Picture of Strawberry Macarons on a flowered plate
Cookbook Reviews

French Macarons for Beginners

Cookbook by: Natalie Wong

Cover of French Macarons for Beginners

“As you read through this book and make what are perhaps your first batch of macarons, I hope to help you avoid the mistakes I made at first and instead bake beautiful, delicate cookies,” Natalie Wong.

I waited until I was in Paris for my birthday to try French Macarons and a love affair was quickly born. They are one of the most decadent and delicious treats I have ever eaten. Baking is my first love and I was so excited to try French Macarons for Beginners when I found it.

To make macarons you need a few specialty items: a silicone macaron baking mat, sifter and a kitchen scale. I had everything but the silicone macaron baking mat so I ordered this macaron kit* and there is currently a $2 off coupon. 

French macarons can be tough to make but the effort is worth it even if the results aren’t perfect.

Picture of Peanut Butter Macarons on a light pink plate

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Shells with
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Buttercream

Peanut butter has always been a favorite of mine and I was happy to test these out. The recipe was easy to follow with clear instructions. I did have trouble finding peanuts that said “skinless.” When I opened the can of the peanuts I purchased there were some skins that I had to remove. Per the instructions I let the shells rest for thirty minutes, however, none of my shells developed feet while cooking and they all cracked. I believe now that I should have allowed them to rest for a while longer. 

The peanut butter-chocolate buttercream seemed like an easy recipe to follow. I realized as I was making the buttercream that the Hershey’s Cocoa powder I have is now labeled as 100% cacao. The recipe specifically calls for cocoa powder and in double checking the grocery store there wasn’t any, this could have affected the recipe. I used Jif original smooth peanut butter in the recipe. 

My buttercream didn’t seem perfect when I finished making it. I am not sure if the type of peanut butter or cocoa powder had an impact but I believe both could have. Most people know how finicky peanut butter deserts can be (I make fudge regularly and the peanut butter fudge only has a 50/50 chance of coming out correctly). 

Even though the macarons didn’t look perfect they do taste good and that to me is the most important part. 

Picture of Strawberry Macarons on a flowered plate

Strawberry Shells with
Strawberry Buttercream

If you have ever been to a bakery that sells French Macarons you have most likely seen strawberry macarons. Since these are so iconic I thought I would try these. The one ingredient I thought would be hard to find, freeze-dried strawberries, was at Target. 

The recipes were easy to follow. I let the shells rest for over an hour because the weather was a little off. Luckily they came out perfect. It was so hard not to eat them immediately! After two days in the house they were all eaten and I am already tempted to make them again.

Cookbook Ratings: Recipe directions easy to follow: yes, Ingredients easy to find: yes, Specialty ingredients needed: yes, Specialty equipment needed: yes, Accurate time estimates: yes, Best for home chef skill level: intermediate, Taste/flavor: delicious, Family friendly: yes, specialty diet: none, How many recipes are unique: most, overall cookbook rating: love it

After testing four recipes from French Macarons for Beginners I would recommend everyone who wants to try making macarons to pick up a copy of this cookbook. The first two chapters of the cookbook cover Macarons 101 and Troubleshooting Your Macarons. If you are a beginner it is great to sit down and read through all of this even before you make sure you have the ingredients you need. I felt much more prepared to make the macarons after reading all the directions and tips and tricks. 

French Macarons for Beginners offers so many different options for flavor combinations and I cant wait to try them out. What flavors do you want to try?


  • Brian

    Looking good! I see in your rating section that you didn’t mark “gluten free.” Normally macarons and their fillings don’t have any flour, right?

    • Kim

      Yes, most macarons are gluten free. However, a few of the recipes in this cookbook are not gluten free as they have items such as oreos or graham crackers in them. If someone is gluten free and wants to try this cookbook their are plenty of recipes they can make. I just wanted to make sure no one thinks that all of the recipes in it are gluten free.

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