This is the season of cookies making – and giving. I make these special macarons once a year for friends whom I don’t get to know as much as I should. That’s my way of making connections, beyond mere words, to say how important they are to me and my family.
A baking class in macarons in Paris marked one of those bonding experiences between my daughter and I that I’d never forget. Last year, I posted how I bonded with my niece over, guess what, making macarons. You endured the challenge together and saw the beauty and light at the end of the tunnel. A rather special experience. It never ceases to amaze me how food can be such a powerful glue that binds our human experiences.
Making macarons can be daunting, especially if you don’t make them frequently. It demands exactitude. It requires the full force of your attention, heart and mind, to have the cookies turn out the way they are intended. The way you remember the first bite into these awesome cookies. Sifting all the flour. Whipping the meringue to medium peaks. Piping individual cookie with steady hands. Chilling to age them. The process simply can’t be rushed. I’d smile my happiest smile when these finicky cookies come out perfectly.
In midstream, I questioned the recipe and second-guessed whether I was using the right technique. French meringue vs. Italian meringue? I managed my impatience and frustration well enough to stay focused on the task. In the end, a fine batch of macarons had emerged one more time using the same recipe as last year’s.
Additional tips from this bake:
- An insulated cookie sheet works better than a single sheet pan. Stacking two sheet pans together is a viable option.
- Silpat, or silicone mat, works better than parchment paper. Easier to peel cookies from a Silpat.
- Smaller cookies bake more evenly than the bigger ones. No hollow shells.
- Sift and sift the almond flour some more for a smoother surface texture.
- Convection bake works better than conventional oven bake cycle.
- Dry days work better than humid days.
|Acidity in lemon ganache tempers the sweetness of the cookie|
|Rest for 30-60 minutes before baking|