I successfully made macarons. I've made them before, many ending up in the garbage bin shortly after they come out of the oven. I've never made them where they look like I could have bought them off the shelf of a bakery! I figure that I can bake almost anything if I put my mind to it (is that too presumptuous?). I find baking, even puttering around in the kitchen for that matter, to be so relaxing. Carefully measuring, scooping, mixing, beating, folding, it's therapeutic! There are at least a few hours every weekend I spend in the kitchen to bake for the week ahead (among other things!) and last weekend when I had a bit of extra time on my hands I decided to give macarons a go just one more time.
Guess what! I was not disappointed!
I think it's just hype that these are difficult to make. Yes, they take patience. Yes, they take precision. Yes, they take a good few hours. But they are worth it if you ask me!
I know the ingredients for macarons can often be a deterrent as well. Almonds aren't cheap! But I always buy my ingredients that I need in limited or odd quantities at good old Bulk Barn. 3/4 cup of almond flour will run you about $3. That's the cost of a single macaron at your favourite patisserie!
Andrew's Mom so graciously gifted me with a Chapters gift card for my birthday in February. With Chapters being one of my favourite places to roam around and admire, I knew I wanted to hang on to that gift card for something special. Enter, My Sweet Kitchen by Linda Lomelino. Ask anyone who knows me personally and has been to my apartment, I have a lot of cookbooks. For me there's no such thing as too many (Andrew may say otherwise!) so when I saw this book I knew I wanted to add it to my collection. It has a perfect mix of cakes, cookies, donuts and more, even including helpful tips like how to style food for great photos. Those are tips I've really been studying!
When I was flipping through the book and landed on Sea Salt Chocolate Macarons hidden amongst the "A Taste of Chocolate" chapter, I was sold. I set aside Sunday afternoon to give these a go and well, I'll let you look at the photos to see how I did! The trick to these is without to a doubt to weigh your ingredients. One of the things I've learned with baking is that 'eye-balling' your measurements is not a justified way to bake. Weight and precise measurements make all the difference. These instructions are particular, so follow them and you will hopefully yield the same results!
These macarons do take a bit of planning ahead since the egg whites have to sit at room temperature overnight, but measure them out before bed and in the morning you can wake up ready to get baking!
I definitely recommend picking up your own copy of My Sweet Kitchen and give these a go! Let me know if you give these a go or have any other fail-proof tricks to perfect these finicky little cookies! Have a favourite flavour or filling? Shoot me a note and let me know!