When your macaron shells come out of the oven, make sure to let them cool completely. If you try to peel your macaron shells off the parchment paper while they are still warm, you will leave their guts on the paper and just be holding the outside shell of the macaron. Make sure you are gentle while you peel your macarons off the paper. They will always leave a little mark on the paper if you peel them right after you bake them (without freezing). But don’t worry! This is a good thing. That means they were baked properly. If you peel your macarons off the paper and it is completely clean, that can mean your macarons are over baked. When you push in the center of the macaron on the bottom, it should be soft. If the bottom of the macaron is hard, it means that the shell is overbaked and will be too crunchy inside. The shell should have a crunch on the outside and be chewy in the center.
Did you overbake your macarons? Don’t toss them! A very important part of the macaron process, after you fill them, is to let the macarons sit in the refrigerator overnight. When you do this, moisture from the refrigerator will seep into the shell. This will keep the crunch but make it a little softer and add a little chew. If your macarons are a couple of minutes overbaked, a day or two in the fridge should bring them right back!
When peeling your macarons off the paper, be gentle. Carefully peel the macarons off the parchment paper and line them up in a row with one facing up and one facing down. This will allow you to fill more efficiently. If they are all in a row you can quickly pipe your filling and squish the top shell on.
When filling your macarons it is important not to overfill. The rookie mistake is that people think “I love fillings!” Then they pipe a ton inside, then squish the top shell on and it oozes down the side. You want to pipe the filling directly in the center, leaving a ring around the edge. That way when you squish the top of the filling will come right to the edge of the macaron shell. Let the macarons sit in the fridge at least 10-15 minutes for the filling to set up.