When it comes to baking, there are several opinions. It can be difficult to know the best method for baking just about anything. Baking a macaron batch is no exception! We’ve tried to take the guesswork out of this process by laying out the steps for an easier, more enjoyable method. Learn how to make macaroons using oven toaster here.
Luckily, using your toaster oven can also bypass a lot of stress. Don’t know where to start? Worry not; we got you covered!
What Is a Macaron?
People oftentimes get the macaron confused with another desert item, the macaroon. So what’s the difference? The macaron is characterized as being a miniscule, round cake. These cakes are actually two almond-flour-based cookies with a creamy filling, such as jam or ganache. Food coloring being added to the macaron shell adds a fun pop.
The macaroon, although similarly named, is a cookie that is typically made from shredded coconut. The filling can be a myriad of flavors, but you do not have the sandwich appeal that you find in a macaron. The inner section is a dense texture instead of being filled with a jam or ganache.
Aesthetic exteriors are the real differences between these two desert items. The macaron is considered to be elegant and dainty, while the macaroon is chosen for taste, since it has a rough appearance.
The History of the Macaron
You would assume that this pastry originated in France given the name. That’s surprisingly false. The first documented sight of a macaron was during the Middle Ages in Europe. We know this because the core ingredients roughly matched what we have today. The crunchy outside being paired with a softer interior also alludes to the fact that this was an early day macaron.
It’s believed that Catherine de’ Medici brought the macaron, or “maccerone”, to France in the 1500s from Italy, thus having this creation leave Europe for the first time. It wasn’t until 1792 that the macaron became a staple of France. Two nuns in Nancy baked these sweets to comfort those experiencing the French Revolution. They became fondly known at the Macaron Sisters. Since then, the macaron has been reinvented to be made using confection with the addition of new flavors. It’s funny to think that the delicate, well-loved macaron was actually from the Middle Ages!
The Capabilities Of a Toaster Oven?
These heating elements have been a popular kitchen accessory since the late 1920’s. Combining the features of both a toaster and an oven, you’re able to reheat, broil, bake, toast, and keep your food warm. A major advantage to owning one of these bad boys is that they don’t take up much space.
But, with all that said, can you use a miniature oven to make this pastry? Absolutely! The only necessary component is that it needs to be a convection oven, which most of them are.
Prepping Your Oven
Before we go into ingredients and kitchen essentials, let’s make sure that your oven is ready to be used. The following steps should be incorporated before you get too far into baking.
- Hot Spots: Anything used to bake or cook tends to have areas where the oven temperatures range. Don’t let this scare you. You can still use your oven to bake, just check for hot spots first. Place a few pieces of bread scattered around the rack and bake them for fifteen minutes at 350°F. Pull them out and check the results. Determine how this will affect your macarons and go from there!
- Oven Thermometer: Ovens are also known for being finicky in regards to their temperature reading. Placing an oven thermometer on the middle rack towards the back will ensure that your macarons don’t get burned.
- Preheat Function: Preheating the oven while you gather your ingredients will ensure that your oven is ready to bake your macarons.
First Thing’s First: Ingredients and Tools
Everything that you need to make perfect macarons can be broken up into a few different categories. The following things to check off of your list include:
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoon
- Flat spatula
- Baking sheets
- Silicone Mats
- Parchment paper
- Piping bag
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 egg whites at room temperature
- Food coloring
Mix It All Together and Give Me the Steps
We’re sure that you’re ready to bake your pastries so here are the steps involved in our compact oven macaron recipe!
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- The egg whites go into a mixing bowl and whisk until they are frothy.
- Combine egg whites with the granulated sugar and beat on high until fully dissolved.
- Mix the powdered sugar, almond meal, and salt into a different bowl.
- Add half of your dry ingredients to the egg whites. With a flat spatula, fold the egg whites back and forth until the dry ingredients have been incorporated inside. Do not overmix.
- Take the liquid mixture into a dry bowl and continue to fold back and forth until it has incorporated itself as well.
- Place parchment paper or silicone sheets onto a baking sheet, or more if need be.
- Pipe your mixture with a bag, adding small circles onto the baking sheets with an inch between each.
- Let it sit for about 30-90 minutes so that it can smoothen out.
- Check to see if they are ready for baking. If you touch them and they do not stick to your finger, they are good to pop in the oven!
- Turn the heat down to 325°F (about 160°C). This will help the macaron shell to develop the classic crusting, or “feet”, along the rim of the sandwich parts.
- Cookies go in the oven with a bake time of about 12 minutes, or when they have soft browning along the edges.
- Once you’ve baked your macaroons and they look ready, take them out of the oven to let them cool. You may now add a filling of your choice, such as spreadable swiss, or blackberry jam.
Additional Tips and Tricks
The art of baking your own pastries can be such a rewarding experience, but there can be hiccups along the way. Making perfect macarons takes time and patience. It also takes knowing a few tricks that have been passed down from one baker to another! Don’t forget these suggestions to save yourself the hassle.
- Consider one batch at a time: If you’re still unsure about the temperature of your oven, try a smaller batch as the test run.
- Homemade piping tool: You don’t have to buy a fancy piping bag. Simply take a large Ziplock freezer bag and cut the bottom corner off.
- Fresh pastries: Your macaron bunch shouldn’t be kept longer than three days at room temperature. If you won’t eat them up at a quicker pace, stick them in the fridge!
The macaron is a delightful, delicate cookie originating from Europe, despite gaining fame in France. The steps involved aren’t all that difficult, particularly when you’re confident that your compact oven is working to the best of its ability. Follow the steps provided, and you’ll end up having to bake more once people in your home find out what you’ve baked!