Macarons are delicious, delicate, and pretty little cookies that tend to be on the more difficult side to bake properly. Most people who would like their macarons to turn out with a nice clean white coloration will often end up with cookies that have browning on the top, bottom, or both.
This can lead some people to throw them out as they are too embarrassed to present them to guests or give them as gifts. This is very unfortunate, considering it is a waste of perfectly salvageable macarons that, aside from browning, are otherwise perfectly fine.
If you happen to be one of these people who think that their macarons are ruined due to a little browning, don’t throw your cookies in the trash can; they can be salvaged, and so can the macarons you will bake in the future.
This article will enlighten you as to how you can prevent this from happening, as well as ways that you can easily fix any browned macarons you find yourself with.
Reasons for Macarons Browning
There are a few very common reasons for these delicious cookies browning on the top, bottom, or both the top and bottom. You can use this section to figure out why your macarons keep browning, either by way of trial and error or by deducing.
By the end of this section, you should have a good idea of where to start attempting to correct your browning issue.
1 – Temperature Is Too High
One of the most common reasons for macarons browning is that your oven’s temperature is too high. If you want your macarons to stop turning brown, lower the baking temperature of your oven and keep them in there baking for a longer period of time to see if this corrects the issue.
You might need to try out a few different temperature and time adjustments before you find the ideal one for perfect macarons that have no browning whatsoever.
2 – Too Much Direct Heat
If your macarons are being hit by the heat in your oven too directly, it can lead to browning. This is something that many people are not aware of.
Your cookies could be sitting too high in your oven or perhaps too low, depending on where the heat source is inside your specific oven. In some ovens, the heat comes from both the top and bottom, so your cookies could even be getting too much direct heat from both directions.
To fix this problem, you can either move your macarons on a lower or higher rack, depending on where the heat is coming from, or you can place an empty baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil above, below, or both above and below the macarons.
This will keep the heat from hitting them directly and causing browning. It is very likely that this is the big problem you are having.
Although you can use either a baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil to block the direct heat, you may find that a baking sheet is so thick that it actually keeps too much heat from reaching your macarons or that aluminum foil is too thin to keep enough heat away from them.
You might have to do a little experimentation to figure out what works best with your particular oven. You can try out aluminum foil first, and if you find that your macarons are still coming out with browning, then you can switch to an empty baking sheet instead.
Trial and error is key in figuring out what is causing your macarons to brown.
3 – Oven Not Preheated
If your oven is not preheated to the correct temperature, you can end up having the same problem as the first point, except your oven might be too cool for your macarons to turn out properly.
If you rely on your oven to simply tell you if it is preheated adequately, you can have this problem. To make sure that the inside of your oven is the exact right temperature, you can use an oven thermometer.
4 – Using a Convection Oven
If you happen to be using a convection oven instead of the commonly used conventional oven, you could be unknowingly browning your cookies due to this fact.
Convection ovens require you to lower the temperature that you would normally use for a recipe. This is because these ovens use fans to move the hot air around inside of them, which results in them getting hotter.
To accommodate for this difference, all you need to do is lower the temperature that would typically be used for the recipe by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This should help greatly in keeping your macarons from browning.
5 – Baking Sheet Too Dark
It is very possible that the baking sheet you are using to make your macarons is causing the cookies to brown. If you are using a sheet that is darker in color, it can attract too much heat and result in macarons that have browning.
You can easily fix this problem by swapping out your dark-colored baking sheet for a light-colored one instead.
How to Fix Browning
If you still end up with macarons that have browning, do not even think about tossing them out or keeping them from the eyes of others. There are a couple of ways to easily cover up the browning so you can still enjoy them.
Check out these ways that you can salvage your macarons.
Spray Food Coloring
You can actually purchase food coloring that is in an aerosol can. Some people do not realize that this exists, but it is super handy for covering up a baking mistake.
All you need to do is shake up the can and spray the coloring toward your macarons. Just make sure that you hold it a few inches away to prevent it from running off of your macarons.
You can spray them any color you would like, but a lot of people prefer a pearly white macaron treat.
One amazingly delicious way to hide browning on your macarons is by coating them in something sweet. This can transform them into an even more decadent cookie.
You can utilize a dark chocolate coating, a strawberry one, butterscotch, or anything else that your mind can think of. You can also think about putting something with texture over this coating, such as coconut shavings or chopped nuts. The world is your oyster.
It should be obvious that you might need to try out several different things before you figure out what is causing your macarons to brown. You might end up fixing one problem to find out you actually have two causes for your browning macarons.
You need to be patient when trying to find the solution or solutions for the issue. As long as you are persistent, stay dedicated, and take your time to figure out how to keep your macarons from turning that undesirable brown color, you will eventually get those cookies to turn out how you imagine.
Then, you can give them away to all of your friends or family, or show them off at the next family gathering you host at your house. However you decide to use your macarons, you can make sure that they are ones you are proud to display and share.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.
Wednesday 16th of February 2022
Is it necessary to use parchment paper for macarons? Can you pipe directly onto a quality non stick tray? Also, I find my batter too runny to control to pipe out into circles. It usually then spreads into each other. Your help would be very much appreciated.