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I've tried many macaron recipes, and all have tasted very good. The problem is they always end up as a meringue, or looking like cookies. They usually don't have the "feet" that macarons are known for. My success rate on every recipe I've tried is about 1 in 6.

Does anyone known what my mistakes are or know a recipe that easily makes macarons with "feet"?

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Are you talking about macarons de Paris? Two thin little meringues making a sandwich? I used to work for a very well-known (in Canada) French chef, his pastry chef was also French and classically trained.. and his macarons, of which he makes hundreds a week, never have feet. –  daniel Jul 19 '10 at 21:50
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8 Answers 8

up vote 3 down vote accepted

http://joepastry.com/index.php?title=troubleshooting_macarons&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

The point of leaving the cookies to sit on the pan is to dry out the skin so it'll solidify better. I'd suggest resting longer (up to 50 minutes) or using a hotter oven.

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The key to the feet, according to the cookbook I used, seems to be letting the mix rest for at least an hour before baking at 145C for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size.

This method did yield some pretty nice feet, though my first few batches also had a bit too many cracks to look perfect.

Note that I'm assuming you mean the type of macaron pictured on the book in the link above, since there are many variations.

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I have the same problem. During my experiments I found out that the cooler the dough is before you put it in the owen, the better. The trick is to work fast, work with it as little as possble.

Also, I use food processor with metal bowl for mixing the dough (Kitchen Aid Artisan). Before I start mixing, I fill the bowl with cold water and let it cool for few minutes.

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Most of the recipes I've used say that once the batter is on a pan, you are supposed to let it sit for 30 minutes or more for the top to harden a bit. This is supposed to help with the feet (but still no luck for me). So if I let it sit for 30 min afterwards, I doubt the cold mixing bowl will still have any effect on its temperature at bake time. Let me know if I'm missing something. –  Adam A Jul 17 '10 at 0:02
    
Adam, try to let it sit in the fridge. –  Fczbkk Jul 17 '10 at 17:31
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i think your oven is not hot enough, if you have dry to touch tops, it should always pop the base. these can be cooked as high as 180 deg ,time will depend on the size you make them humidity will only affect the drying time for the tops.or mabey try raising the oven temp 20 deg to allow for the drop in temp when you are putting them in to cook this can be a common fault with baking good luck

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Did you leave your macarons out to dry after piping them, before putting them in the oven? They need to be left out about 1hr (depending on humidity) until they develop a skin and do not stick to your finger when lightly touched.

Overmixing can also cause feet to not form. You should mix the almond flour and meringue just enough to get a 'lava' consistency. Keep scooping up with the spatula as you are folding in the flour to test if the batter would droop down. Once it starts to droop down in a thick ribbon, stop mixing.

My first batch of macarons had no feet too. I overmixed and didn't wait for them to dry. On my second batch I resisted overmixing, and allowed the macarons to dry before baking, and they turned out beautifully.

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Most of the recipes/info I've read says humidity plays a big factor in these. Definitely don't make on a humid day and try to have as 'dry' a kitchen as possible when you start these. The fridge might be too wet of an environment to let these dry out. Also, all the recipes I've read say to let the eggs "cure" on the counter for at least 24 hours.

To be fair - I haven't had much luck with these but I only tried once and it happened to be a crazy humid day. Of course I read the "no humidity" bit after my somewhat sad results.

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The Bouchon cookbook (page 310) recommends letting them rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours "to dry the tops", which I believe helps the development of the feet (the tops raise during cooking and the feet stick out). The instructions in that book are detailed and have worked really well for me (even on my first try).

Here is a link to the page in Google books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=5Jy7qL6WXcoC&pg=PA310

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Thanks to Duncan at Syrup and Tang, and Helene Dujardin of Tartlette, I am now making batch after batch of perfect macarons. I found Helene’s recipe for (French method) Lemon Verbena macarons and after 2 years and 3 months struggling to make the perfect shell, I began using this version for every batch.

I read incessantly about macarons, searching the web for hours to find just the right thing that might help me produce taller feet and macarons that don’t have sunken tops. Finally, everything that was said regarding not over mixing during the macaronage stage (mixing the meringue with the almond flour/confectioner’s sugar) sunk in and I now stop short of what has always seemed to me to be the correct consistency. It shouldn't be runny.

While reading, I came across a curious reference to using a pizza stone. After finding the oven tutorial at Syrup and Tang, I discovered that my oven had its heating element at the top, and my macaron shells were not getting sufficient heat to thoroughly cook them on the bottom, resulting in wet macarons. I now have my old pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and bake my macarons on the middle rack at 300 degrees for 18 minutes, rotating the pan at the 9 minute mark.

Another change has been that I no longer use 2 pans stacked inside one another, as my macarons don’t get enough heat as it is. They are baked on parchment paper on one baking sheet and have perfect feet every time, feet that do not deflate after being removed from the oven.

Best of luck!

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I am missing a mention of feet in this answer do you mean that you didn't get feet before you used the pizza stone? –  rumtscho Apr 12 '13 at 12:53
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