Macaroon Monday Success!
As I embarked on my Macaroon Monday baking adventure, I realized something: I’ve never actually eaten a ‘real’ macaroon. Which is to say I’m not 100% sure what they are supposed to taste like. But I do know what they are supposed to look like and what texture they should have, and mine seemed pretty close. And if my macaroons are anything close to the real deal, then I imagine real macaroons are fantastic!
Knowing how tricky macaroons can be, I chose a well-tested recipe for my experiment. I followed Ms. Humble’s tutorial and recipe, with a few tips from Joe Pastry thrown in. What can I say? The nerd in me likes the food science they included in their posts to back up their information. 😉
A lot of sources say to age the egg whites overnight, but I only let mine sit at room temperature for 4 or 5 hours. I’m not sure it made a lot of difference in the final product, so I may need to do some further experimenting someday…
Keys to Macaroon Success:
- In your food processor, pulse your almonds into meal before combining with the powdered sugar.
- When you are turning your almonds into almond meal, be careful not to take it too far. As much as I love almond butter, it would not make for a good macaron!
- Use a sieve to get the bigger almond chunks out of the powdered sugar & almond mixture. Unfortunately, I don’t have a sieve…see the challenges section below. 😉
- Before you do anything else, measure out all of your ingredients.
- Getting to the meringue stage takes some time. Be patient.
- Adding a few drops of food coloring in the folding stage will give you uniquely-colored macarons.
- Play with your fillings. It is the easiest part of the macaroon to play around with by far. I used both a chocolate ganache and a cherry butter filling.
Macaroon Monday Challenges:
1. Some of the tops of my macaroons cracked. According to Joe Pastry, this could be due either to undermixing or too much moisture/air in the batter. Since only some of them cracked and the insides seemed chewy, I think moisture was the culprit.
2. I don’t have a sieve, so I couldn’t sift out the bigger chunks of almonds. I don’t know if this also contributed to the cracking problem, or just made the cookies less smooth in the end.
3. I was expecting a crispy, airy interior, but they ended up being more chewy. Like I said, I’ve never eaten a “real” macaroon, so maybe my assumption was wrong. Otherwise, I either underbaked them or there was too much moisture.
Despite these challenges, the macaroons still tasted delicious and melted in my mouth!
What I Learned From Macaroon Monday
1. The Macaroon Monday challenge got me into the kitchen trying something out of my comfort zone. As my meringue formed and my macaroons began to come together, my baking confidence grew. If I can make macaroons, I can make anything, right?
2. I added some new skills to my baking repertoire. While I used to struggle with making meringues, I definitely succeeded today, and am now certain I could do it again. Not to mention the fact that I perfected my folding technique
3. I learned that patience is key when baking. I tend to rush through mixing and prep work, but today I focused on each step and felt calm and patient throughout the process… something I want to practice more during future baking sessions!
Did you participate in Macaroon Monday? How’d it go?