A while ago I accepted the challenge to make the most beautiful cookies, real French macaroons. I have never actually tasted or seen a real macaron, but I have looked at some beautiful ones from some fabulous bakers. I've followed their tweets, and blogs and been amazed at their results and unfortunately not taken the time to make my own until this weekend. . .
I'm not sure if I should take the stance of "3 strikes and you're out", or "try, try again" but after my last three experiences making them my level of respect for all the bakers who have succeeded has risen to enormous proprotions. There is something very tricky about making these cute little cookies.
I have learned:
1. If you leave the egg whites out overnight, make sure the temperature is actually warmer on the counter than in the fridge (I live in Salt Lake and it's winter presently- when I got up to make my Mac's my egg whites were colder than if I had left them in the fridge). I warmed the next batches of egg whites in warm water just before I used them.
2. Blanch your almonds the night before so they dry out completely before you blitz them into powder. Do plenty of extra almonds for repeated batches.
3. Enjoy the mistakes. The first batch I made were complelely flat discs. Most of them got eaten. I made the second batch into an almond brownie. When I could see that the consistancy wasn't going to work I greased and floured little tart pans, and made brownies. They were actually not bad. They got eaten before I could take a picture.
4. Don't tell everyone that you didn't get your feet. My husband thought that the macaroons looked and tasted great (and he's even had the real deal). He ate them with delight, not knowing they were missing their feet.
So, I'm done with my macaroon experience for 2009, and yes it did give me an ATTACK . . . but I'll be back in 2210. My mac's were made from Barbara's recipe, Chocolate Macaroon's from Vino Luci Style and my filling was a delicious Italian Vanilla Butter Cream.
Please visit some of my favorite bloggers so see what a real macaroon looks like! BarbaraBakes , foodfinery, From Donuts To Delirium: My Life As A Housewife, Vino Luci Style, Passionate About Baking , Life's A Feast, and go here to visit the site of all the bloggers who joined the challenge.