C is for Macaron*

I’m a bit of a Hermione. I like to learn things. And get them right. And be a bit show-offy about them. Then move on to something else.

So, macarons have recently come to my attention.

Not macaroons, those flavorous lumps of coconutty sweetness.

Macarons. Light, crispy, chewy, soft, luscious, buttercream-sandwiched pillows of heaven. Poncy. Exquisite. Difficult. Well, let’s say difficile, because they are, of course, French. And they are trés difficile.

But I’m a girl who relishes a challenge. Tell me something is near impossible, and I am all over it.

At first, I was mildly intrigued. Saw them on TV. Saw them on Pinterest. Saw them on Martha Stewart’s website. (don’t judge me!) I said to myself, “Hmmm. That might be a hoot.”

Then I tasted one. After that first eyes-rolling-back-in-my-head bite, I was hooked. No longer mildly interested, I now craved these puffy pleasures with a blinding lust. Yes, lust. Have you ever had a sweet little cloud of heaven melt on your tongue? No, you haven’t. But I have. Oh, I have.

But the making of them smacks seriously of effort. After trolling the ‘net for hours and hours, I finally settled on what I found here for a recipe and here for a (FABULOUS) troubleshooting guide and here for a how-to video. I gathered and prepped all my elements and hardware beforehand (thank you for the great advice, video chick!) and voila! Disaster…

Disappointment. No feet. All crackly. *sigh*

The visual hallmarks of a perfect macaron are a shiny, sleek shell and a “foot,” or a pretty, ruffled base. Yeah. Not happening this first time.

Three (sort of) passable cookies.

Three came close…well…close-ish. Meanwhile, I started the second batch.

I’m wary but hopeful…there are wee feet appearing!

Not a total success yet, but better! A marked improvement.

Closer!

They sort of resemble the top half of a McDonald’s hamburger, but they’re shiny, and they’re smooth, and they have feetGigantic spreading Sasquatch feet, but feet nonetheless!

I made a Nutella buttercream filling for these lovelies that I found here. Yeah, I’m just cannibalizing tons of sites tonight. But it’s worth it for food porn of this quality — look at these!

Ready to pawn off on my teacher peeps!

Next time: lemon macarons with strawberry filling. Oh. Yeah. My new obsession.

Sincerely,

Bonnycate

*Oh, and here‘s why C is for Macaron. Careful, though. It’ll eat into your brain…

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5 thoughts on “C is for Macaron*

  1. Macarons are tricky! Those look fantastic for your 2nd batch – shiny, smooth and they have feet! I’m glad you enjoyed my Nutella buttercream. I can imagine it would make an excellent macaron filling.

    I actually made chocolate macarons filled with Nutella mousse (basically made ganache and whipped it until it was fluffy): bit.ly/NV9yCL Great minds think alike! 🙂

    • I so wanted to make ganache, but I forgot the cream and was not up to heading back out again in 100° heat! Your buttercream was addictive. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Thanks! I don’t want to tempt all the strong-willed eatin-right people at work, so I’ll just sneak you a selection from my subsequent practice batches… I’m impressed with their resolve to eat healthful, nutritious food, but I can’t stop baking!

  2. Everyone needs to visit Stephanie at http://www.52kitchenadventures.com, by the way. She’s ever so helpful and has fabulous recipes!

    Check this out: a 20-minute wait for a logical and helpful response!

    Bonnycate writes:
    NO. 11 — AUGUST 25TH, 2012 AT 9:12 AM
    A dear friend of mine wants me to attempt to make these for her wedding day cookie table. In order for this to happen, I’d have to transport them — it’s a 3 1/2 hour plane ride. I’ve seen that macarons freeze well. Do you have any suggestions for how to pack them to minimize destruction?
    Bonnycate recently posted C is for Macaron*

    Stephanie writes:
    NO. 12 — AUGUST 25TH, 2012 AT 9:35 AM
    @Bonnycate – that’s a tough one. Macarons are pretty delicate. I’d say lots and lots of padding but I honestly don’t have much experience transporting them, especially on a plane.

    I did a quick Google search and found that someone asked a similar question and BraveTart said: “You can definitely do this. I would suggest baking the macarons a few days before your trip and refrigerating them for 24-36 hours before your departure. This will a) let the macarons mature, which makes them taste better, but b) also make the buttercream quite firm and the macarons less fragile.

    Make a nest of tissue paper in a box, add the macarons, making sure each is nestled into the paper enough to not jostle its neighbor, and then fill the box with more tissue paper. Just don’t stack the macarons on top of each other. I’ve taken macarons to and from LA safely…!”

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