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I recently bought some macarons made by professional bakeries. When I got home, I threw them into the freezer and, days later, I checked on them. When I took a bite, it was still nice and soft. The cold temperature seemed to have had no effect whatsoever on the product. It was as tasty and supple as if it had been left out at room temperature.

The macarons that I make don't do this though. When they come out of the freezer, they're just crunchy. If I leave them out to thaw at room temperature, then they do soften up, but the store-bought ones don't need to thaw at all. I'd like for mine to do this as well. How can I keep my macarons soft while they're also being frozen?

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    Have you tried replacing half of the sugar with fructose-glucose syrup? (If you mean by "professional", "industrial" then that might be the trick.) I wouldn't because fructose-glucose syrup gives you a much quicker sugar-high then normal sugar so your body craves for more far quicker, eventually leading to overconsumption... – Fabby Oct 25 '16 at 17:21
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    Is the fructose-glucose syrup replacing half the granulated sugar, or the powdered sugar, or half of each? What's the science behind the syrup making the macaron softer? – user2323030 Oct 26 '16 at 20:28
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    Sorry, half of the total amount of sugar, so half of each. Fructose and glucose doe not crystallise like saccharose, so the end-product will be softer. – Fabby Oct 26 '16 at 20:32
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    Also, what type of oil/lard does the "professional" use? Using lard instead of oil makes a big difference. – Sensii Miller Nov 15 '16 at 0:16
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    Out of curiosity, are you using the French or Italian method? Do you know which the bakery is using? The Italian method has been more reliable and stable for me, but the final product always seems a little drier/more marshmallow-y as well. If you're using a different method, that could account for some of the difference. – kitukwfyer May 7 '17 at 14:32
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I believe this has more to do with different ingredients in the "professional" category. Modern professional bakeries(whether industrial sized or not) often have access to a wide variety of additives, some of which are not even required to be listed on the "ingredients" list specifically. This varies widely by country; common euphimistic examples of such ingredients in a very general sense include words like "spices", "emulsifiers", "softeners", "stabilizers", "anti-caking agents", or "preservatives".

I would suspect a hydrophilic substance first. Commonly used "softeners" are various plant based gums and fiber. Think guar gum, xanthan gum, inulin, cellulose, or psyllium husk. A cookie which I know to be very high in one or more of these softeners is known across the U.S.A. as "Chips A'hoy Chewy". These cookies tend to stay softer in almost any condition, from frozen to relatively dried out/stale, than home made cookies.

All of these potential ingredients are available for the home chef today(including many I have not mentioned), but would not be typically found in your kitchen or at your local grocer. You would want to look at a shop or online vendor specializing in "molecular gastronomy".

One of the things I do with cookies in general(which would not work very well with anything frozen, but I feel the need to mention anyway) is to place a slice of bread into an airtight storage container with fresh cookies after the cookies have cooled to room temperature. This will keep almost any kind of cookie softer than other storage methods, while the slice of bread will seem to have dried out significantly by comparison. This precludes the use of additives entirely. I suspect this probably also carries a higher spoilage risk, due to the addition of humidity, although I've not had any issues with cookies spoiling this way before they are eaten(usually within about 5 days). Refrigeration would help tremendously if there was a desire to keep them far longer, although I would not recommend freezing.

All that said, I have little experience with macaroons, specifically, so your experience may vary.

  • The problem is that macarons are extremely unusual in that they actually need to age and get "stale"... you will often hear that they taste better 3-4 days after baking than the day of. My dad kept a batch of my macarons int he freezer for a month and they were still lovely when we ate them after that time and I didn't use any sorts of additives... and a quality bakery won't... they're a finicky cookie at best. – Catija Jun 14 '17 at 19:54
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Macarons are dough you have to follow the recipe exactly. If it says room temperature eggs use room temperature. If it says to sift the almond flour 3 times do that. Also, make sure not to over fold or stir the mixture.

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    How does this address the question of his macarons being crunchy coming out of the freezer...? – BunnyKnitter Jun 6 '17 at 16:55

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