Lemme be real with you. I didn’t have high expectations. The good news is, because of that, I exceeded my own expectations by making good-tasting, decent-looking macarons. THEY AREN’T PERFECT. And part of me hurts inside because of that. But it’s really true when they say that macarons take practice.
Macarons are basically a test of who is really good at following directions. I thought I was. I AM. But like, I didn’t feel like going out and buying silicone baking mats. Trader Joe’s tired me out! Y’all know how busy TJ’s is. A Target pitstop just wasn’t in the cards. I regret it. I’m also being a little dramatic but I was really hoping I would beat the odds and bake perfect macarons. Whatever. Anyways. Here they are. Plain macarons with strawberry buttercream filling, adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction:
Now, if you follow me on Snapchat you’ll know why these weren’t perfect. Obviously I ate the cookies that cracked and got fucked up before assembling and photographing my final product. But I said I’d be real with you so here is my struggle:
See the cracks? Ugh. So annoying.
So here’s what I learned:
1. Like Sally says, silicone baking mats are important AF. Otherwise your batter’s gonna spread and make giant ass macarons instead of dainty lil babies.
2. Food scales are necessary (in life and for macarons) and I’m glad I had one and used the metric system instead of being a dumb American trying to measure cups and shit.
3. Egg whites have a small window of time where they go 0 to 100 real quick and then back to zero. Make sure you don’t overmix them. I didn’t think I did …but I feel like maybe I did a little. Within that already small timeframe is when you can mix in food coloring and any flavoring/extract. I got too excited about the food coloring and forgot to add in vanilla extract like I planned. It’s not apart of the recipe but vanilla makes everything better so I’m sad about it.
4. Make sure you bang the pan with the batter on the counter a few times to get air bubbles out. Don’t be afraid to get a little aggressive. I still had air bubbles in mine that lead to cracking, which makes me think I overbeat my egg whites.
5. The sky is seriously the limit when it comes to the fillings. I used Sally’s strawberry buttercream recipe and it was super good, but a little too sweet for these guys. I think next time I’ll try a jam or custard instead. Or maybe just use less filling.
Overall I’m pretty proud of myself for how these turned out. I definitely want to make them again and try some different flavor combos. And invest in silicone mats.