(Guys, this actually looks like a real macaron! And I made it! Victory.)
Okay. As my friends could probably tell you, I’m mildly (majorly?) obsessed with macarons. This started the first time I visited Laduree (in Paris a few years ago), and continues today (via my pin board devoted entirely to macarons). This year, I made it one of my 26 for 26 goals to make macarons. As I was making them last weekend, I came to a realization and refined the goal a bit: I’m going to attempt to perfect my macaron skills this year.
Because, I’ll be honest with you: they aren’t easy to make. I knew this going in; I had read about how temperamental and tricky they were from many sources. And everything I read? It turned out to be true. So that’s the new goal – learn from my macaron mistakes, and get better over the course of the year. It’s a delicious challenge.
Round one consisted of Snickers macarons (recipe here). I made these while I was home for “spring” break, so I enlisted my mom’s help. We followed the recipe to the letter because, having never made macarons before, we weren’t in a position to experiment. The big lesson from round one? Be very diligent about getting your almonds and peanuts (for the shells) crushed finely in the food processor. In our first batch, we weren’t careful enough about this – and it led to disasters when we attempted to pipe the shells.
Our main takeaway from this round was: shells = tricky; filling = not so bad. Here’s a peek at our process:
Yep, we bought an electric scale specifically for making macarons. Dedication.
Making the shells:
Letting the shells set (and, yes, you can see the almonds we didn’t crush finely enough):
Macaron shells ready to be filled:
Making the marshmallow ganache:
Adding the peanuts and marshmallow ganache:
Adding the caramel to the filling:
Voila! Mission semi-accomplished:
Okay, okay – none of those macarons looks the same. Odd shapes, different colors, varying amounts of filling. My next goal for future macaron-making endeavors? Uniformity.
Despite the challenges, this was fun. See you for round two!