In my last post, I talked (whined?) about our missed trip and the macarons we might have tried in Paris last fall. I also mentioned the macarons I didn’t try in Quebec City. I got thinking that maybe I need to try macarons (it’s the Flavor of the Month, after all) and since I have a little time with all the COVID wedding delays, maybe I should also try making them, too?
I’ve been collecting macaron photos and recipes on Pinterest for years. As inspired by the options (colors, flavors, designs!) as I am daunted by the horror stories (lumpy macarons, macarons with no “feet” or cracked tops), I found lots of reasons to put off trying to make them. It seemed like lots of steps and lots of ways to go wrong.
Then I ran across this recipe for foolproof macarons. Finally, a recipe made just for me—and no excuse not to try. 🙂 Here’s what happened.
Make a meringue
It turns out that if you’ve made meringues, you can make macarons. The cookie is a meringue with very fine almond flour and sugar folded in. Here’s the meringue just after I’ve added a hint of pink and just before adding the almond flour.
Once the batter is the correct consistency—the most challenging part of the whole process—you pipe it onto a cookie sheet. To keep the cookies a uniform size, I traced circles onto the back side of parchment paper, then flipped and lined each cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies
Here are the macarons just out of the oven. I was so excited to see the little “feet” at the base of each cookie that it almost didn’t matter that they were lumpy. (Or that most had a little curlicue at the top. Or that they were just a bit brown on the bottoms.)
Fill the macarons
Once they had cooled, I prepared buttercream and piped around the edge of a cookie, filled with a dollop of strawberry jam, and sandwiched with a second cookie. And repeated for each pair.
This was the perfect recipe for my first macarons, and I will definitely use it again. It was so fun (and tasty) that I consider them a success even though they aren’t as pretty as they should be. The next time I make them, I’ll use finer almond flour to reduce the lumps. I’ll use a bigger piping tip so they spread more and won’t be as thick. I’ll bake them in batches higher up in the oven to keep them from browning. And I’ll make them with chocolate!
What do you think? Have you ever made macarons? What’s your favorite flavor?
I tried again (with the same base recipe) and they’re much better this time!
I ground the almond flour a bit before sifting. I piped without a tip, just using the coupler so the batter could flow faster. This left the macarons with very smooth tops. I baked in the top of the oven so they weren’t as dark. And I added lemon oil to the batter and the frosting. (Maybe next time for chocolate!)