I’m a Macaronaholic. Part of why I love these cookies so much is because I respect the fact that it’s really easy to make bad ones. Different factors come in to play when making these chewy little clouds of heaven – humidity, room temperature, sifting, distribution of heat in your oven, etc. I’ve been too intimidated to make them on my own out of fear of having new content to contribute to my list of crafting/baking disasters. If only there was some sort of alert to let you know when you’re about to over mix, over (or under) dry, or over bake your macarons…
I braved the Black Friday madness once again, this time to take an Intro to French Macarons class at the mall in Santa Monica with the goal of quelling said fears. We made a basic vanilla macaron with four different fillings – raspberry buttercream, passion fruit buttercream, coffee buttercream, and a very buttery salted caramel. The salted caramel was made from scratch, and we made an Italian meringue buttercream, split it three ways, and then added the secondary flavor for the other fillings. The raspberry filling just had freeze-dried raspberries added to it, and concentrates were added to the buttercream for the passion fruit and coffee fillings. Pretty straightforward.
The class was really informational and fun, with the exception the one student in my class who also happened to be named Allison. She referred to me throughout the class as “Other Allison”, probably because her macaron cookies came out cracked and in any shape but round. She didn’t like this, and made comments like “Leave it to Other Allison to show the class up.” However, once the cookie sheets came out of the oven, she “accidentally” took one of mine and started applying the filling to those. I would have blamed it on a mix-up with the name, but she had written “Allie” on her cookie sheet. Really? I was already annoyed with her for being obnoxious, but as I looked at the sad “Allie” misshapen macaron cookies I was left with, I was just about ready to stab her with my offset spatula. Luckily, as a test of my learnings, I got asked to make a second batch and those turned out great. Suck it, Allie. #notbitter
I’m taking an intermediate class next week to learn how to make different types of macaron fillings (custards, ganaches, etc.), as well as different flavored cookies (rose petal, pistachio, hazelnut, etc.). Really exciting! After that, I think I may try them on my own. Eek!