This is the quintessential macaron recipe. I am training to be a baker, and after much trial and error, we (the baker and I) finally perfected our technique!
I tried this recipe expecting a result similar to meringues and became confused when they failed to set in the oven. Having now read all the comments I realise I chose the wrong recipe for what I expected, this isn't a "shell" type product it's a cookie/biscuit in which case what I pulled from the oven is right it just didn't match what I imagined from the recipe heading and it's for that reason the recipe only gets 3 stars, misleading headings are a huge bug bear of mine. - 18 Jul 2017
I am the original submitter of this recipe, so here are some tips to follow, since All Recipes changes the recipe a bit when they approve it. 1.) You have to measure the ingredients by weight. They've put the weights in the footnotes. If you measure out, say, three egg whites instead of 50g of egg whites, you might be off enough to mess up the cookie, and it won't puff up correctly (or at all). 2.) YES YOU DO HAVE TO SIFT THE INGREDIENTS! I'm so lazy. I've tried to do it without sifting. It never works out, trust me. Sift that powdered sugar and almond powder together. You won't regret it. 2.) The "silicone baking mat" in step one was originally a Silpat. I have tried making these on every surface known to man, including my cookie favorite, parchment paper. You need the Silpat or you won't be able to get the cookies off the sheet. 3.) People debate on whether it's necessary to let them set for an hour before baking. We tried setting them from 1 to 240 minutes. One hour is perfect. 4.) It is possible to mix it too much, and the cookie won't puff up when baked. Use as few strokes as possible when folding the almond into the egg whites. 5.) I highly recommend finding already-ground almonds, rather than grinding them yourself. It was our experience that grinding our own almonds resulted in an inferior cookie. They have to be ground to a very fine powder, and it's nearly impossible to do with regular kitchen equipment. Good luck! - 22 Aug 2012 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I used gel food coloring to color the macarons and only needed a little bit. I added that at the very end of the folding (macaronage) process. I wanted two different colors, so I separated some of the batter in another bowl and carefully stirred in the colors. I do not own a scale so I had to follow the volume measurements rather than the weight measurements. It is not advisable to do so with macarons but I didn't have a choice. I made this recipe twice and the first time my macarons were lumpy/grainy. The second time I grounded up my almond meal (Bob's Mill) some more in my food processor to get a finer texture and that helped a lot. I also made sure that I folded in the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture very well into the whites mixture but was careful not to overmix. I made a strawberry buttercream to fill the pink ones and a lemon/lime buttercream for the green ones. I also used apricot preserves the first time I made them to fill the yellow ones but we didn't care for that. My next ones will have chocolate ganache and hopefully I will have my kitchen scale to ensure better measurements. Great recipe! - 25 Sep 2012 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)