How Long Do Macarons Last: Barbara’s Response & Preserving Tips
Have you tried these little bundles of delight?
For me, it was January 5th when I had an official introduction to macarons.
My husband’s cousin Michelle runs a small bakery, which is focused on small, hand-made cookies, pastries, cakes, muffins… you name it. On that fantastic day, Michelle came over to visit us and brought several boxes of cookies.
You could imagine kids’ reaction. It’s easy to realize why Michelle is their favorite.
While we were hanging out, Michelle pulled out another box of cookies, telling us:
“Here’s what’s new and trendy in my bakery. People are getting crazy about them these days.”
The night was absolutely fantastic! The macarons brought an entirely new experience into my life and tingled my taste buds in multiple variations. Oh, how I love to try something new and amazing!
They are crispy on the outside, and made with many different ingredient combinations, reaching the dimensions of sweet and savory that go beyond what you’ve experienced in life. From very sweet to mild and earthy, macarons hit you like a wonder you’ve been waiting for a long time.
John and I literally fought for the last one; it was the lemony yellow macaron, one of my favorites because I worship the mild savor taste of lemon in sweets. If done right, it can make unique and splendid sensations in your mouth. Combined with the macaron’s texture and richness of the filling, this is a killer combination.
I was so lucky that my husband’s cousin brought the macarons to my attention. Later I discussed with her about them and ordered some more from the local pastry shop.
Needless to say, we devoured the batch Michelle brought.
On the other hand, I’ve got myself thinking the day later; we won’t have as much macarons like in the first “order” and some might not get eaten.
The question raised: How long do macarons last? 🙂
I went out on a little research venture to find out about them as much as possible, and here’s what I found out.
Macaroon or Macaron??
At the beginning of my research, the question behind these two names was the first evident problem. It’s quite the popular one out on the web.
Here’s the deal:
Macaroon is something completely different than macaron, involves different ingredients (like shredded coconut and condensed milk) and making techniques. It doesn’t have the recognizable look like the ones we enjoyed the other night. The shapes can vary, and a traditional detail in macaroon design is that they are dipped in chocolate.
Here’s how the coconut variation looks like:
The difference is quite obvious, isn’t it?
The macaron looks like a small hamburger (my youngster actually named Michelle’s macarons “sweet hamburgers”), and it dates from France, thus the name French Macaron.
Here’s something more about the pronouncing and difference in names and sweets, from professor Dan Jurafsky.
When talking about these two, the difference in pronunciation is in the end of the word:
- Macaron is pronounced mack-a-rohn
- Macaroon is pronounced mack-a-roon
Where (and when) Macaron appeared?
This lovely sweet dates from the early 1500s, when the Italian pastry chefs arrived in France during the royal marriage.
The simple principle used to create hamburgers can work with sweets as well, and that made the macarons of today.
The transition happened in France, in the early 1900s; the two biscuits with a layer of cream or jam was created in the famous Ladurée patisserie.
Here’s a fun fact:
The original macaron contained only one biscuit and cream until Pierre Desfontaines tried the combination of two in the famous pastry shop in Paris.
How Long Do Macarons Last And How To Preserve Them?
Like many pastries from France, macarons are delicate and fragile, with a short lifespan. The shelf life of an average macaron is about three to five days. The middle section of a macaron with ridges is the main reason here, combined with the middle section filling.
The recommended practice is to eat them right away, or in the 2-day period after the making.
That’s the period when they are in the best shape and consistency. Because of their fragile structure, macarons will start to collapse (especially at the sides and the top) and start absorbing the filling, making them soggy and soft.
That’s why it’s important to hold them in the refrigerator if you have leftovers.
As you can see, I’ve placed them in the door of my fridge. They stayed there for the night and kept their consistency.
Miraculously (probably nobody opened the fridge) they stayed intact for the day, and I started thinking:
How different refrigerator areas affect the quality and consistency of macarons when storing?
Since I wrote in detail about this topic, I realized that the placement was completely wrong. The fridge doors are designed for stuff that doesn’t get bad easily like macarons do.
So I put them in the middle section of the fridge, on the right.
So, the macarons have survived one day and a half in my fridge, and later on they “mysteriously” disappeared.
My neighbor Jessie came to a cup of coffee, and we enjoyed these small delights with joy.
What about freezing macarons?
If you get to the point that you need to freeze macarons (which seems highly unlikely to me), here comes the good news: macarons can withstand freezing, and stay in good shape for at least three months!
The important thing though – I’m talking about bought macarons.
I’m not sure about homemade ones, as I’m about to make those and document my process so I can share it with you guys. So, bought macarons can stay frozen up for three months.
If you plan on freezing them, an airtight container is your best friend. It will help your macarons to sustain the form, don’t lose the ridges (some people call those “feet”) and won’t start absorbing the filling.
As you can see, macarons can last:
So, if you happen to get some macarons and wonder how long (and how) you should keep them, there’s your answer.
Now excuse me, I have to get to research and study how to make them perfect. 😉
Until our next meet!