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Macarons are one of the most colorful and delicious baked goods out there, and thankfully, you don’t even need to be a professional chef to make them yourself. However, like with any baked good, you may be wondering how long it will last or how to properly store it. Thankfully storing macarons is very easy and lets them stay nice and fresh for longer so that when you are next making macarons, you don’t have to worry about eating them all at once…although I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you did. So let’s dive in.
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What are macarons?
A macaron is similar to a sandwich cookie and consists of two very delicate cookies holding a middle layer that is often filled with various fillings. In appearance, it looks similar to a burger with a squared top, a middle layer known as the crown, and then a bottom later referred to as the base. They have a somewhat high moisture content, and once placed in the mouth, they melt almost instantly. They are meant to be eaten whole, as they are only little.
Macarons are not to be mistaken for macaroons. The latter is a coconut cookie that is oftentimes coated in chocolate. They use some of the same ingredients and have similar names, but aside from this, they are very different.
What goes inside unfilled macarons?
While the cookie part of this treat is insanely delicious, the filling inside is known for taking macarons to the next level. The main fillings used in macarons are ganache, buttercream, or jam. Ganache is a glaze or filling that is mostly made out of chocolate and cream. The filling mostly consists of a single layer, but for those who take presentation very seriously, the filling can also be used on top as a garnish in a drizzled or spiral pattern. Powdered sugar can also be used to garnish these delicious macarons.
When filling the macarons, it is critical to hold the macaron shells carefully and not apply too much pressure as they are very delicate and have a soft texture.
What are macaron shells made out of?
Macaron shells are the cookie layers that are above and below the filling; they are crunchy to a certain degree but also melt right in your mouth if made properly. The main ingredients for macaron shells are;
- Egg whites
- Icing sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Almond meal
- Food colorings
The shells are made the same almost everywhere, but some people like to flavor the shells with vanilla, caramel, or chocolate. The shells are then colored to match the flavor. However, they can also be colored randomly despite their flavor just to look nice as their colorful appearance is what makes them so famous.
Nutritional value for macarons
Despite being delicious, macarons might not strike you as being the healthiest snack around. For the most part, you would be right, they are very high in sugar. The nutritional value for 3 traditional french macarons is as follows;
- 150 kCal
- 21g net carbs
- 1g fiber
- 18g sugar
- 3g protein
- 5g fat
- 20mg calcium
- 1.4mg iron
- 25mg sodium
They are not terribly unhealthy, as you can see. However, for being such a small snack that you might choose to binge on for a while, that is a lot of sugar, so you should limit your consumption.
How to store macarons
Similar to any other baked good, macarons do not have the longest shelf life out there and typically should be eaten relatively soon after being made. There are some ways to extend the shelf life of macarons although, not by much. They will not be as perfect as they initially were a month after making them no matter how well you store them, so it is best to consume them within a week. To store them for a few hours after baking, let them sit on a plate and cover them in aluminum foil until you are ready to eat them.
Storing your macarons in something like an air-tight container will really help them keep their texture as they are not exposed to air which is what makes them stale. When stale, similar to bread, macarons lose the quality in their texture and become less soft, which makes them more unpleasant to eat. As long as they fit in the air-tight container, you should be fine, but if you do not have a container that works then there are other options for storing your macarons.
Zip lock bag
Another way to store your macarons safely is to place them in a zip lock bag. As long as you squeeze the air out, they should stay fresh for up to a week as long as they are not placed in direct sunlight or near any heat sources.
If you intend to freeze your macarons, then it is best to completely cool them until they reach room temp or a similar ideal temperature. If you made them yourself, leave them on parchment paper or wax paper until they reach a low temperature. After this, put them in a zip lock bag and squeeze out all the air before placing them in the freezer, as this will prevent freezer burn.
Freezing macarons is as easy as that. Take them out a few hours before guests arrive and wait until they are completely thawed before you eat them. It is not recommended to refreeze macarons as freezing macarons once will decrease the texture a tiny bit, so doing it again will completely ruin them. It should only take about 3 hours to defrost frozen macarons.
Putting macarons in the fridge is very simple. Wait until they are completely cool and place them in any air-tight containers you might have. To refrigerate macarons as efficiently as possible, place the macarons inside on the center shelf and not in the door, as this will help stop them from fluctuating in temperature every time you open the door. When you are ready to eat them for a snack or a special occasion, take them out of the fridge a couple of hours beforehand.
Is refrigerating macarons the ideal way to store them?
Storing macarons properly is essential to making sure they taste the same and are still soft when you next want to eat them, but this will not increase their shelf life by much, only a few days at most. For the best possible experience, you should eat them on the day of making them or the day after. If you want to wait a few days, you can throw them in the fridge or freezer, but this will heavily decrease their texture.
If you are yet to add the filling, separately store them and fill them on the day of consumption instead of filling them before storing them. The best way to store them for a couple of days is in an airtight container or any sealed container, as this will not mess with their temperature, which is what decreases their texture.
FAQ Do macarons need to be refrigerated
Can macarons be stored at room temperature?
If you plan to store macarons at room temperature, putting them in an airtight container or a zip lock bag will help maintain their taste and texture. They should be eaten within the next few days after storage for the best experience.
What happens if macarons aren’t refrigerated?
If macarons aren’t refrigerated, they will simply decrease in flavor and texture over time. The best way to prevent this is to either put them in the fridge in an airtight container or place them in the container and leave them at room temperature.