons are perfect Laura! Well I have no doubt of your success story as everything you make and share every week is beyond amazing. 🙂 This is simply beautiful.

  13. Just gorgeous Laura! The raspberry curd peaking out between the macarons is just enchanting! I tried to master the technique on my own and ending up taking a class. With the Italian meringue method I achieved success!

  14. You would never know that there was any fear, by the looks of these macarons. They look perfect to me! I have long had that fear, but am hoping desire will take over so I can finally say I made macarons. The raspberry curd is just lovely!

  15. These are beautiful Laura! And the raspberry looks to be a perfect compliment. They are finicky little things aren’t they? But oh so worth it!

  16. I applaud you, Laura! Your macarons are perfection and I love the raspberry and vanilla flavor combination – it is truly unique. I hope a confectioner near me sees this and uses it for inspiration 🙂

  17. I remember my first time making macarons…scary! Then you come to realize that oh, it’s not that intimidating! I also used the Brave Tart’s recipe the first time I baked macarons!!! What a coincidence! That raspberry curd looks so vibrant, too. Great job, Laura!

  18. These are so delicate and lovely, Laura. The photo belongs in a magazine…so perfect:)

  19. Just beautiful! You’ve convinced me, Laura – it’s time to make macarons. I especially love the raspberry filling. Perfect for a spring celebration!

  20. YAY, Congrats on conquering your fear, and rocking out some macs!!! Love the flavor combo:-) These are my all time favorite cookie:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  21. These are so gorgeous, you give me hope for my first time too! I haven’t braved them yet either but I really want to and you have given me the nudge. Raspberry curd sound wonderful with these too!

  22. This was my first time making macarons and I found this recipe to be really helpful and specific! The detailed instructions made me feel well supported with a somewhat intimidating baking project and I feel like they came out great for my first time! My curd turned out a bit chalky which I’m guessing is due to either too much or not well mixed enough corn starch and a few cookies cracked which means I didn’t whack them hard enough – if you’ve never done them before make this recipe! Flavor combination is excellent – also definitely make the curd ahead of time as it needs at least two hours to set.