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A common problem with making macarons is that they often come out crunchy after a prolonged baking session. I’ve had this issue so many times until I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.
The main reason why macarons can be crunchy is overbaking. Overbaking occurs when the macarons are left in the oven for too long or are baked at too high a temperature. This excessive exposure to heat causes the macarons to lose moisture and become overly dry, resulting in a crunchy texture.
There are several other reasons why your macarons might be overly crunchy. I’ve experienced many crunchy macarons over the years, it almost felt impossible to get right! After a lot of experimentation, I figured out the best ways to fix and prevent them from being too crunchy.
Are Macarons Supposed To Be Crunchy?
Generally speaking, traditional French macarons are not supposed to be crunchy. The ideal macaron has a soft, chewy interior that is surrounded by a delicate, crisp exterior. One distinctive feature of a well-made macaron is the contrast between the crunchy exterior and the chewy interior.
While there should be a little bit of a crunchy texture when you bite into a macaron, they should not be overly crunchy.
The best way to get the right consistency in the texture of macarons is to follow the recipe’s instructions to the letter.
Make sure you are measuring the ingredients correctly and mixing the batter until just combined.
Why Are My Macarons Hard And Crunchy?
Did you just bake macarons and they turn out crumbling in your mouth? Macarons are often a little chewy because of the egg whites, but they should not be hard.
Here are some reasons why your macarons might be chewy:
- The Oven Temperature Was Too High
- The Baking Time Was Too Long
- The Meringue Was Under Whipped
- The Macaron Batter Was Overmixed
- The Macarons Were Not Cooled Properly
*By the way, I recently wrote an article explaining Why Your Macarons Could Come Out Chewy. In this article, I break down all the different ways to fix and prevent overly chewy macarons in every scenario. You can check out this article here!
The Oven Temperature Was Too High
Baking the macarons at too high of a temperature will cause them to spread too much and will make them hard.
The ideal oven temperature for baking macarons is between 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit!
Below is a chart I made that demonstrates the corresponding temperatures and baking times:
|285 Degrees Fahrenheit
|300 Degrees Fahrenheit
|325 Degrees Fahrenheit
|340 Degrees Fahrenheit
You want to make sure you preheat the oven before baking the macarons and use an oven thermometer to check the temperature.
You need to invest in an oven thermometer to judge the true temperature of the inside of your oven. This will help you get to know your oven better! I recently came across a great Stainless Steel Instant Read Oven Thermometer. You can check it out on Amazon!
The Baking Time Was Too Long
If you bake the macarons for too long, they will become hard. The ideal baking time for macarons is 12-14 minutes. Anything over that will make your macarons crunchy.
You can test if the macarons are done by lightly touching the top of the shell.
If it feels firm, then they are done. If it feels soft or sticky, then they need to bake for longer.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article explaining Why Your Macarons Could Have Cracked on Top. In this article, I break down all the different ways to fix and prevent cracked macarons in every scenario. You can check out this article here!
The Meringue Was Under Whipped
Macarons are made with meringue, which is a mixture of egg whites and sugar that is whipped into stiff peaks.
If the meringue is not whipped enough, it will deflate when incorporated into the batter and will not give the macarons enough structure. This will result in tough, and crunchy macarons.
The Macaron Batter Was Overmixed
When the batter is overmixed, it allows too much air into the batter which will cause the macarons to be crunchy.
The air also causes the macarons to rise too much and creates an uneven surface.
I usually mix the macaron batter until the ingredients are just combined. Overmixing will cause the macarons to be tough and crunchy.
Overmixing the batter will also cause the macarons to rise too much and create an uneven surface. Which will result in thin and chewy macarons.
To fix this problem, you should put your macarons in an airtight container with a damp paper towel. The moisture in the paper towel will move into the macarons getting them to become softer overall.
While I like to do my mixing by hand, I much rather prefer using a Stand Mixer instead. I recently wrote an article that talks about the 3 Best Stand Mixers that bakers can buy in each stage of their baking journey. After reviewing a few stand mixers, the Best Overall Mixer was the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. You can check out this stand mixer on Amazon!
The Macarons Were Not Cooled Properly
Macarons must be cooled completely before you remove them from the baking sheet. Otherwise, they will stick to the baking sheet and will be difficult to remove.
When macarons are cooled too quickly, the outside will get hard at a rapid rate compared with the inside. This will make the outside of the macarons seem very crunchy when biting into them.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article explaining How To Prevent Your Macarons From Sticking To The Baking Paper. In this article, I break down all the different ways to prevent having sticky macarons and what to do to avoid it every time. You can check out this article here!
How Do You Soften Crispy And Crunchy Macarons?
To fix crispy and crunchy macaron shells, you need to rehydrate them with some moisture. Place the macaron shells in an airtight container with a slice of soft bread or a slightly damp paper towel and seal it tightly overnight. This method reintroduces moisture back into the crunchy macaron shells.
I call this method the “Airtight Moisture Method.” This method will improve macaron texture while avoiding excessive moisture absorption.
This method reintroduces moisture to their shells when macarons become crunchy due to moisture loss which has saved my macarons so many times before!
You can also sprinkle them with a little bit of water and then microwave them for 10-20 seconds. This will help to soften the shells and make them more pliable.
This is a very similar concept to my previous method of introducing moisture to the macarons!
If that doesn’t work, another thing you can try is sandwiching the crunchy macarons with a filling, such as ganache or buttercream. The filling will help soften the tough textures of the macarons.
*Side Note: I recently wrote an article breaking down 10 Simple Ways To Make Sure Your Macarons Rise Evenly. In this article, I talk about all the different ways to fix and prevent flat macarons in every scenario and make sure they rise to their fullest potential. You can check out this article here!
How Do You Keep Macarons From Getting Crunchy?
To prevent macarons from becoming overly crunchy, you have to bake at the recommended temperature and duration. Baking the macarons at too high of a temperature will dry out the batter while leaving the macarons in the oven for too long will overbake them making them crunchy.
The best way to avoid this is by preheating the oven before baking the macarons and using an oven thermometer to check the oven temperature.
The best oven temperature for baking macarons is between 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit!
Below is a very informative video I found that breaks down all the reasons your macarons came out crunchy and how to avoid them:
I also recommend that you measure the ingredients correctly before you even start baking. You can use a kitchen scale to measure the almond flour, powdered sugar, and other dry ingredients.
I avoid all of these issues by simply using a Digital Scale which is a lifesaver in my kitchen. I recommend using a Nicewell Digital Food Scale which runs on batteries making it a wireless, hassle-free option. You can find it on Amazon!
After measuring the ingredients, be sure to mix them until just combined. Fold the batter just until it flows smoothly with each fold!
Following that you need to make sure you are whipping the meringue to stiff peaks or until it looks glossy.
Finally, cool the macarons properly before removing them from the baking sheet. I found that proper resting time at the correct humidity levels will prevent them from becoming crunchy.
In very dry climates, macarons can dry out and become crunchy more quickly!
Once you do all of these things right, you can guarantee that your macarons will not turn out crunchy after baking!
How Long Do Macarons Need To Rest?
Generally speaking, macarons typically need to rest for around 15 to 30 minutes before baking. This allows the macaron shells to form a “skin” that will help them to hold their shape during baking. The resting time can vary depending on the surrounding environment’s humidity levels.
Here’s a general guideline I follow for resting my macarons:
- Touch Test: After piping the macaron shells onto the baking sheets, lightly touch the tops with your fingertip. If the batter feels sticky, they need more time to rest. The shells should feel dry to the touch before baking.
- Formation of a Skin: As the macarons rest, they will develop a thin, dry layer on the surface. This skin helps the macarons rise evenly during baking and prevents them from cracking.
- Testing Readiness: Gently touch the macaron shells again after about 15 to 30 minutes. If the batter no longer sticks to your finger and the shells have a matte finish, they are ready to be baked.
Allowing the macarons to rest also helps to prevent them from spreading too much while becoming hard and crunchy!
*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!
After looking for other benefits of leaving my macaron batter to rest, I came across an article where Shariblogs stated:
I think this is especially important because the proper formation of the “feet” on the bottom of each macaron is the difference between a perfect macaron and a broken one.
People also ask me…
What happens if macarons rest too long?
Allowing macarons to rest for too long can result in brittle, crunchy shells, altered flavor, compromised appearance, and difficulties achieving the desired chewy interior. You can avoid this by touching the top of the macarons often to see if they’re still sticky to the touch or not.
What is the best temperature to cook macarons?
Generally speaking, the right temperature to bake macarons is between 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the exact temperature can vary based on your recipe, oven type, and duration. Baking at a temperature that’s too high will cause the macarons to become hard and crunchy.
Will macarons soften in the fridge?
As a general rule, storing macarons in the fridge can soften their texture if they are filled with a moist filling and kept in an airtight container. The moisture from the filling gradually transfers to the shells, creating a harmonious texture between the shell and the filling.
Can I put undercooked macarons back in the oven?
Generally speaking, you can put macarons back in the oven to make adjustments to their texture if they haven’t turned out as desired. Both underbaked and overbaked macarons can be placed back in the oven for a short period at a low temperature to help fix their textures.