My first attempt at making the pretty little French Macaron went pretty well. The Macaron, after all, has a reputation of not being the easiest to make. Mine were fairly similar in size and the coloring wasn’t bad, they had feet, and most importantly, they tasted good.
I got a few tips on making the French treats from a recent episode of Master Chef. From the show I learned the importance of sifting the flour and pounding the cookie sheet after piping the batter. I also learned that the Macarons should have feet and should maintain their bright colors and not brown during baking. Some of the chefs had their cookies stick to the cooking mats. I read that parchment paper was a better choice. I must say I agree. My Macarons had no problems with the parchment paper.
I found a recipe for Macarons and decided to give it a try. The ingredients are simple… almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and food coloring to give it that fun look. The biggest job was sifting the almond flour since almond flour tends to be a bit on the moist side. After what seemed like hours, the almond flour was sifted. Next, I beat the egg whites to a peak and gently folded in the dry ingredients. I was now ready to pipe the Macarons onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Then the sheets were pounded/dropped to get rid of potential air bubbles. The Macarons were then left to rest for 40 minutes and finally, put into the oven to bake. After seven minutes in the oven, the pan was turned for even cooking. The Macarons must be cooked until they do not move when touched, but no longer, or they will brown, losing their pretty color. This was the tricky part. It only takes, in my estimate, 30 seconds to 1 minute to over bake the Macarons, so one must be very watchful so they do not over-bake. The recipe called for 12-15 minutes baking time. Mine took on the lower end of this. I would say about 10-11 minutes was about right.
After the Macarons cooled, I made a buttercream frosting for the filling. Next time, I would like to experiment with flavored fillings. Maybe raspberry! A ganache would also be a nice filling to try.
While there is always room for improvement, I think my first attempt at making Macarons was a success. Next time, I will know to watch the bake time even more carefully. I can not wait to experiment with new flavors and colors. Bon Appetit!
For the recipe go to: https://preppykitchen.com/french-macarons/