Follow these carefully explained instructions with photographs included for French Macarons. This tutorial will break down exactly what you need to do in order to achieve success each and every time you make macarons. You can have a taste of France right in your own kitchen!
Pace the powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor and process for 2 minutes, until finely ground and well blended. Sift the mixture to remove any larger bits.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Turn the speed up to medium-high and whip just until stiff peaks form. Take extra care not to over whip. Sift the almond flour mixture into the whipped egg whites in three separate additions, folding only 3 to 4 times after each addition. After the final addition, fold until batter becomes thick and smooth. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over. Scrape the sides and turn the bowl as you go. Let the batter sit for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, line 2 large baking sheets with silicone mats and fit a large piping bag with a 1/2-inch tip. Twist the bag right above the tip and tuck it down inside the tip. This will prevent the batter from leaking out as you fill the bag.
Fill the pastry bag with the batter, be as gentle as you can with the process. Try not to overwork the batter. Pipe 1 to 2-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Gently tap the baking sheet on the counter top to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Use a wooden toothpick to pop the bubbles. Let the macarons sit for 45 to 60 minutes, until a thick, dry skin forms on the surface. They should not feel sticky to the touch when going into the oven.
Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the to 300ºF. Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.The macarons are done when you can just barely separate the shells from the silicone mat. The cookies will brown slightly. If the bottoms begin to get too brown place a second cookie sheet underneath.
Cool the shells completely on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. Do not attempt to remove the shells from the silicone mat until they are completely cooled or they may stick and break off. Sandwich two cookies together with your favorite filling. Store the macarons in the refrigerator for at least one day and bring them to room temperature just before serving. They taste the best this way.