I first tasted a macaron this past winter, on a trip to my father’s home in Sarasota. I had seen these often pastel-colored treats for years, but they always looked so cloyingly sweet—maybe it was the color. They were fantastic, however, and so a new ambition was born: successful baking of macarons.
So we did! Several times this past spring, we baked these tasty little cookie-cakes. They are not difficult, really, although they are tricky. But with the fabulous guidance of our favorite baking-blogger David Lebovitz (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/), we worked it out. We have stopped making them over the summer, since they do not hold up well in humidity. But we are ready to start trying again soon. For now, a quick story of our first attempt—
The cookie portion of macarons is always made with some form of nut meal. We have only used almond. Although we have tried to make a hazelnut-based cookie, we have yet to be successful.
Almond meal, cocoa, and powdered sugar.
Egg whites, sugar, and patience.
Mix. JUST enough.
Pipe out the “dough”. Hope you have not over mixed. Tap the pan on the counter and let sit. Hope some more. Sort of like a rain dance for macarons. Then bake for 15 minutes or so.
Voila! (Pay no attention to the cracked cookie in the background).
Next up, filling. We initially followed David Lebovitz’s instructions to let the filling cool to room temperature.
Then we cooled the filling in the refrigerator: