Happy National Dessert Day! To celebrate all things sweet and delicious, we turned to French pastry chef François Payard (the mastermind behind Payard, FPB and FPP with shops in NYC, Las Vegas, Japan and Korea). Below, he shares 5 tips for making scrumptious macarons from his new cookbook Payard Cookies. Catch him here at 92Y November 3 in conversation with Michael Laiskonis, creative director of the Institute of Culinary Education.

1. Macarons are best made with egg whites that have been aged. Pour the whites into a container, whisk them to break them up, then cover the top of the container with plastic wrap.

2. Poke holes in the plastic to let the air circulate, and let the egg whites sit in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

3. Take them out of the refrigerator 2 hours before baking to bring them to room temperature. However, any aging is better than no aging, so if you are pressed for time, let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before baking.

4. The process of working the batter to remove extra air, called macaronner, ensures that it does not form peaks when you pipe it and is essential to creating a macaron that has a crisp shell and a chewy and moist inside.

5. I used to use a lot of buttercreams as macaron fillings, but, in addition to being more old-fashioned, in warm weather buttercream has a tendency to soften and melt. By contrast, white chocolate ganache, even with a fruit addition, keeps a perfect consistency. Most of the time people won’t taste the chocolate, but the cocoa butter provides a great consistency that is more weather resistant. I use liquid food colorings to add color to the shells; just make sure to not add too much, or it will affect the texture of the finished cookie.

Can someone in my life please make me some macarons?


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