Macarons make for a great tea-time snack. They are colorful, delicious, and have just enough filling to quench any dessert craving.
While macarons are widely available in many stores around the world, you can also make them at home.
Many people find this sandwich cookie to be difficult but we’re here to tell you that making this meringue-based cookie is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
You would be surprised to know that mixing the wet and dry ingredients is only a quarter of what makes a good macaron. The rest is up to the technique and equipment, and in this case, we are talking about the baking sheet.
What are the best silicone mats for macarons? The best silicone mats for macarons tend to be 16 x 11 inches as they work for most bakers and can hold up to 40 macarons. It’s also important to buy high-quality silicone mats that are easily washable and non-textured.
Read on below for our buyer’s guide and recommendations for the best silicone mats for macarons!
The Secret To Making Great Macarons
Macarons can be a bit tricky to make, especially if you are making them for the first time.
Most people think of macarons as a sort of cookie and they won’t be technically wrong, since macarons are made using a meringue mixed with almond flour.
This gives them that characteristic fluffiness on the inside and crispiness on the outside. Making the meringue and mixing in the dry ingredients is easy—the rest, however, can be somewhat tricky.
The trick to making the best macarons is to use the best materials possible.
You would be surprised by just how much the baking sheet matters to make this dessert. It’s the literal foundation upon which the macarons rise and get that smooth bottom.
Before we go on, let’s first look at what makes a great macaron!
Anatomy Of A Macaron
The top of the macaron must have a smooth and risen surface, much like the top of a burger bun with crumbly-textured feet or pieds just below it, followed by another thin, straight, and smooth bottom surface.
Then comes the filling, which can be a mix of anything you like. Classic macarons have either buttercream or a chocolate filling but you can get fancy with the options once you have the basic recipe down.
The last part is the bottom, which is the same as the top of the macaron. In this case, it is used to make a sandwich with the filling in the middle.
The Equipment For Making The Best Macarons
As mentioned above, one of the key things to making the best macarons is having the right materials, and we aren’t just talking about the ingredients.
The baking mat, for example, plays a huge role in how the macarons bake and rise. Many people get this simple step wrong.
While yes, you can use parchment paper or other molds to make macarons, the silicone mat provides the best foundation for the macarons and allows them to bake fully.
There are also some specialized macaron baking mats but even those are just customized silicone mats that hold the macarons in place and keep them from expanding sideways instead of upwards.
Here’s a simple recipe that makes 30 macarons:
- Mix 3 room temperature egg whites with 1 tsp of salt and beat them with a mixer until they are foamy.
- Then, gradually add 1/4-cup sugar to the mix. Make sure you add the sugar slowly by dropping in some sugar, mixing, and then pouring more until all the sugar is mixed.
- Once the sugar is added, mix the egg and sugar mixture until stiff peaks form—this is going to be the basic meringue. Now add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix well. You may also add 1-2 drops of gel food coloring, as required.
- Separately, mix 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar with 1 cup of almond flour and 1 tsp of salt in a food processor. Mix well until homogenous and sift that into a bowl. Now mix the dry and wet ingredients by slowly adding the flour mixture to the meringue.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Mix everything until all the flour has been incorporated. A great way to tell if the mixture has reached the right consistency would be to scoop some batter up with the mixing spoon and try to make the figure “8” within the bowl.
- If you can easily make the figure “8” in one go without the batter breaking up then you are good to go, if not, then continue mixing until you can make the figure without the batter breaking a little more than halfway.
- Now all you need to do is fill up the mixture in a piping bag and lay 1.5-inch drops of the batter on a silicone mat.
- Once you have placed the batter, give the tray a few good drops by picking it up and dropping the tray to bring up and release air bubbles.
- Let them rest for 1 hour and cook at 300°F for 16-18 minutes!
How To Use A Silicone Mat
To use the mat properly, place it inside the baking tray and make sure that it’s flat on each side. Of course, the mat has to be smaller than the baking tray for it to lay down flat.
Additionally, you can place a drop of the meringue and flour mix on each corner of the baking tray so that the mat can stick to the tray and not move as you pipe the mixture.
You can lightly grease the mat if you want, but it’s not recommended since most high-quality mats don’t require to be greased.
This buyer’s guide will be divided into different sections. Each section will discuss an important aspect of what defines a great silicone mat for macarons.
Here are some important features for the silicone mat:
- Surface Texture
- Material and Width
The size of the silicone mat is extremely important. You can buy the best mat in the world but it still wouldn’t be able to bake the macarons right unless it’s the right size—or exactly the size of your baking tray.
If the silicone mat is bigger than the baking tray, it will fold up on the edges as it heats up which may cause the mat to contort and move the macarons from their position.
Even the slightest movement can cause the macarons to not bake properly.
This is why it is important to have a baking mat that perfectly fits the baking tray on each side.
A typical mat can measure 16 x 11 inches that can make up to 40, 1.5-inch macarons but you can get one that is either smaller or larger, depending on your need.
The surface texture of the mat is another important aspect of baking macarons. Most silicone mats are lightly textured with a template printed on top. The template can help place the meringue and flour mixture at exactly the right spot.
This helps prevent overcrowding and keeps the macarons from bumping into each other. You would want to give each macaron ample space to expand and lift.
Also, if you want to go with a plain bottom then make sure you get a flat-textured mat.
Other mats can be uniquely textured but for baking simple macarons, a flat-textured mat would be the ideal way to go.
Material And Width
Silicone mats are made of, well, silicone—but there are many grades of silicone that can affect the quality of your macarons.
For example, low-grade or cheap silicone will cause your macarons to stick to the base, even when they are fully baked.
Lower-grade silicone mats may also require you to grease them which can add to the calories of your macarons and may also affect how they spread and bake as well.
The best way to ensure that you get the best-looking and tasting macarons is to buy a high-quality, food-grade silicone mat.
Thicker silicone can also cause the macarons to overcook as it may trap more heat than necessary. When in doubt, go with anything below 1mm thickness. The better the quality, the better and evenly the macarons will bake from the bottom.
No one wants to spend time cleaning the baking mat—it is just counterproductive and can be a huge hassle. This is why you should always pick silicone baking mats that are easy to clean and store.
Most silicone mats allow for just a one-wipe clean while a non-abrasive detergent can be used to quickly clean the surface as well.
These types of high-quality mats can also be rolled up without ruining the surface or the texture of the mat.
Remember, a low-grade silicone may cause the macarons to stick to the bottom.
Also, there is a difference between the macarons sticking to the bottom because they are still uncooked and the macarons sticking to the bottom because of the mat.
The latter is what you should be worried about.
If the macarons often stick even after they have been fully baked then it’s time to get a new mat.
The 9 Best Silicone Mats For Macarons
Now that you know what to look for in a great silicone mat and how to use it, it’s time to make a purchase decision. We have compiled a list of great mats that you can use to make the perfect macarons at home.
|1.||HOTPOP Silicone Baking Mats||Non-stick baking mat, 0.75mm thick, 2 half-size and 2 quarter-size mats.|
|2.||Silicone Baking Mat Baking Sheet||2-pieces of high-quality baking mats. Designed for macarons. Easy to use and store.|
|3.||CookTime Macaron Silicone Baking Mat||2 professional-grade macaron mats, highly convenient and great for everyday use.|
|4.||Lekue Macaron Mat||Great for starters, made using high-quality silicone and fiberglass for better heat distribution.|
|5.||Mastrad Macaron Kit ||An all-in-one solution for anyone who is just starting out.|
|6.||Silpat Macaron Mat||20-macaron mat. Non-stick and high-quality for easy baking and cleaning.|
|7.||Heart Macaron Mat||All the great features but with a heart-shaped mold for fun macarons.|
|8.||Silicone Bear Penguin Heart Macaron Mat||Animal and heart-shaped molds. High-grade silicone, great for making macarons for parties.|
|9.||Macaron Baking Kit (17pcs Set)||17-piece set, great for beginners and professionals.|
1. HOTPOP Silicone Baking Mats
This high-quality non-stick baking mat is the perfect place to start.
It’s 0.75mm thick which means that it will adequately bake all the macarons to perfection.
You get 2 half-size and 2-quarter size mats with this package which you can use as per your baking tray.
It’s also easy to clean and simple to store!
This baking mat also comes with a simple textured design with a macaron template that you can use to place the batter as well.
2. Silicone Baking Mat Baking Sheet
Roll these mats up and keep them conveniently in a drawer.
This package includes 2 non-stick mats that are textured and designed just for macarons.
Add the batter to the given template and bake your macarons the right way.
3. CookTime Macaron Silicone Baking Mat
Here’s another high-quality baking sheet designed for macarons.
It’s BPA-free, non-stick, and comes in a 16.5 x 11.62 size which is great for baking lots of macarons at the same time.
The mat is lightly textured and you won’t need to grease it either.
To clean it, just soak it in warm water and give it a quick wipe with a light detergent. Reuse this mat as many times as you want as it is built with durability in mind!
4. Lekue Macaron Mat
Looking for a non-demanding and easy-to-use mat? This mat is made for people who are just starting their baking journey.
It’s made using a mixture of fiberglass and silicone which allows it to distribute heat evenly and efficiently.
It also has slightly indented grooves on its surface that can help you keep the macarons in place, even as they bake and expand.
5. Mastrad Macaron Kit
Keeping with the theme of “easy use”. This kit is your answer to everything macaron.
It comes equipped with not just a high-quality silicone baking mat but also 7 pastry tips, 1 pastry bag, and 1 pastry clip.
It also comes with a recipe book that you can follow to make different types of fillings and macarons.
It is perhaps one of the best ways to get started on your macaron journey and we think you can learn a lot using the recipe book as well.
6. Silpat Macaron Mat
You can make up to 20 macarons with just this one mat!
This mat is made using high-grade silicone and is great for most baking trays.
It doesn’t need to be greased as it’s made from a non-stick material which also makes it a breeze to clean.
Even if you burn the macarons (God forbid) you can easily start over in just a few minutes by soaking the mat in warm water and washing it with a light detergent.
7. Heart Macaron Mat
Yes, we know, this isn’t a traditional-looking macaron but would be the point of baking if there isn’t some joy in it?
This mat shares all the features that we have discussed in our buyer’s guide above and has heart-shaped molds to help bake and shape the macarons.
Fit up to 42 macarons at a time with this amazing non-stick silicone mat.
8. Silicone Bear Penguin Heart Macaron Mat
Make animal and heart-shaped macarons for parties, kids, or for yourself!
This high-grade, BPA-free silicone mat is designed for long-term use. It can be easily cleaned and does not require any sort of greasing as well.
Store it away by simply rolling it and keeping it in a cool and dry place. You can also buy a similar mat with rounded molds if you want to keep things traditional.
9. Macaron Baking Kit (17pcs Set)
Here’s another all-in-one set that brings all of the equipment together. This baking kit is designed for beginners and professionals alike.
You get 2 high-quality silicone baking mats along with 8 piping tips, 3 piping bags with 3 bag ties, and a coupler.
All of this equipment is made using high-quality materials and is designed to last longer and be reused so that you get the best-looking and tasting macarons every time.
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