Line a few trays with parchment paper. Use a round object like back of large piping tip (about 1 inch in diameter), draw circle on your parchment paper with about a half and inch space in between.
You will need at least two baking sheets and parchment paper. You might need more , depending on the size of your trays.
If you are using a silicone mat, you will need to increase the baking time to 18 to 20 minutes. Take out at 18 and if you need to, you can add back in for another 2 minutes.
Start by placing the almond flour, powdered sugar, and a half teaspoon of salt into a food processor. *
NOTE : * Although your almond flour might say that it is "finely ground" it still needs further processing.
This helps avoid lumpy macarons. Pulse a couple dozen times and you should be able to tell that the mixture is more powdered than it was.
Using a sifter, tip the contents of the food processor out and gradually sift the dry ingredient mixture into a bowl.
This step is very important and also helps with getting a smooth top on the macaron. Once you are done, set the dry ingredients aside.
Carefully crack three eggs into a bowl without puncturing the yolk. Using clean hands, scoop out the yolk one by one and hold it above the bowl so that all of the egg white slides off. Repeat this with the two remaining yolk.
Add a half teaspoon of salt to the egg whites and begin to whip. Cream of tartar is also traditionally used as a stabilizer.
Using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they get fluffy and granulated sugar and vanilla extract along with dd 1 to 2 drops of the yellow food coloring.
Get the color you want before the stiff peaks form. Do not add color after the eggs meringue becomes stiff.
Continue to whip them until you get stiff peaks. **
NOTE: ** Sometimes you will get peaks that appear stiff, but if they tip over at all, they are not stiff enough. Properly whipped, the egg whites, now a meringue, will not come out of a bowl even if you tip it upside down.
Grab a spatula and begin adding the dry mixture to the meringue a quarter at a time.
When adding it, make sure to fold the merginue and dry mix together by scooping from the bottom of the bowl upwards and folding it over.
Continue this until all is incorporated and keep folding.
You will know it is ready by doing the figure 8 test.
This means you can dip the spatula and pick it up and to a complete, continuous figure as the batter drips off.
Use a little dot of the batter on the underside of the four corners of parchment paper. This helps keep the paper in place while you are piping.
Fill a piping bag with a half inch tip and begin piping small circles of batter onto the parchment paper. ***
NOTE: *** Keep the bag straight up and fill about 2/3 of the circle so that when you knock the air out in the next step.
Pick up each tray and drop them onto the counter to knock any loose air out from under the macarons. ****
NOTE: **** You can do this a few time to get the air bubbles out. If you see an air bubble pop up, you can pop it with a tooth pick at this stage only. Don't do it after the film has formed.
When all the batter has been piped, let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
This is an important step! It causes a film to form over top of the macaron, and will help it retain its shape while it is baking and help make macaron feet.
If you don't do this, the result might not look as close to what you envision when you picture a macaron.
While waiting, preheat the over to 300 degrees.
Place the first tray in and bake for 15-18 minutes for parchment paper and DO NOT be tempted to open the over door while it is baking, because this can result in an uneven bake.
Take the macarons out.
If they are not perfectly dried out, then you can pop them back into the over for a few more minutes.
You will be able to tell when they are ready because they will come off the parchment without sticking at all.
Let them cool completely before adding any filling.
Once you finish one tray, set it aside, and start on the next.