St. Patty’s Day Macarons

French macarons are for me like heaven on Earth. The airy consistency and the strong flavors combine to make the ultimate confection.

For a while I was too intimidated to bake macarons. But after researching techniques online and reading various blogs, I finally had the confidence to give it a go.

The recipe I tried was a Martha Stewart recipe  – mostly because it had been heavily reviewed and I found helpful hints in the comments section. I also referred to the Tartelette’s blog  – she has a ton of flavor options and gorgeous photography.

The first time I made macarons it wasn’t a total disaster, but I forgot to add the red food coloring to make them look raspberry-flavored. Oh, and you don’t want to see the mess I made piping them out of the pastry bag. Batter was all over me. But I was able to get the little feet with my first try! They were also quite delicious with the raspberry jam filling.

I won’t lie: my second attempt was a disaster. I took a stab at pistachio macarons. They tasted great but looked awful. The macarons were more oval than circular and didn’t have feet. I added too much green food coloring so they looked like Incredible Hulk macarons. And the filling – chocolate ganache – was too runny.

But I wasn’t deterred. I had read that for many people it took several tries to master baking macarons.

English: Four macarons. Français : Quatre maca...

Image via Wikipedia

I still haven’t mastered it, but boy do they taste great every time I make them!

This last time, I again tried pistachio-flavored macarons with chocolate ganache filling.  And I decided not to take any short-cuts and follow the recipe to the letter. A couple of things I discovered…

  • Be sure to use the whisk attachment and not the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Up until now I had been using the paddle. Don’t know how “whisk the egg whites in mixer” eluded me.
  • Sift, sift and sift some more
  • Take the eggs out of the refrigerator well before you need to use them. It takes a while to get them to room temperature
  • Take your time. Don’t combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar together all once.
  • A drop or two of food coloring goes a long way

Also, this time I made the chocolate ganache filling first so that it could cool and solidify. It made a great difference.

So, I’m taking a break from baking macarons. It is time-consuming for so few cookies. The last batch took me about 2 hours from start to finish and I only netted about 16 macarons.

Next time though, I’m trying lemon-flavored macarons. Yum!

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6 Responses to St. Patty’s Day Macarons

  1. mujerboricua says:

    I always ignored the sifting and wish I hadn’t. I could’ve been eating pretty macarons for ages by now :) But practice makes perfect.

  2. Amy says:

    Yum, save me a lemon one. They are my favorite.

  3. Pingback: Christmas Cookies, Part 1: Sugar Lemon - The Stitcherati

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