Laurel Hamilton

Graphic/Web Designer

413

5

Macarons (first attempt)

The first time I ever had macarons was this past year as a treat for my birthday.  I have wanted to learn to make macarons for a while but had repeatedly read that they could be quite fussy to make.  For my fillings, I chose to use two locally made jams: Cactus Jam and Amaretto Pecan Peach Jam. 

I've been baking for about 20 years so I thought that these should be pretty simple to make after watching the video.  Not so much.  After a bit of research, I think I found the answers to my problems.  The first problem was not having a proper sifter...I used a wire strainer and sifted through that, but it was rather small and I only was able to sift a tablespoon or two at a time.  Thes second problem was that I didn't remember that I had used the last of the pastry bags until I had already set up the mixture.  I improvised by using a gallon freezer back and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag opposite of where I had filled the batter to have more control over how quickly I dispensed the batter.

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This made for some pretty wonky shaped cookies:

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I noticed some air bubbles surfacing as the cookies set and read that they could be poked with a toothpick and smoothed back over, so I did that.  During the baking process of the cookies, most of them wrinkled and cracked!  I read that there are a few things that could cause that but the most likely reason this happened for me was not letting the cookies sit long enough.  I let the first tray rest about half an hour and the second tray set for about 45 minutes and didn't wrinkle until cooling (that time most likely due to underbaking).

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So all things considered, they weren't great but not a complete failure either.  Next time, I think I would let them sit out for at least 45 minutes and try baking at 300 for about the same time I did this time to see if it helps with any of the wrinkles.  In the meantime, I'm sure my husband won't mind eating ugly cookies.  I'm going to retry this again, probably tomorrow.

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