Macarons are a popular dessert that people often refer to as a “cookie sandwich.” These tasty little confections are really nice to look at, and they’re even better to eat when they turn out perfectly.
You might enjoy macarons quite a bit, and this could have caused you to want to try your hand at making your own. Some people who are new to making them wind up encountering issues that they don’t expect.
A common issue is when the macarons turn out a bit too chewy. Why are they so chewy when all of the other macarons you have eaten in your life haven’t been this way?
Keep reading to learn about macarons as well as what you can do to try to avoid making them chewy. If you know why they turned out chewy in the first place, it’ll be easier to keep from making the same mistakes again.
1 – Overbaking
The most common cause of a macaron turning out too chewy is that it’s been overbaked. Essentially, you might have kept them in the oven just a bit too long if they are turning out much chewier than they should be.
Normally, macarons are going to be just a bit chewy, but they shouldn’t be incredibly chewy. When things are turning out this way, it’s usually the result of a mistake with the baking process.
You could have kept the macarons in the oven for too long as mentioned, but there could also be other issues that you need to consider. For example, you could have baked them at too high of a temperature as well.
Did you follow the recipe to the letter or did you accidentally make a mistake somewhere along the way? Perhaps you adjusted your oven five degrees higher than the recipe recommended?
Whatever the case is, you’re going to want to try to check to see if you did make an error. If you accidentally baked the macarons for too long or made a temperature error, that is something that you can easily correct the next time you bake them.
Sadly, you aren’t going to be able to go back and fix the mistake to make the macarons less chewy. Chewy macarons aren’t necessarily bad, though, but they might not be as good as others that you have had.
You can still choose to eat them if you would like to, but if they turned out really strangely, you might wish to discard them instead. Just be honest about the situation and then make a decision on what to do accordingly.
2 – Mixing Issues
Mixing issues have the potential to throw things off when you’re baking macarons. When something doesn’t turn out quite right with confections, it’s always good to consider whether mixing errors played a role.
It’s possible that multiple things could have happened that caused your macarons to turn out overly chewy. Could you have mixed certain ingredients more than you should have or not mixed them enough?
Try to go back through the process and think about how you did things when preparing the macarons. If you were distracted while mixing, it could be the case that you mixed something a bit haphazardly.
To get the best results, you’re generally going to want to be careful when mixing ingredients together. This helps you to get things just right, and you won’t encounter issues like having things become too chewy nearly as often.
It’s also a good idea to avoid distractions when you’re mixing your ingredients together. You might be surprised by how hard that can be in modern times, but lots of people struggle with this.
Set your phone to silent mode so that you won’t have a constant string of notifications taking your attention away from the task at hand. If you’re able to focus on mixing things better, you should be able to avoid making mistakes.
3 – Meringue Issues
Meringue issues can cause the macarons to turn out a bit chewier than they should as well. This is often due to problems with whipping the meringue, and it could be because of the method that you are choosing to implement.
Some macaron enthusiasts have said that using a hand mixer is much better than trying to do things using pure manpower. Being able to make meringue by hand is impressive, but it might not turn out as well for macarons.
You could try switching to using a mixer if you were making the meringue by hand. Instead of using a whisk, you’ll be using a power mixer that will make the process a lot faster.
If you use a hand whipping technique, it’s more likely that the macaron shells won’t turn out as hard as you want them to be. Sometimes the shells might be kind of chewy, and this isn’t quite right for macarons.
Making the adjustment won’t be hard, and any type of electric mixer should do. You can use a standard hand mixer or you can use a stand mixer of some sort.
At the very least, this is worth looking into if you’re noting that there are problems with the macaron shells. It could be the solution to your overly chewy macaron woes.
4 – Ingredient Mistakes
Ingredient mistakes sort of go hand-in-hand with mixing issues, and you could have messed up an ingredient somewhere. For example, some people who’ve had their macarons turn out moist and overly chewy found out that they used too little almond meal.
If you don’t get the ingredients right, something is going to turn out a little bit off no matter what. This is why it is important to follow the recipe that you’re using to the letter.
Following the recipe closely should allow you to get things right in theory. Just be careful to measure out your ingredients properly so that you don’t have problems.
Some people have noted that not all of the macaron recipes out there will get similar results. It might be worthwhile to try out a one if you know that you’re getting the ingredients right, but you’re still having the macarons come out too chewy.
In this situation, it could be that the recipe that you’re following is just a bit too chewy for your tastes. You might be able to find one that is much closer to the types of macarons that you enjoy the most.
If you have a friend who makes macarons that you like, try asking for the recipe that they use. This should help you to get results that are much closer to the macarons that you know you like.
5 – You Need to Let Them Sit in the Fridge for a While
Finally, you should know that macarons are kind of meant to be a little chewy. Even so, they can become quite a bit softer over time, and this is why most macaron enthusiasts keep their macarons in the refrigerator.
If you leave your macarons in the refrigerator, they are going to soften up a bit so that you can enjoy them even more. In fact, you might even wish to leave them in the refrigerator for a good while before you start eating them.
Some bakers have decided to leave the macarons in the fridge for about a day before they decide to serve them. This gives them plenty of time to soften, and they won’t be as chewy as they were before.
It’s also advisable to only take the macarons out of the refrigerator around one hour before you’re going to serve them. Don’t take them out early in the morning and then serve them to your guests later in the evening.
Storing macarons in the refrigerator is for the best, and you’re likely going to get better results. You should be able to have an easier time enjoying them now that you know what to do with them.
Don’t Be Distraught
Don’t be distraught when macarons don’t turn out absolutely perfect the first time. They are actually sort of tricky to make, and this is especially true for someone who is just getting started.
The process of making macarons is significantly more involved than making most types of cookies or confections. Knowing this, you should give yourself a little leeway and just try to fine-tune your macaron baking skills over time.
There are so many things that you need to try to get right for them to turn out as perfectly as you want them to. You need to get some practice in before it will become second nature.
Macarons are such tasty treats that you’re going to want to keep giving it your best shot. Eventually, you should get really good at making them, but just know that it takes time for many people.
Hopefully, this little guide to why they might be too chewy helped you out. You should have a better idea of what is going wrong now, and you’ll be able to make adjustments over time.
The next time you make macarons, you might have them turn out amazingly well. Just remember that you should let them stay in the fridge for a while before serving them.
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.
Tuesday 7th of December 2021
Ah, cool. I've made like 7 batches of macarons and two of them have come out chewy (one of them got stuck to the crown on my tooth). I was already pretty sure I overmixed the meringue, good to have confirmation that messing up the meringue and overbaking (which I also suspect happened with both batches) can cause chewiness. Thanks!