Brown Butter French Macarons

This is the first installation of Macaron Monday! I have decided that my people love macarons so much, you deserve them at least once a week! First up is a simple but delicious flavor: Brown Butter French Macarons.

Brown Butter Mac BLOG (6 of 11)

The shells are unflavored, so it’s nothing too crazy, but you’re going to be browning the butter before you make the buttercream. This adds an amazing depth of flavor without adding any additional ingredients. Plus, it will make your house smell phenomenal. Seriously, you might be browning butter every day for the smell alone, but whipping up some Brown Butter French Macarons is a good reason to make it too!

Brown Butter Mac BLOG (8 of 11)

I put this into all of my macaron posts, and it’s not to self promote or be annoying (I promise!), but if this is your first time making macs or you’re struggling with them you should look at my in-depth French Macaron post. It is full of all of my tips and tricks to getting perfect macarons, including all of my favorite equipment. I have heard from a lot of first time macaron bakers who used this post and got amazing results!

Brown Butter Mac BLOG (2 of 11)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click a link and buy something.

For in-depth “whys” and “howtos”, skip to the end of this post!

If you try this recipe leave a review below or tag me on your social media! 

Brown Butter French Macarons

Classic French Macaron Shells filled with a brown butter italian meringue buttercream.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Keyword: brown butter, French Macaron, Macarons
Servings: 25 macarons

Ingredients

For Macarons:

  • 3 large (100 grams) egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups (200 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour

For Buttercream:

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (38 grams) water
  • 1 large (38 grams) egg white
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 grams) granulated sugar

Instructions

For Macarons:

  • Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or you can use parchment paper if you don't have one.
  • Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and almond flour until fully combined and rid of lumps. Sift the combined dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you do not have a food processor you can just sift.
  • In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. Beat the egg whites on low speed with a hand mixer until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. If you want to add any food coloring, do it now, but use it sparingly or you will make the meringue too liquidy.
  • Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold. The batter should be fully combined and not streaky. When you are able to make a figure 8 with the batter in one motion, the batter is ready (more information on this process in my French Macaron Recipe). If it is too runny it has been over-mixed.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip. Pipe 1-inch disks on to the silicone mat.
  • Tap the cookie sheet on the countertop 3 or 4 times to get rid of any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
  • Allow the macarons to rest for an hour or until the tops of the macarons have dried. You will be able to gently run your finger over them without anyting getting on your finger.
  • Preheat the oven to 260 degrees (F).
  • Place the macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet and bake for another 5 minutes, rotate the pan one last time and bake for 3-5 minutes. 13-15 minutes in total.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet.
  • If the macarons were baked correctly they should easily peel off of the silicone mat.

For Buttercream:

  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. The butter will start to foam and you will see orangey brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. This will take about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the brown butter in a small bowl and place it in the fridge or freezer. You want the butter to firm up, but still be soft when you add it to the buttercream.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the water.
  • Place over high heat and cook to soft-ball stage (235-240 degrees F) Read more in-depth about this in my Italian Buttercream Recipe. Do not stir.
  • While the sugar cooks, fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. Pour egg whites in the bowl and whip on medium until the eggs get frothy. Slowly add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites.
  • Turn the mixer to high and whip until stiff peaks form. If the meringue is done before the sugar, turn it down to the lowest speed.
  • When the sugar is ready keep the mixer on the lowest speed and very carefully and slowly pour the sugar down the side of the bowl into the meringue.
  • When all of the sugar is added turn the mixer to high and mix until the outside of the bowl has cooled down and is just warm.
  • Start to add spoonfuls of butter slowly, about 1 every ten seconds, while continuing to whip the buttercream.
  • Continue to whip on high for about 10 minutes or until it is the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe the desired amount of buttercream onto the inside of a macaron shell. Sandwhich another macaron shell on top.

Brown Butter French Macarons

  1. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat (my favorite baking sheet for macarons and favorite silicone mats for macarons). I highly recommend a silicone mat of some kind, but if you don’t have one then you can also use parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor (I use this one) add the powdered sugar and almond flour and pulse until fully combined and rid of lumps. Don’t do this for too long or you will make almond butter. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. If you don’t have a food processor you can just sift the ingredients together. In a medium bowl, prepare the french meringue. You can use a stand mixer for this, but I prefer a hand mixer for a batch this small. Beat the egg whites on low speed until they get frothy. Increase the speed and slowly add the sugar. If you add the sugar too fast you will deflate the meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form. This is when you pull the beater out and the meringue stands up with a slight curve. It should not fall or jiggle too much if you move the beater. If you want to add food coloring, do it now, but add it sparingly or you will make the meringue too liquidy.
  3. Add the french meringue into the dry ingredients and begin to gently fold with a silicone spatula. This process is called macaronage. You will know the batter is ready when the ingredients are fully combined and not streaky. You should be able to hold the spatula above the bowl and draw a figure 8 smoothly without the batter breaking off. A good way to test if the batter is ready is to place a very small amount in your piping bag and pipe it onto your mat. If the batter is stiff and does not spread at all, then it is not ready. If the batter immediately runs out, then you have over folded. The batter should spread slightly and the tops should even out (there shouldn’t be any little tips sticking out), but it should not spread out too much. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip (this is my favorite for macarons). Pipe 1-inch disks onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Firmly tap the cookie sheet onto the counter 3 or 4 times to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.
  5. Let the macarons rest for an hour. There needs to be a dry layer on the top. You should be able to run your finger over the top without any transferring to your finger. If it is really humid outside this process will likely take longer.
  6. Preheat the oven to 260 degrees (F). This is the temperature that I have found works well for my oven, but you may need to play around with the temperature.
  7. Place the macarons on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet, bake for another 5 minutes, and rotate the cookie sheet again, bake for 3-5 minutes. 13-15 minutes in total. The macarons should not have any color to them, and they should peel off of the mat easily.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  9. Peel off of the mat and match each shell to another that is the same size.
Brown Butter Italian Meringue Buttercream
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan (I used this one). The butter will start to foam and you will see orangy brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. This will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the brown butter in a small bowl and place it in the fridge or freezer. You want the butter to firm up, but still be soft when you add it to the buttercream.
  3. In a small saucepan combine the 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the water. Place over high heat and do not stir. You need to get the sugar to soft-ball stage. Read more about this in my Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe.
  4. Using a stand mixer (I have this one) fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer (I have this one), beat the egg whites on medium speed until they start to get frothy. Slowly add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites. Turn the mixture to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. If the meringue is done before the sugar mixture, then turn the mixture down to the lowest speed until it is ready.
  5. When the sugar mixture is ready keep the mixer on the lowest speed and VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the meringue. If you pour the sugar too fast or onto the whisk in the center of the bowl it might fling the boiling sugar back at you.
  6. When all of the sugar mixture has been added (it’s okay if some is stuck to the side of the bowl) turn your mixer up to high. The bowl of the mixer will be hot. Beat the meringue until the bowl feels warm.
  7. Start to add spoonfuls of softened butter slowly, about 1 every 10 seconds, while continuing to whip the buttercream.
  8. Continue to beat the buttercream for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
  9. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe your desired amount of buttercream onto the inside of one of the macaron shells. Sandwich another macaron shell on top of it.

Like this post? Visit my Recipe page to see more like it!

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