yup that’s what has been taking up all my free time for the last week. One week (exactly to the day) ago, I got it into my head to try making these cute little cookies called French Macarons -yes spelled with only one ‘O’ the french way I guess… Well these cookies are my son, Seth’s favorites and we pay 2$ a piece when we go out to the cafe with him. With that kind of price tag I thought hmm, maybe I could make them myself.
So excited about the idea was I that I immediately got to work on finding a good recipe. I scoured the internet and asked a friend who makes them to give me some input. These little guys are so technique sensitive it’s not even funny. So over the week I have tried making about 10 different batches. Some turned out better than other and some looked better than they tasted while others tasted better than they looked. I found that very interesting.
Well here we are one week later and I can say that I’m pretty much macaroned out. 🙂 I like them a lot and I especially love them for events because they are so customizable. My very favorite macaron happens to be made at a little Cafe/Bakery in the Pearl District called Nuvrei and it is their Rose Macaron that I prefer. I probably could eat a dozen and not blink 🙂 lol -I don’t, however, they are seriously that good, my brother used to work there and told me that it is their number one selling macaron. No surprise there!.
When I decided to make my own I knew I wanted to make a rose macaron. So I did a bit of researching and found rosewater (all one word) at New Seasons for 8$ for a very tiny little bottle to make my own Rose macarons FYI-you can make your own rosewater but probably not in the winter in Portland. I just added a bit of rosewater to my swiss meringue buttercream and voila i had rosewater macaron filling. The fillings were pretty easy in my opinion, just go with your favorite flavors and your good.
The shells are where the difficult part is at. In all this experimenting I don’t believe I have been able to achieve the perfect textured macaron. I know that if any of my readers have ever even tried making a batch they can empathize with me. Who would believe that a cookie with only 4 ingrediants can be that difficult to get right. I have to say that even cookies from the same batch but cooked on different pans would come out differently, sensitive little buggers. I no longer balk at the 2$ price tag, it takes a lot of time and sweat to get these babies right. I’m so looking forward to going to Nuvrei next time and getting a macaron and just savoring every morsel, because I now understand what the process involves. By the way did you know that macarons are better 3 days after they come out of the oven, well they are and apparently most places age them even as long as 5 days. Well I can tell you that no cookie I bake lasts that long in my house. 🙂
So here is a bit of my experiance…
the cookie: I used 2 different recipes… here and here I still can’t say which I like the most. However I think both of them make good tasting macarons and the secret is in the technique and not the recipe itself as they differ only slightly. The first recipe I feel gives sweeter macaron shells and for that reason I appreciate the 2nd recipe a bit more, because with the filling being bit sweet itself I prefer for the cookie shell to be less sweet.
the filling: great Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe by Martha Stewart which I then switch up to make my Rosewater, Pistachio, Chocolate hazelnut and English Toffee ooh and I also made an Andes Mint one ( i loved that one a lot).
Well I hope you enjoyed reading about my trials and tribulations on this journey to make the perfect macaron and I hope to someday post about finally achieving that which in my mind is unachievable ;). I have to say that these were pretty good just not perfect and for some reason I’ve been bitten by some macaron bug.
If anyone out there comes across this blog post and has any input on getting the perfect textured macaron I would appreciate any and all suggestions.