Landing On My Feet

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Daunted, excited, and intimidated, I responded in my typical fashion of completely ignoring the call to arms until the absolute last minute. Yes, it was a foolish act, but with so many side projects and deadlines to meet, it was easy to prioritize everything else above it, and effectively forget about the challenge until last night. Luckily, this wasn’t the first time I had contemplated the construction of that oh-so trendy sandwich cookie. Having previously done some serious legwork on recipe formulation, I had the framework all set, and all was left were a few tweaks, and more than a few prayers to the baking gods to be made.

Midnight came, and my stand mixer roared to life, while the oven coils slowly grew warmer. I whipped. I folded. I piped. I waited.

I slid the sheets into the oven.

I held my breath.

…And did a little dance when those smooth cocoa shells emerged from the oven. They had FEET! Deliriously happy, I didn’t stop smiling for a solid hour afterward. I still can’t believe that it worked, and worked so perfectly!

Sandwiching a generous dollop of matcha “buttercream” between two delicate, crisp cookies, they were everything I could have dreamed of. My only regret was that I hadn’t made a double batch.

Now, before the deluge of emails comes, I’m not ready to share the recipe yet. I will say that it’s related to my meringue method, but I’m hoping to release it in a future book or ebook. Besides, I want to play around with more flavors and colors before signing off on this beauty!

124 thoughts on “Landing On My Feet

  1. Oh my goodness! I never thought I’d see a vegan version of these!! Fabulous job and beautiful photos, as always :)

  2. Those are gorgeous. I love the bright mint color of the matcha buttercream. You’re making me think I should join the daring bakers to push my capabilities.

  3. Mon dieu, Hannah! I’ve seen rows and rows of these gorgeous confections through decidedly non-vegan bakery windows. Yours are perfection! I’m so excited for that future cookbook or e-cookbook!

  4. That is seriously impressive! I don’t know much about vegan baking but I can imagine that macarons aren’t the easiest thing to veganize. They look absolutely beautiful – much better than the non-vegan macarons that one of the bakeries here sell! Beautiful!

  5. Oh wow, it’s like the holy grail of vegan baking! I skimmed through this entry so quickly just hoping there’d be a recipe at the end, you tease ;)

  6. Someone else and I were just online lamenting the lack of vegan macarons! I’ve always suspected they could be made in a way similar to vegan meringue, but I’ve never attempted meringue, either. When you release your book, I’ll be the first to scoop it right up.

  7. Wow, how impressive! I can’t wait to see how you veganized the recipe – this was a difficult one to do that with! Beautiful macarons!

  8. Oh, gosh darn it. You tease! I was so curious to see how you made them vegan.
    Congrats on the feet! They look great and love the flavor combo.

  9. These are absolutely gorgeous looking macarons and they are vegan ones at that! I love the colour pairing and flavour combinations too!

  10. Those look gorgeous Hannah! Well done on the challenge and yes, your feet are really good looking! I am slightly jealous now.. :) Love your color too!

  11. Hannah – Fabulous job! And yes you do have those little happy macaron feet!

    I can’t wait to see your recipe and your new ebook.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  12. You madam, you completely rock! Cannot wait to read about how you did it. My hats off to you, dear. They look terrifi (I am so utterly impressed!)

  13. I’m always so incredibly impressed with what you’re able to do!! These look absolutely perfect. I would’ve been super excited for them to have feet too. =)

  14. This is the holy grail of vegan baking- you are truely amazing! Just another appeal to bring this recipe out! I really want to have an all-vegan wedding reception and it would be great to be able to have macarons

  15. Oh please say you will share soon! This is the only decent-looking vegan version I have seen, and I am a girl on a mission.

  16. The macarons are the new cupcake! These are stunning! .. where can I find the recipe please?

  17. Ok, help the vegan community by sharing this recipe already! You can’t keep this to yourself if you are not going to post it on an e-book, or a cookbook! :-P

  18. Hello Hannah, Omg! I am so excited to know that it is possible to make a vegan French macaron. I have been vegan for over a year now due to health reasons. I love being vegan because I feel great and in a much better condition health-wise. The only draw back sometimes are sweets and desserts. I am so glad to stumble upon your blog while I was searching for vegan French macarons online. I checked your website and so happy to know that you have four books available. I’m definitely buying your book my sweet vegan and looking to purchase the other mini books as well. Can you tell me if the “My Sweet Vegan” book includes the French macaron recipe? Once again, thank you for sharing your experience and creativity. You’re simply brilliant!! I can not wait to try your recipes!!! Always, E

    1. I just read this recipes are available in “Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season”. Not My Sweet Vegan :)

  19. WOW! I’ve been looking everywhere for this! I have a feeling they’re going to be extremely hard to make, and I’m not so much a baker (I’m an amazing chef though!).

    I hope I’m successful and your book comes quickly. Do you have a bakery by any chance lol

  20. […] chocolate chip meringue cookies have accomplished the impossible and look amazing! Check out these vegan french macaroons. One look at these and you’ll never look […]

  21. I realize this post is almost 4 years old, but you’ve gained yet another fan in me. I never even considered vegan Macarons to be possible, but you did it! I’m not vegan but I cook/bake vegan for my children due to multiple food allergies. The first and last time i tried making macarons, I sadly produced “macawrongs” and I was shamed into submission. I bought your book to give this another go, and to finally let my kiddos try them without killing them (will try making them nut-free as well). I shall let you know how I get on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Hi Michelle! I’m so glad you found my recipe, and hope they finally produce the macarons you’ve had your heart set on for so long. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or comments, since I know it’s not the simplest recipe in the book. I would also love to hear how you manage to make the nut-free, since the almond meal is such a large piece of the puzzle. Fingers crossed this one meets your expectations. :)

      1. Is it bad to eat the batter raw? Too late– my boys & I did. Anyway, you are a rockstar for figuring vegan macarons out. Thanks a million. Long post following, sorry.

        Now for my attempt: 1st tray of macs just came out, and although they were yet another batch of the ‘wrongs, they are still spectacular. My 5 year old is currently getting rid of the evidence in his mouth ( I had a bunch, too). My batter may have been too thick. I scooped, packed, measured then weighed (for reference next time). Maybe I shoul’ve just spooned & leveled the powdered sugar & “nut” flour into the measuring cup. I also noticed that the warmed egg replacer mixture came out half congealed. Is that supposed to happen? I did get the “fluffy, glossy, meringue” but the “peaks” stretched out & did a DQ-soft-serve-loop (whisked with hand mixer for 10 min). Got the thick “lava” ribbon consistency. Batter was really sticky (but very yummy); not sure if I undermixed; I folded quite a while. But when I piped, I couldn’t get rid of the peaks and couldn’t pipe nice, even discs (that’s probably a problem with my skills rather than my batter). Got the feet but still had raw foam in the middle after 13 min @ 300 (will purchase an oven therm, promise). Hollow shells but that’s not a huge issue for me. I banged the tray down on the counter a few times.

        The big plus? I was able to make them nut-free! Did half sunflower seeds & half pumpkin seeds (got some from Trader Joe’s before they started packaging peanuts in the same factory. Boo!)

        I may never be able to make the perfect macaron, but I am so thankful to you for sharing this dynamite recipe and because of you, my children can now have some idea of what these gems are all about. On that note, would you mind helping me troubleshoot? I can send you photo evidence if you like.

      2. Ha, don’t worry about being unable to resist eating the batter- I do the same thing every time! It tastes a whole lot like nutty marshmallow fluff to me.

        I’m delighted to hear about your vastly improved experience, despite the fact that it wasn’t quite an unqualified success. It does sound like the warmed egg replacer got a bit nuked in the microwave, so it’s likely that yours is simply more powerful that mine. Either cut the heating time in half or reduce the power level by half, and hopeful that should help things next time. The most glaring issue I see that you mentioned is your measuring style. As you already figured out, I do spoon and level, which results in a wholly different measure in the end.

        It sounds like you’re well on your way and with just a few tweaks, should have the technique down pat! Thank you for having the patience to wait out this recipe, since I know it’s not exactly the fastest or the easiest.

  22. Hi again, Hannah. Thanks for your tips. I’ve tried making Macarons again (prior to reading your post and against your advise in the book to follow the recipe) and tried to cut the powdered sugar by 2 tbsp & replaced it with cornstarch; needless to say I didn’t end up with Macarons, but did get very scrummy meringue cookies. I also found out how versatile your “meringue” recipe is– just made some fudgy chocolate meringue cookies using you technique in Bon appetit’s recipe in the hopes of making a cookie similar to the one sold in SB and…voila! Nom-worthy, egg-free, cakey, fudgy beauties. They are a bit cakey compared to the SB cookies but yummy nonetheless.
    You got me excited about baking again. Thank you.

  23. Third attempt at macarons was a success!!! We don’t bother filling the shells, we just pop ’em right in. I found that using egg replacer is a lot more forgiving than egg whites: I somewhat vigorously folded/mixed the batter until I finally got the lava flow consistency and the meringue help up & piping was no problem. Hurray again to you for the recipe! Yes, I did a victory dance.

    1. Hooray! Congratulation on macaron mastery. That is so exciting and gratifying to hear, because it’s one thing to write the recipe, but entirely another to have it work for others. Thank you for working through the issues and making those macarons happen. It makes my whole week to hear this!

  24. Happy New Year Hannah! The only recipe ingredient I can’t find where I live is chocolate extract. Could I substitute another extract, such as vanilla or peppermint? Also, I read somewhere that over-nuking the egg replacer in the microwave could destroy its magical properties. How many watts is your microwave, and what power level do you use? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tricia, and Happy New Year to you too! Not to worry about the chocolate extract- You can absolutely change up the flavor and substitute whatever suits your tastes. I hadn’t heard that about EnerG, and since this is an unconventional use for the ingredient, I don’t think that the same consideration holds true. I’ve certainly never had any trouble with it after microwaving, especially since it for such a short time. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I have no idea what wattage my microwave is, but after using my fair share of different ones, I’m confident that it’s a standard model and should match up to most modern units made in the last 5 – 8 years.

      1. I went ahead and made these before your reply, using vanilla extract, and the macarons came out pretty enough to photograph for my school newspaper. The feet were a little too chubby, but none of the tops cracked in the oven. However, they were hollow inside! I smashed a few delicate cookies, not knowing they were hollow. Most of them survived to sandwich with the mint buttercream and were surprisingly delicious despite the defects. That’s after going to Chantal Guillon’s Macarons in San Francisco! Thanks Hannah!

  25. Any luck with the cookbook? I’d love to know how I could get your recipe for vegan macarons!! Thanks!

  26. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!

    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later
    on. Many thanks

  27. hihi,this are amazing!! may i know how to get this recipe for vegan macaroon~cookbook?many thanks for sharing,awaiting your reply via email…thank you!

  28. Hi Hannah,

    I ordered the book since last year…but till date still out of stock!oh! (haven’t ship to me since it’s out of stock-not sure if publisher did let you know how popular your book is…), been pending to do Macaroon since last Dec till now, could you please advise any possibilities to get the book?…many thanks…

    1. Hi Kerry Ann,

      I’m so sorry you’ve been having such trouble getting a hold of Vegan Desserts! It’s currently in the process of being reprinted, with 4 brand new recipes added, too. I’m not sure of the release date, so if you don’t want to wait any longer it’s always available in ebook format.

  29. Hi Hannah,

    OOO…In this case, could you please update me once you release it……I would be happy to get your cook book…must get it! :-)

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